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Westinghouse Electric Corp. (Sharon Plant)

Current Site Information

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

Pennsylvania
Mercer County
Sharon

EPA ID# PAD005000575

3rd Congressional District

Last Update: February 2014

Other Names

Westinghouse Sharon

Current Site Status

On September 29, 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an order to three site owners, AK Steel Corporation, Winner Development Company, Inc., and Viacom Inc., to clean up the soil. Viacom completed a remedial design (RD) as required by the order and began soil cleanup activities in October 2001. The soil cleanup has been completed.

A Record Of Decision (ROD) describing the selected remedy for the site's groundwater, sediments and riparian soils of the Shenango River, and a site drainageway was issued by EPA on February 20, 2003. EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order to Viacom Inc., AK Steel Corporation and Winner Development LLC on April 29, 2003. The Order required that the three companies conduct the remedial design and remedial action to implement the ROD.

The Remedial Design for the ground water and drainageway was approved by EPA and the remedial actions required by the ROD for these media has been completed. The Remedial Design for the cleanup of sediments and riparian soils of the Shenango River was also approved by EPA. The cleanup of the riparian soils and sediments is also complete. EPA has approved a final report of the groundwater, drainageway, sediment and riparian soil cleanup actions.

There are large, predominantly vacant, former manufacturing buildings on site, known as the Middle Sector Buildings which were found to be contaminated with PCBs and lead-based paint. Viacom Inc. (now CBS Corporation) completed the first of three phases of the cleanup of the Middle Sector Buildings and subsequently sold the Buildings to Winner Development Company, Inc. (now Winner Development LLC). Winner expressed its intent to continue the cleanup of the buildings. The Phase II portion of the cleanup, involving the walls and ceilings of those buildings, is now complete. Phase III of the cleanup involved the floors. The PCB-contaminated portions of the floors were coated with two layers of polyurea sealant, but PCBs had been found to have penetrated through the sealant in a few areas. Those areas have been re-sealed and re-tested for possible PCB penetration and have been found to meet the cleanup requirements.

The Second Five-Year Review of the remedial actions was completed September 22 , 2011 and indicated that the overall remedy protectiveness could not be determined at that time due to lack of data with respect to vapor intrusion (VI) into the buildings which lie above the contaminated groundwater plume. EPA is currently reviewing the VI workplan drafted by the PRP. An electronic version of the Five-Year Report is available by searching on the Epa's Five-Year Report Site.

Site Description

The former Westinghouse Electric Sharon Transformer Plant ("The Westinghouse Sharon Site") is a 58-acre facility located in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. During its operation from 1922 to 1985, Westinghouse manufactured electrical transformers at the site. Between 1936 and 1976, Westinghouse used blends of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and trichlorobenzene in the manufacturing of some of the transformers. During the operation of the plant, spills resulted in the contamination of soils, groundwater, and the sediments of the nearby Shenango River. At least 6,000 gallons of solvents and oil leaked from an underground tank in 1984. In 1985, EPA detected PCBs at two of the four points where the plant discharged wastewater to the Shenango River. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (PADER) detected PCBs in river sediments between the Site and a water intake for the Aqua America Water Company which provides drinking water to approximately 75,000 people. The water intake is 1,600 feet downstream from the plant's (former) discharge points. In 1998, Westinghouse Electric Corporation was acquired by CBS Corporation. CBS was subsequently acquired by Viacom Inc. which reverted back to CBS Corporation in January 2006. Only a small portion of the property is still owned by CBS. The remaining portions are owned by other commercial enterprises including AK Steel Corporation and Winner Development LLC.

Site Responsibility

This site is being addressed through a combination of federal, state, and potentially responsible parties' (PRPs') actions.

NPL Listing History

This site was proposed to the National Priorities List of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long-term remedial action on June 24, 1988. The site was formally added to the list August 30, 1990, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds.

Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater is contaminated with PCBs and solvents. On-site soils and concrete as well as a large, vacant building complex on-site (the Middle Sector Buildings) are contaminated with PCBs. The sediments of the Shenango River are contaminated with PCBs from the former Site operations. The contaminated sediments present a risk to ecological receptors, as well to humans by way of the consumption of PCB-contaminated fish.

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

Cleanup Progress

In 1988, anticipating the inclusion of the site on the National Priorities List, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania entered into a Consent Order and Agreement with Westinghouse, then the only Potentially Responsible Party, requiring Westinghouse to implement a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) as a "State-Lead" activity. The RI was completed in the spring of 1998 when the Human Health Risk Assessment was accepted as "final" by PADEP and EPA. A Feasibility Study pertaining to the on-site soils was completed as a "State-Lead" activity in December 1998. A Feasibility Study pertaining to the groundwater and the Shenango River sediments was developed by CBS Corporation which purchased Westinghouse. A Record of Decision (ROD) pertaining to the contaminated soils at the Site was issued by EPA on February 18, 2000. CBS was subsequently acquired by Viacom Inc. A Unilateral Administrative Order to implement the soils cleanup was issued by EPA to three of the site owners (AK Steel Corporation, Winner Development Company, Inc., and Viacom Inc.) on September 29, 2000. Viacom completed a Remedial Design (RD) as required by the Order and began actual on-site soil cleanup activities in October 2001. The soil cleanup has been completed and EPA has approved the final report for that cleanup.

A ROD addressing the site's groundwater, sediments and riparian soils of the Shenango River, and a Site drainageway was issued by EPA on February 20, 2003. The ROD required the cleanup of PCB-contaminated sediments in one storm water drainageway, as well as removal of PCB-contaminated sediments and riparian soils in the most contaminated section of the river. Groundwater contamination will receive long-term monitoring. EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order to Viacom Inc., AK Steel Corporation and Winner Development LLC on April 29, 2003. The Order required that the three companies conduct the remedial design and remedial action to implement the ROD. To date, Viacom (now CBS), the primary PRP, has completed the cleanup of the storm water drainageway and additional drainageways, and has also completed the actions required for the ground water component of the remedy. The design relating to the PCB-contaminated sediments and riparian soils of the Shenango River was completed in June 2004. The actual cleanup of the sediments and riparian soils began in July 2004 and has also been completed. Three rounds of fish tissue sampling has been performed on fish in the Shenago River in the areas where the sediment cleanup was performed.No standards were set by EPA for fish tissue, but it should be noted, that all PCB concentrations for the latest fish sampling round in October 2010 exceed the fish ingestion value of 0.05 ppm used as a trigger by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for restricting fish consumption. Continued fish sampling will indicate whether the sediment cleanup results in a reduction of PCBs in the fish tissue.

In February 1994, EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) to Westinghouse requiring the company to develop and implement a response action plan for removing PCB-contaminated oil lying on top of ground water at the site. That response action was terminated as one provision of the February 20, 2003 ROD, and long-term monitoring of the ground water is being implemented by CBS as required by the ROD. CBS has so far submitted reports for seven years ground water monitoring.

EPA collected samples in the large Middle Sector Buildings complex in March 1995. Those samples indicated significant contamination resulting from lead-based paint and PCBs. EPA developed a baseline risk assessment for the buildings that indicated significant potential risk to workers who might occupy the buildings. CBS Corporation completed the first of three phases of the cleanup of the Middle Sector Buildings as a "State-Lead" removal action and subsequently sold the Buildings to Winner Development Company, Inc. (now Winner Development LLC). Winner expressed its intent to continue the cleanup of the buildings. The Phase II portion of the cleanup, which included the walls and ceilings of those buildings, is now complete. Phase III of the cleanup involved the floors. The PCB-contaminated portions of the floors had been coated with two layers of polyurea sealant. The sealant was successful in most, but not all of the floor areas. Those areas requiring re-sealing were re-coated with sealants and have now been found to meet the cleanup requirement for building re-use.

The Second Five-Year Review of the remedial actions was completed September 22 , 2011 and indicated that the overall remedy protectiveness could not be determined at that time due to lack of data with respect to vapor intrusion (VI) into the buildings which lie above the contaminated groundwater plume. In Fall 2013, EPA approved the VI workplan submitted by the PRP. EPA and the PRP are conducting VI studies on properties potentially impacted by Site contaminants. The EPA is focusing on primarily residential properties, while the PRP is sampling a mixture of residential and commercial properties.

Contacts

Site Contacts

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