This fact sheet was prepared to provide you with some basic information about the Spectron, Inc. Superfund Site, located in Elkton, Maryland. Also included is information about Superfund and how the site fits into the Superfund program. EPA hopes that the information in this fact sheet will help you learn more about the Spectron Site, Superfund, and EPA. If you have any questions about the site, please contact Carrie Dietzel or Felicia Dailey, the EPA Community Involvement Coordinators for the Spectron Site. Their address can be found on page 2.
What's Happening at the Spectron Site?
EPA Approves Plan to Protect Little Elk Creek
Recently, EPA approved a plan submitted by the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) to address the water in Little Elk Creek and the contaminated seeps at the site. (PRPs are those parties responsible for the contamination at a site.) The purpose of the plan is to protect the creek from contaminated seeps coming from the site. EPA believes that the best way to do this is to separate the creek from its natural banks along the site and prevent the seeps from discharging into the creek. To do this, the PRPs plan to construct a channel out of materials such as concrete to redirect the water away from its natural banks and from the contaminated seeps. Once the creek is redirected, the PRPs will collect and treat the discharge from the seeps and remove the contamination.
Prior to constructing the channel and collecting the seep discharge, the PRPs must develop and test several models of the proposed channeling and collection system. During the testing, the PRPs will build model channels out of several types of material to determine the best one for construction. Additionally, the PRPs will test the model channels during various environmental conditions, such as floods. When the PRPs reach the 30% and 75% completion points of testing, the companies will submit their findings to EPA for review. Thus, EPA and the PRPs can work together to find the best method for protecting Little Elk Creek and collecting and treating the seep discharge at the site.
PRPs Agree to Conduct Additional Studies
In addition to taking measures to protect Little Elk Creek, the PRPs soon will begin other site-related activities required by an order signed with EPA on May 20, 1996. The order requires that the PRPs conduct two studies. The first study, called a remedial investigation, identifies the types and amounts of contamination at a site and the effects those contaminants could have on people and the environment. The second study, called a feasibility study, describes different methods for site clean-up based on the information in the remedial investigation. After the PRPs conduct the remedial investigation and feasibility study activities, the companies will prepare a report summarizing their findings. This report will help EPA determine which clean-up method will be most effective for removing or reducing the contamination and/or reducing the impact of the contamination at the site and surrounding area.
Additional activities that the PRPs are conducting with EPA guidance include sampling residential wells and ground water. Currently, the PRPs collect water samples twice a year from 26 residential wells. With the exception of one well, the PRPs have not detected any contamination. In this one residential well, the PRPs did find chlorinated solvents. However, the PRPs have installed a carbon filter system on this well to remove the contamination. Sampling of the ground water beneath and around the site showscontaminants including the following organic compounds: methylene chloride, dichloroethene, trichloroethene (TCE), and trichloroethane. EPA will further examine the contaminated ground water in the remedial investigation and feasibility study.
To gain a better understanding of community concerns and needs in regards to the Spectron Site, EPA is planning to conduct interviews with members of the community living near the site in July 1996. EPA depends upon your input so that the Agency can address your concerns quickly and accurately. Information from the community interviews will be used to help EPA develop the Spectron Site Community Relations Plan (CRP). The CRP discusses the site history, the Superfund Program, EPA background, and community concerns. The CRP also details EPA's community relations goals and the activities EPA will conduct at the site to achieve these goals.
If you would like to participate in the community interviews, please complete the form below and mail it to Carrie Dietzel at: U.S. EPA (3HW40), 1650 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029. You also can reach Carrie by calling the EPA Superfund Hotline: 1-800-553-2509.
Yes! I would like to be interviewed by EPA!
No. I am unable to participate in community interviews, but would like to receive information about the site.
The best time to reach me is: day / evening (circle one).
I would like to be interviewed: at home / in a public setting (circle one).
I know someone who would like to be interviewed by EPA:
For More Information...
If you would like more information about the Spectron, Inc. Superfund Site, you can review the Administrative Record. The Administrative Record is EPA's official collection of documents, data, reports, and other information that support EPA's decision on cleaning up a site. You can review the administrative record at the site repository located at:
Cecil County Library
301 Newark Ave.
Monday to Thursday 10:00 to 9:00
Friday and Saturday 10:00 to 5:00
What is Superfund?
The Superfund program is one of the nation's most ambitious and complex environmental programs. Congress created Superfund in 1980 when it passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). CERCLA arose from a need to protect people from the dangers posed by abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
The term "Superfund" actually refers to a multi-billion dollar Hazardous Substance Response Trust Fund established by Congress to pay for clean-up and enforcement activities at hazardous waste sites. A tax on the petroleum and chemical industries finances the Superfund. The law also enables EPA to recover the cost of clean-up activities from the parties responsible for the problems or to force them to clean up the hazardous waste sites at their own expense.
There are two ways in which EPA can respond to a hazardous substance release - removal actions and remedial actions.
- Removal actions are short-term actions that help to stabilize or clean up a hazardous waste site. Within hours of being reported, EPA investigates a site to determine whether a removal action is necessary.
- Remedial actions are the study, design, and construction of long-term actions to permanently clean up hazardous waste sites. Remedial actions are usually long and complex, costing millions of dollars and taking many years to complete.
The flow chart below outlines the steps that a hazardous waste site goes through under the Superfund program. A brief explanation of each of the steps follows. For more information about the Superfund program, call the EPA Region 3 Superfund Hotline at 1-800-553-2509.
- Site Discovery
- EPA first learns of a potential hazardous waste release.
- The initial investigation of a site to determine if further clean-up action is necessary.
- EPA's scoring mechanism that determines the potential for spread of contamination from a site.
- The list of the nation's most serious hazardous waste sites for which EPA will use Superfund moneys to conduct long-term clean-up activities.
- EPA's examination of the amount and type of contamination and evaluation of clean-up alternatives that could be used at a site.
- EPA's explanation of the clean-up alternatives considered for a site and discussion of the preferred clean-up plan.
- EPA's official document describing the clean-up plan for a site.
- The design and construction phase of EPA's clean-up plan.
- Long-term maintenance to determine if the clean-up plan is being achieved.
- NPL Delisting
- A site is removed from the NPL and further activity or monitoring is no longer necessary.
Spectron, Inc. Superfund Site
EPA invites you to attend a public meeting about the Spectron, Inc. Superfund Site. EPA has planned the public meeting to inform area residents about the Spectron Site and its history; how the site fits in the Superfund program; and past and planned clean-up activities at the site.
Where: Cherry Hill Middle School
2535 Singerly Road
Elkton, MD 21921
When: Tuesday, June 18, 1996
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
EPA hopes that you will be able to attend the public meeting, but if you can not and have questions about the site, please contact Carrie Dietzel, the EPA Community Involvement Coordinator, at 1 (800) 553-2509.