Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Pennsylvania
Upper Merion Township
EPA ID# PAD980419097
7th Congressional District
Last Update: February 2014
Keystone Coke Company
Alan Wood Steel Co,
Swedeland Road Corporation
Current Site Status
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency selected in September 2000 a cleanup method for the site, which includes removing contaminated soil and sediment in Quarry 3, constructing a multi-layer cap to prevent water from running off and becoming contaminated by the soils in Quarries 1, 2, and 4. Groundwater contamination will be addressed through a process of natural attenuation. EPA will closely monitor this process.
Current plans are to develop every portion of this site, except Quarry 3, based on land development plans that were submitted to Upper Merion Township by the various property owners. EPA also negotiated a Prospective Purchaser Agreement for the site, an innovative agreement which allows plans for reuse to be part of clean-up activities. As a result of this agreement, the clean-up of a portion of the site was accelerated to facilitate the planned development. Another portion of the site, referred to as the "Cinder/Slag Fill Area", was also cleaned-up under an accelerated schedule to facilitate the planned development on this parcel. Institutional controls will be in place to restrict some of the possible uses of the site and its groundwater. Construction of the next O'Neill Properties office building has commenced, and the redevelopment has been coordinated with the ongoing cleanup of this parcel.
The cleanup of Quarry 3 began in April, 2009 and completed in June 2011. The parties performing the work also cleaned up the Area 6 disposal location and another disposal area referred to as the "SouthEast Disposal Area", both of which are located adjacent to the Renaissance Pond. The design of the caps for Quarries 1 and 2 have been finalized. The contaminated soil located adjacent to Quarries 1 and 2 was removed and placed into Quarry 2. The cleanup of the Waste Ammonia Liquor pipeline began in November 2009, and completed in May 2010. The work involved surveying the area for remaining pipeline and collecting samples to look for contaminated soil. This work was located along the route of the former pipeline between Renaissance Boulevard and Flint Hill Road.
The Crater Resources, Inc./Keystone Coke Co./Alan Wood Steel Co. site, located in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, consists of four inactive quarries on a 95-acre parcel of land. Beginning in 1919, the Alan Wood Steel Company disposed of wastes generated by its coking facility in Swedeland, Pennsylvania, into three of the quarries (Quarries 1, 2, and 3). In 1977, Alan Wood Steel declared bankruptcy and transferred ownership of the property to Keystone Coke Company, a subsidiary of Alabama By-Products Corporation. Keystone Coke Co., continued to dispose of wastes in Quarry 3 until 1980. In 1979, Haploid Corporation purchased part of the property and later transferred a portion of Quarry 3 to Crater Resources, Inc. and other portions to Swedeland Road Corporation. Swedeland has since transferred its land holdings to several other parties.
Various organics and tar wastes were disposed of in Quarry 1 from 1918 to 1965 via a pipeline from the Alan Wood Steel coking facility. Quarry 2 was filled with similar wastes as well as solid wastes, including cinders, bricks, and paint cans. Quarry 3 was used as the main disposal quarry, receiving waste ammonia liquor (WAL) directly from the coking facility via pipeline. Quarry 3 received organics and tar wastes until 1980; three ponds filled with water remained in the quarry until the 2010 cleanup work started. Quarry 4 was mined for sand and gravel and later backfilled with construction debris. Public wells within four miles of the site supply drinking water to area residents. The nearest of these wells is within one- mile of the site, with the majority of the surrounding population served by public water.
Site ResponsibilityCleanup of this site is the responsibility of federal and state governments and parties potentially responsible for site contamination.
NPL Listing HistoryThis site was proposed to the National Priorities List of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites requiring long term remedial action on February 7, 1992. The site was formally added to the list October 14, 1992, making it eligible for federal cleanup.
Threats and ContaminantsWastes, liquids, soils, and sediments at the bottom of Quarry 3 and soils of Quarries 1, 2, and 4 are contaminated with organics such as phenolic compounds, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene and toluene; cyanide; and heavy metals. Elevated levels of cyanide, ammonia, and phenol also contaminate area groundwater. People could be at risk by touching or ingesting contaminated sediments or groundwater.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.