Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Pennsylvania
between the Borough of Old Forge and Ransom Township
EPA ID# PAD980508667
11th Congressional District
Last Update: Final Update
Lackawanna Refuse Removal Company, Inc
Old Forge Landfill
Current Site StatusThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) removed the Lackawanna Refuse site from the National Priorities List of the nation's most hazardous waste sites in September 1999. The EPA has worked with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) to ensure insitutional controls (ICs) are placed on the property to manage future use.
Site DescriptionThe Lackawanna Refuse site consists of 258 acres in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania and lies in an area previously used for deep mining and strip mining of coal. In 1973, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (PADER) issued a permit for the disposal of municipal and commercial refuse in three strip-mine cuts covering approximately 18 acres. Two of the strip-mine cuts contained commercial and municipal refuse, and the third contained approximately 15,000 buried drums. PADER authorized an addendum for the disposal of sludge in 1978, but suspended the solid waste disposal permit later that year, after discovering the unauthorized disposal of industrial and hazardous wastes. In 1980, the EPA excavated 200 drums and sampled 18 others. Leachate flows from the site into an intermittent stream, drainage ditches, and nearby St. John's Creek, which flows into the Lackawanna River. The site is located in a rural area of Pennsylvania and is surrounded by residential, agricultural, and former strip-mining areas. Approximately 9,000 people live within a one-mile radius of the site. The nearest residences are along the site's eastern border. Local residents obtain drinking water from a public system that takes water from reservoirs several miles north of the site.
Site ResponsibilityThis site is being addressed through federal and state actions.
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. This site was proposed to the list on December 30, 1982 and formally added to the list on September 8, 1983. The site was deleted from the list on September 28, 1999.
Threats and ContaminantsOn-site ground water was found to be contaminated with nitrate, heavy metals including arsenic and cadmium, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from disposal activities at the site. Off-site ground water was found to be contaminated with the pesticide dieldrin. Surface water on-site had boron, manganese, and methylene chloride contamination. Fish were found to have traces of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), VOCs, and dieldrin. Heavy metals including lead and nickel and VOCs were found in rabbits in the area. People who accidentally ingested or came in direct contact with contaminated water and sediments may have been at risk. In addition, eating rabbits and fish with bioaccumulated levels of contaminants was found to pose a health threat.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.