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Recticon / Allied Steel Corporation

Current Site Information

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

Chester County
Parker Ford

EPA ID# PAD002353969

6th Congressional District

Last Update: February 2014

Other Names

None

Current Site Status

EPA selected a final cleanup option for site contamination in a Record of Decision (ROD) in June 1993. The remedy included groundwater treatment, soil excavation/disposal, and extension of a public water line. The groundwater pump and treat system became operational in 1998. A public waterline was installed and individual home connections were completed in November 1999. The Allied Steel property was acquired in 2002 by the Longstreth Corp. via a prospective purchaser agreement for industrial development. In December of 2002, EPA approved a plan to evaluate the use of enhanced natural attenuation at the site. Since that time, the groundwater pump and treat system has been used only sporadically and material has been injected into the subsurface to enhance natural bioremediation of the groundwater. On May 26, 2010 an Explanation of Significant Differences was issued to change the remedy to enhanced bioremediation.

A Five-Year Review for the site was conducted in March 2005 and the Site was determined to be protective of human health and the environment. A Second Five-Year Review was completed in June 2010 and determined that the Site is still protective of human health and the environment.

In 2010, the groundwater monitoring indicated that the cleanup action levels required in the ROD had been met. The groundwater at the Site will be monitored for 12 consecutive quarters to ensure that the groundwater is in compliance with the performance standards outlined in the ROD.

Site Description

The five-acre Recticon/Allied Steel site consists of two properties: the former Recticon facility and the Allied Steel Products Corporation facility. Recticon was a subsidiary of Rockwell International, manufacturers of silicon wafers from 1974 to 1981. As early as 1979, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) detected trichloroethylene (TCE), a chemical component of solvents, in the groundwater beneath the site. In 1980, a Recticon contractor found TCE in the plant drain lines, in sludge trapped within buried waste lines, and in soils. Allied Steel Products Corporation fabricated steel since 1972 on a property 100 feet to the southeast of Recticon. In 1984, an Allied contractor determined that leakage in the area of Allied's compressor room had released TCE to the ground. High levels of TCE were also found in Allied's on-site well. The area around the site is residential, industrial, and agricultural. On-site and private wells sampled by the EPA were found to be contaminated by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including TCE. The most recent monitoring shows that all off-site wells are free from site contaminants and TCE contamination is very low and localized to only several on-site monitoring wells. Runoff from the site reaches the Schuylkill River 2,400 feet downstream. The local water company blends water from the river with well water to serve its 11,500 customers.

Site Responsibility

Cleanup of this site is the responsibility of federal and state governments, and parties potentially responsible for site contamination.

NPL Listing History

Our country's most serious, uncontrolled, or abandoned hazardous waste sites can be cleaned using federal money. To be eligible for federal cleanup money, a site must be put on the National Priorities List. This site was proposed to the list on June 24, 1988 and formally added to the list October 4, 1989.

Threats and Contaminants

On-site and private wells sampled by EPA in 1990 and 1991 were found to be contaminated by VOCs including TCE. Accidentally ingesting or coming into direct contact with contaminated groundwater could threaten the health of people in the area.

Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.

Cleanup Progress

Recticon removed contaminated soil from the site and transported it to an EPA-approved facility for disposal. Recticon also pumped and treated the groundwater for a few months, but the process did not resolve the contamination at the site. Allied Steel removed contaminated soil and shipped the soil off site for proper disposal. Rockwell International, the parent Corporation of Recticon, provided carbon filtration units to residents whose wells were contaminated above acceptable levels. Later these residences were "hooked-up" to the public waterline in the fall of 1999.

Under EPA oversight, Rockwell conducted a study to determine the nature and extent of the contamination and the possible alternative technologies for cleanup. The study began in 1991 and was approved in 1993. EPA selected a final cleanup option for site contamination in a Record of Decision (ROD) in June 1993. The remedy included groundwater treatment, soil excavation/disposal, and extension of a public water line. EPA issued an order to four companies on March 24,1994 to carry out these measures. Only Rockwell complied. Pre-design field investigations were completed by Rockwell in December 1995. In April 1997, following a request from Rockwell, the cleanup decision was amended to change groundwater clean up standards from background (amount of contamination that exists in the atmosphere) to maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), or drinking water standards, and eliminate the excavation of soil. The soil excavation was no longer necessary to protect groundwater as a result of the change in groundwater cleanup standards. EPA considers MCLs to be protective of human health.

In 1999, Conexant Systems, Inc. was formed to handle the semiconductor business side of Rockwell International. Conexant Systems, Inc. is now responsible for the cleanup of the Recticon/Allied Steel Site.

In December of 2002, EPA approved a plan to evaluate the use of enhanced natural attenuation at the site. Since that time, the groundwater pump and treat system has been used only sporadically and material has been injected into the subsurface to enhance natural bioremediation of the groundwater. On May 26, 2010 an Explanation of Significant Differences was issued to change the remedy to enhanced bioremediation.

EPA conducted a Five-Year Review for the site in March 2005. The review determined that the site is protective of human health and the environment in the short-term. There is no current exposure to contaminated groundwater because residents are on a public water system, and the groundwater contamination is now very localized to only several on-site monitoring wells. EPA expects the site will be fully protective of human health and the environment when the groundwater cleanup goals are met. A Second Five-Year Review was completed in June 2010 and determined that the Site is still protective of human health and the environment.

In 2010, the groundwater monitoring indicated that the cleanup action levels required in the ROD had been met. The groundwater at the Site will be monitored for 12 consecutive quarters to ensure that the groundwater is in compliance with the performance standards outlined in the ROD.

Contacts

Site Contacts

Administrative Record Locations

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