Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Pennsylvania
Scott and South Abington Townships
EPA ID# PAD075993378
10th Congressional District
Last Update: January 2013
Current Site StatusOn November 16, 2001 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed the Aladdin Plating Site from the National Priorities List of most hazardous waste sites. However, periodic groundwater monitoring will continue since shallow groundwater directly beneath the site still contains chromium contamination. This contamination is not expected to move off-site. Home wells in the area have been sampled periodically in the past and will continue to be sampled twice a year in the future. Past tests show that site-related contamination has not affected the home wells near the site. Should future sampling show any adverse impacts on home wells, EPA can still take action necessary to protect human health. The EPA finished cleaning up contaminated soil at the site in 1992, and a deed notice that prohibits people from disturbing the area of shallow groundwater contamination under the site has also been put into place. A Five-Year Review of the site was completed on September 14, 2009 and it concluded that the remedy for the site is still protective of human health and he environment. The next Five-Year Review is scheduled to be conducted in 2014.
The Aladdin Plating site covers eight-and-a-half acres. A small electroplating operation was located on this site from 1947 to 1982. The facility closed in 1982, following a fire. During operations, the company mainly used nickel, copper, and chromium in electroplating. Sulfuric acid, chromic acid, and cyanide were used along with water for rinsing electroplated items. Electroplating materials contaminated the rinse water and sludge that were deposited in two unlined lagoons at the site. These lagoons occasionally overflowed. Vats containing process chemicals remained on-site after the fire.
Two surface-water intakes are located approximately one-half mile and two miles downstream of the site. The site is located in a residential community with about 120 people living within a quarter-mile of the site. An estimated 11,000 people obtain drinking water within three miles of the site. Four residences are located within 100 yards of the site.
Site ResponsibilityCleanup of this site is the responsibility of federal and state governments, the site owner and parties potentially responsible for site contamination.
NPL Listing HistoryOur 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 (NPL). This site was proposed to the National Priorities List on January 22, 1987. The site was formally added to the list on July 22, 1987, making it eligible for federal cleanup funds. After EPA determined that all required cleanup action had been completed, the site was removed from the National Priority List on November 16, 2001.
Threats and ContaminantsLocal water continues to be safe to drink. Shallow groundwater directly beneath the site is contaminated with chromium and other metals from electroplating process wastes. In 1983, studies by the State found heavy metals in the soil at several locations near the building and the two lagoons. These metals included chromium, lead, and cyanide. The presence of contaminated groundwater could have threatened local water supplies and those who would drink the contaminated water. Before cleanup, there was a potential threat to the health of the nearby population that could come from direct contact with contaminated soil and inhaling hazardous materials entering the air.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.
In 1987, EPA emergency personnel stabilized the site by packing the on-site drums in new, protective containers and emptying the vats. The building was cleaned and demolished. All decontaminated debris and vats were sent offsite for disposal. Contaminated building debris was taken to an EPA-approved disposal facility. Four hundred pounds of cyanide solids, 12 gallons of cyanide liquids, 2,035 gallons of plating solutions, and approximately 6,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris were removed from the site. EPA put up a fence to secure the site. EPA also drilled wells for monitoring water quality and sampled the soils.
EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) in 1988 and an explanation of significant differences in 1990 that specified cleanup activities to address contaminated soil at the site. The selected cleanup technology included: excavating approximately 30,000 cubic yards of chromium-contaminated soil; stabilizing this soil at an off-site treatment facility; disposing the treated soil in an approved off-site hazardous waste landfill; and replacing the excavated soil with clean soil. These actions started in 1989 and finished in 1992.
In December 1993, EPA issued another ROD to address contaminated groundwater at the site. This ROD called for long-term (30 year) groundwater monitoring and placing a deed notice on the property. The deed notice restricts use of the property to prevent disturbance of the area of shallow groundwater contamination. The groundwater sampling completed to date shows that site-related contamination has not adversely affected the home wells near the site. Contamination in some areas in the shallow on-site monitoring wells has dropped, but still exceeds safe drinking water levels. This contamination is not expected to move off-site. Should future sampling reveal any residential impacts, EPA will take actions necessary to protect human health.