Saegertown Industrial Area
Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Pennsylvania
EPA ID# PAD980692487
3rd Congressional District
Last Update: February 2014
Saegertown Well #2
Current Site Status
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Record of Decision (ROD) Amendment for the Saegertown Industrial Area Superfund Site. The ROD Amendment outlines a modified cleanup plan for the site. The modified plan applies to the Lord Corporation (Lord) Operable Unit (OU) of the site, and consists of enhanced biodegradation of contaminants in the groundwater, operation and maintenance of a residential well treatment unit, and institutional controls. This remedy is an alternative to the pump and treat/vacuum extraction remedy for the Lord OU originally selected in the ROD. Cleanup of the Lord OU is being performed by the Responsible Party, Lord Corporation. EPA is currently reviewing a Bioremediation Report submitted by the Responsible Parties to review the groundwater data from this modified cleanup.
EPA approved the Remedial Design for the enhanced biodegradation remedy in September 2003. The construction of the equipment necessary for the remedy, such as injection wells, and molasses-solution injection equipment, was completed in December 2003. Lord is currently performing the remedial action, which consists of injecting molasses-solution into the subsurface, and monitoring the changes in groundwater chemistry and contaminant concentrations.
A past Five-Year Review identified vapor intrusion as a possible concern at the Site. However, EPA has evaluated this concern and based on Site conditions and data, vapor intrusion does not represent a threat to human health or the environment. A Five-Year Review at the site was performed in 2012. The remedial action for the LORD property is operating and functioning as designed and is performing as expected. Significant reductions of VOC's in ground water have occurred as a result of the enhanced bioremediation. In-situ molasses-solution injections were discontinued in December 2010 to allow the system to return to natural conditions so that the effectiveness of the injections can be evaluated and optimized. A report will be provided by November 30, 2013 to summarize all past bioremediation monitoring groundwater data, provide trend diagrams and groundwater figures including historical data and evaluating if more molasses injections are needed and/or if the current treatment areas are sufficient or if they need to be expanded and lastly if any other enhancements with other media need to be injected. The EPA biologist had identified that there were endangered mussels in French Creek near the Site and wanted to ensure that the site contamination was not negatively impacting them. BTAG representative, Kathy Patnode completed the survey of French Creek on Tuesday, August 14, 2012. Mussels were present in these downstream areas of the stream, but again, there was no evidence of groundwater discharge. Based on the results of the field survey, it does not appear that the contaminants in groundwater are negatively impacting mussels in the area surveyed. Quarterly sampling of three private wells west of French Creek and monthly monitoring of PW-7 private residential well will continue. Only residential well PW-7 has residual levels of vinyl chloride in the range of 2ppb-5ppb. There is a treatment system in place for PW7 which includes an aeration and carbon filter unit and this treatment system has demonstrated its effectiveness as removing the level of VOCs to non-detectable concentrations below drinking water MCLs.
The site is located in Saegertown, Crawford County, Pennsylvania (21st Congressional District). The Site consists of approximately 100 acres that contain several industrial operations. In 1980, state analysts discovered volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a Saegertown Municipal Water Authority's well – "Well #2". Several potential sources of VOCs were identified in the industrial area east of the well. General American Transportation Corporation (GATX) cleaned and repaired railroad tank cars on the Site from the mid-1950s to 1965, disposing of wash water, solvents, sludge, and tanker waste on-Site. EPA tests in 1984 identified VOCs and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in on-Site pond sediments and soil. The Lord Corporation produced adhesives, urethane coatings, and "rubber chemicals" on the site. Lord manufacturing processes use various VOCs. Saegertown Manufacturing Co. has produced small steel components in the area since 1965. In 1981, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania detected VOC products in the company's septic tank and on-site wells. Starting in 1974, Spectrum Control, Inc. manufactured ceramic capacitors at its location, using VOCs in the cleaning process. VOCs were also found in on-site monitoring wells.
Groundwater is the sole source of potable water in western Crawford County. Saegertown residents are supplied with potable water from four wells, three of which lie within one-mile of the site. In addition, homes outside the municipal water system utilize private wells for potable water supply. The above-mentioned impacted municipal well, "Well #2", was removed from service in 1980, but was put back into use again in 1984, because the contamination levels fell below the levels of health concern.
Site ResponsibilityThis site is being addressed through federal and potentially responsible parties' actions.
NPL Listing HistoryThe site was proposed to the list on June 24, 1988 and formally added to the list on February 21, 1990.
Threats and ContaminantsSoil, sludge and pond sediments on the former GATX property were contaminated with VOCs and PAHs. Possible health threats included accidentally ingesting or coming into direct contact with the contaminated soils, sludge, and sediments. In 1980, a fence was erected around the on-site pond where VOCs and PAHs were detected. The pond and contaminated soil on the former GATX property represented a risk to trespassers, on-site workers, and off- site residents. The groundwater under the Lord Corporation property was found to be contaminated with VOCs such as those used by Lord in their manufacturing processes. A leaking tank in a sump area was identified as the probable source of VOCs in the groundwater. An unacceptable level of risk is presented by the ingestion and inhalation of and dermal contact with the groundwater.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.
In January 1993, EPA signed a ROD for the site selecting a remedial action for the Lord groundwater and former GATX property sludge and soil contamination. The ROD determined no action was warranted for two adjacent properties at the Site. The site was addressed as two separate OUs. EPA signed separate Consent Orders with Lord, in September 1993, and GATX, in August 1994, for the cleanup of their current and former properties, respectively, at the Site.
In March of l995 and 1996, EPA modified the former GATX property remedy to allow off-site (in lieu of on-site) incineration or alternative thermal treatment and resource recovery. Off-site disposal of the contaminated sludge and soil began in the summer of 1995 and was completed in the fall of 1996. Over 32,000 tons of soil and sludge were excavated and removed from the former GATX property for off-site thermal treatment and resource recovery. The property was backfilled with clean soil, graded back to pre-existing contours, and seeded. The remedial action for the cleanup of the former GATX property has been completed. In October 1997 the former GATX property, as well as the two properties where no action was selected by the ROD, were deleted from the site and the National Priority List (NPL).
Lord removed contaminated soil from source areas in 1991 and again in 1996. Lord has completed the Pre-Design study to evaluate the hydrogeology at the Site. This new information formed the basis for Lord's request to modify the ROD. EPA released the Proposed Plan on August 27, 2002 and held a public meeting to discuss the proposed changes on September 19 at the Saegertown Borough Building. The modified remedy consists of enhanced biodegradation of contaminants in the groundwater, operation and maintenance of a residential well treatment unit, and institutional controls. This remedy is an alternative to the pump and treat/vacuum extraction remedy for the Lord OU originally selected in the ROD. The ROD Amendment for the Lord portion of the site was signed on September 30, 2002.
EPA has also prepared the second Five-Year review of the entire site in September 2002. The Five-Year review indicates that the GATX portion of the site has been deleted from the NPL and is acceptable for unlimited use and unlimited access. In addition, the Five-Year review indicates that the selected remedy for the Lord portion of the site (documented in the ROD Amendment) is expected to be protective of human health and the environment upon completion, and in the interim, exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled.
EPA approved the Remedial Design for the enhanced biodegradation remedy in September 2003. The construction of the equipment necessary for the remedy, such as injection wells, and molasses-solution injection equipment, was completed in December 2003. Lord is currently performing the remedial action, which consists of injecting molasses-solution into the subsurface, and monitoring the changes in ground water chemistry and contaminant concentrations.
A Five-Year Review at the site was performed in 2007. The Five-Year Review identified vapor intrusion as a possible concern at the Site. However, EPA has evaluated this concern and based on Site conditions and data, vapor intrusion does not represent a threat to human health or the environment.