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Publicker Industries

Update, February 1996

EPA Selects Cleanup Plan

On December 28, 1995, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Publicker Industries Superfund Site in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Publicker Industries operated a liquor and industrial alcohol distillery at the site from 1912 to 1985. The ROD announces EPA's cleanup plan for the third phase of the project.

EPA held a meeting on June 20, 1995 to discuss the results of previous investigations and studies at the site. This information is also contained in EPA's Proposed Remedial Action Plan (PRAP), released on June 2, 1995. The Proposed Plan outlined several cleanup options for each area of contamination. This PRAP also explained which cleanup option EPA would recommend, and why.

At the meeting on June 20, EPA addressed the community's questions and concerns about the site and the cleanup. In addition, a public comment period was held from June 2 to August 2, 1995. During this period, community members could comment and provide input on EPA's cleanup recommendations. EPA reviewed and responded to all of the comments and questions before selecting a final cleanup action. These responses are included as part of the ROD. The ROD can be found at the information repository listed in the box to the right.

Cleanup Actions

After carefully reviewing all of the cleanup options and comments, EPA selected the following courses of action. These selected actions will ensure that the remaining site contamination does not pose a health threat. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection concurs with these selected actions.

On-Site Wells

Fourteen on-site wells will be sealed and abandoned. This ensures that nothing gets into the groundwater. Cost- approx. $84,000. Completion time- about one month.

Electric Utilities, Stormwater Trenches, and Utilities

Stormwater trenches as well as underground electrical and stormwater utilities will be inspected. Contaminated liquids and sludges will be removed using vacuum trucks. Utility conduits between substations will be cleaned. Utilities will be removed or sealed to prevent recontamination. Vacuumed-up wastes will be transported off-site for treatment and disposal. Cost- approx. $467,000. Completion time- about two months.

Miscellaneous Wastes

Liquids in remaining tanks and drums will be characterized and removed. Hazardous and non-hazardous waste drums will be sorted, then taken off-site, treated if necessary, and disposed of. Cost- approx. $81,000. Completion time- about two months.

For More Information

Community members are encouraged to review and photocopy site-related materials in the information repository. The repository contains site-related documents EPA used to select cleanup methods.

EPA Region III -- Public Reading Room
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

Please call to schedule visits (215) 814-3157

Next Steps

EPA soon will begin the next step in the cleanup process, which includes negotiating with the site owner to begin cleanup planning and implement-ation. In the near future, EPA will hold a public meeting in the local community. At this meeting, EPA will provide local residents with information on the status of site cleanup. Prior to the meeting, a notice announcing the date, time, and location will be published in the South Philadelphia Review-Chronicle and also The Philadelphia Inquirer.

EPA Contact

EPA is available to answer questions or provide information on the Publicker Industries Superfund Site to community members. Lisa Brown, EPA's Community Involvement Coordinator, can update you on the progress of cleanup actions at the site or add you to EPA's mailing list.

Lisa Brown, Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region III (3EA30)
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
(215) 814-5528 or (800) 553-2509
e-mail: brown.lisa@epa.gov

Publicker Industries to Repay EPA for Past Cleanup costs

EPA lodged a Consent Decree with the U.S. District Court on December 28, 1995. Publicker Industries signed this document, agreeing to reimburse EPA for a portion of the past costs EPA encountered while cleaning up the site. Within six years, Publicker will pay the Federal government $13,350,000 plus interest. Publicker will also pay the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania $1,000,000.

Visit EPA on the Internet!

EPA's website provides a large amount of information on hazardous waste management and the Superfund program. You can access this information by visiting our page -- http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/index.htm

EPA Budget Update

EPA has received temporary funding so that the Agency can operate until March 15, 1996. This funding is 14% less than the amount provided during 1995. Currently, progress on the Publicker site is on-schedule. However, if EPA is not funded, or if there is a furlough of EPA staffers, the new owner of this site (Delaware Avenue Enterprises, an affiliate of Holt Cargo Inc.) may not be able to remediate it as called for under the terms of the Prospective Purchaser Agreement (PPA). A furlough or lack of funding would prevent Holt from re-developing the site under the spirit of the PPA.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(Lisa Brown/3EA30)
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

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