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Resin Disposal

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

Allegheny County
In Jefferson Borough near the Monongahela River

EPA ID# PAD063766828

18th Congressional District

Last Update: February 2014

Other Names

Pennsylvania Industrial Chemical Company Hercules Inc. - PICCO Resins

Current Site Status

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan for cleanup began in June 1995 and ended in November 1996. The cleanup remedy for the site included a multi-layer cap for the landfill, an upgraded oil/water separator, and a fence around the perimeter of the landfill. Groundwater and surface water monitoring are being performed by Hercules Inc., a party responsible for site contamination, as part of the long-term operation and maintenance of the site. A Five-Year Review was completed in September 19, 2000 with EPA finalizing deed restrictions on the property. EPA published the NOID and NOD in the Federal Register and the NOD became effective when EPA did not receive any adverse or critical comments during the close of public comment, October 15, 2003. The Resin Disposal site located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (20th Congressional District) was deleted from the National Priorities List using the streamlined deletion process. The Second Five Year Review was completed September 19, 2005. The Five Year Review found the remedy is protective of human health and the environment. All threats at the Site have been addressed through upgrading the multilayer cap of the contaminated soils and through the oil/water separator, collecting and separating wastewater and oil from the leachate collection system. (The wastewater is sent to the wastewater treatment facility and oil is collected and disposed of-off site, Preventing exposure to or ingestion of contaminated groundwater.) The fence around the landfill restricts access. Implementation of institutional controls, which alert prospective buyers of contaminants on-site and prohibitions on future development, addresses future threat. The Responsible Parties continue providing an Annual Groundwater Monitoring Report for EPA to evaluate the effectiveness of the remedy.  The third Five Year Review (FYR) for the Site was completed in December 2010 and the next FYR is due in September 2015.

Site Description

The Resin Disposal site located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (20th Congressional District) is a 26-acre site containing a two-acre landfill. The landfill received approximately 85,000 tons of industrial waste from 1949 to 1964. At that time, the landfill was owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Industrial Chemical Company. The wastes included organic solvents, resin cakes, filter materials, and oils from a resin manufacturing process. The landfill is located in a strip mine valley, and was created by constructing an earthen dike across the floor of the valley. Approximately 50 people live within a half of a mile of the site, and about 25,000 people reside within a mile of the site. The site is located about a half of a mile from the Monongahela River.

Site Responsibility

This site was addressed through the potentially responsible party actions with oversight by EPA and the state.

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 December 30, 1982 and formally added to the list September 8, 1983.

Threats and Contaminants

On-site groundwater is still slightly contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including benzene, toluene and naphthalene from former disposal practices. Prior to completion of the cleanup, threats to human health included direct contact with leachate from the landfill and ingestion or inhalation of contaminated soils on the site.

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

Cleanup Progress

The third Five Year Review was completed December 30, 2010.  A protectiveness determination of the remedy at the Resin Disposal Site was not made at the time as further information needed to be obtained. Further information will be obtained by taking the following actions:
An updated well survey and documentation of the location of the public waterline should be performed.  If residential wells are in use, EPA recommends collecting samples to ensure their protectiveness.  The survey identified one residential well near the Site.  During the process of obtaining access, it was determined that the original residents were deceased.  The new owner was contacted and sampling is planned for that well in 2014.
A preliminary soil gas investigation should be performed to determine if vapors exist between residents located over the former mine area and the potentially contaminated mine voids in the Pittsburgh Coal Formation.  This investigation will determine the necessity for a vapor intrusion survey of residences located over the mine.  Initial attempts to collect soil gas samples were unsuccessful due to the presence of low permeability soils in the unconsolidated unit above bedrock.  Consequently, the extent of the low permeability soils is the process of being mapped.  Further soil gas samples in different locations may also be collected.

All 2010 surface water locations were resampled in 2011 to verify detections of VOC contaminants at SW-1.  Releases of contaminants to the stream were observed, therefore, an investigation of contaminant sources will be conducted in late 2014. 

Maintenance on the potentially contaminated fittings downstream of the oil/water separator (OWS) carbon treatment system was performed in 2012.  In addition, leachate flow buffering tanks, an electrical generator and a water polishing system have been added to the OWS.  A more extensive upgrade to the OWS including an climate controlled buildings will begin in the Spring of 2014.  Construction activities are expected to be completed by the end of 2014. 
Sampling of the Jefferson Hills sewer line at key locations (on-site, upgradient, downgradient, and at on-site sewer intersections) to establish a baseline for the current water quality of the sewer system near the oil/water separator discharge was conducted in 2012 and 2013.  Results indicated contaminant seeps into a sewer manhole along the Site landfill.  This manhole will be replaced in 2014.
The next five Year Review is planned for 2015.


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