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McAdoo Associates

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

Schuylkill County
Borough of McAdoo

EPA ID# PAD980712616

17th Congressional District

Last Update: January 2015

Other Names


Current Site Status

Site Description

The McAdoo Associates site, located in Schuylkill Co., Pennsylvania, consists of two areas approximately 1 1/3 miles apart. One area, in the Borough of McAdoo, covers about 1/3 of an acre. The other, in Kline Township, covers 8 acres. From 1884 until 1969, the site was mined for anthracite coal. In 1975, the property was acquired by McAdoo Associates. Wastes were stored at these sites from 1978 until 1979, when the State revoked McAdoo's permit to operate. At that time, the McAdoo Borough facility had five underground storage tanks that contained a mixture of petroleum products and organic solvents. The Kline Township area, used as a metal reclamation and incineration facility, consisted of approximately 7,000 drums and six above ground tanks. Soil and groundwater contamination threats existed at both McAdoo locations. Approximately 5,100 people live within a 1-mile radius of the site.
Site Responsibility
Cleanup of this site is the responsibility of Federal and State governments and parties potentially responsible for site contamination.
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 (NPL). This site was proposed to the NPL on December 30, 1982, and formally added to the list on September 8, 1983. The Site was deleted from the NPL on December 13, 2001.

Threats and Contaminants

The soil at the Kline Township location is contaminated with heavy metals and low levels of various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the former waste storage practices. Direct contact with contaminated soils was formerly a risk to the nearby population; however, as a result of the completion of a cap, the risk of direct contact with contaminated soil has been eliminated. Groundwater at the Blaine Street location is contaminated with VOCs and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) consistent with petroleum products, and low concentrations of solvents. Area residents receive municipal water and are therefore not exposed to contaminated groundwater.

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

Cleanup Progress

In 1980, the site owner removed the incinerator, the buildings, and three temporary underground storage tanks and sampled the soil. In 1982, the owner removed all surface wastes and visibly contaminated soil to a federally regulated off-site facility. Between 1988 and 1989, the last remaining tank and surface debris were removed. Soil sampling and a mine subsidence study also were conducted.

In 1985, EPA chose a remedy to clean up the site, which included: removing all surface tanks; excavating contaminated soil, then backfilling the excavated area with clean topsoil; and constructing diversion ditches to prevent off-site surface water from draining into the site. The potentially responsible parties completed excavating the contaminated soil, backfilled the area with clean soil, and capped the site in the spring of 1992. This portion of the site is now the Operation and Maintenance Phase. Monitoring conducted by the Potentially Responsible Parties at the Kline Township area continues. The removal of contaminated materials and soil and the subsequent capping of the Kline Township area have reduced the potential for exposure to hazardous materials.

In 1992, EPA completed an investigation into the nature and extent of any contamination in the groundwater and off-site surface water. The investigations concluded that no further actions were required to cleanup the contaminated groundwater and off-site surface water. After additional studies, EPA determined that groundwater at the Blaine Street location is contaminated with organics. In late 1993, EPA amended the earlier "no action" decision. During the summer of 1995, EPA began manually removing and treating contaminated groundwater. The removal and treatment of the contaminated groundwater at the Blaine Street location was completed 2001.

A Prospective Purchaser Agreement between Albert P. Mertz (More Mobility Inc.) and EPA became effective on August 6, 1999. The subject of the Agreement is property which comprises, in part, the Blaine Street Location of the McAdoo Associates Superfund Site. In consideration of and in exchange for the United States' Covenant Not to Sue in Section VII of the Agreement, the Settling Respondents agree to pay to EPA the sum of $500.00.

On August 15, 2001 EPA signed the Final Close out Report for the McAdoo Associates Site. A Notice of Intent to Delist the site was published in the Federal Register on October 3, 2001, including a 30-day public comment period. No comments were received and a final Notice of Deletion was published in the Federal Register on December 13, 2001. Groundwater monitoring will continue at the site.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deleted this site from the National Priorities List in 2004. The Site consists of two separate operable units (OUs). OU1 is located in Kline Township, and OU2 is located on Blaine Street in the Borough of McAdoo. At OU1, EPA oversaw the removal of surface debris and contaminated soil, and placement of clean soil and impermeable soil cap. Annual monitoring well sampling and site inspections are conducted by the potentially responsible parties. At OU2, EPA is continuing the manual removal of any product that accumulates in the wells. EPA also conducts annual sampling of the monitoring wells at OU2. EPA completed a vapor intrusion investigation and determined that site-related vapors are not migrating to nearby residents.

EPA is currently finalizing a focused feasibility study at OU2 to evaluate alternative methods of restoring the groundwater more efficiently than the current remedy. The focused feasibility study is evaluating in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) and in-situ bioremediation. EPA has completed an injection of sodium persulfate into one well to evaluate its ability to chemically break down the contamination at the site - the results were very promising. EPA then conducted a second round of injections designed to evaluate to success of injecting ferric sulfate into a number of existing monitoring wells. The addition of ferric sulfate did somewhat stimulate existing bacteria that and resulted in the partial breakdown of the contaminants remaining in the groundwater.  EPA is in the process of analyzing the data and preparing the focused feasibility study report.

The fourth Five Year Review was completed for the Site in August 2010. At OU1, the remedy was found to be protective of human health and the environment in the short term. To ensure long-term protectiveness, EPA requested that 1,4-dioxane be sampled for in the groundwater. This sampling was completed in May 2011 and was not found to be present in the groundwater.

EPA worked with the Borough of McAdoo to have a local ordinance created that restricts the potable use of groundwater near OU2 to ensure the continued protectiveness of the remedy. The local ordinance was passed on June 14, 2011. Once the groundwater is cleaned up at the site, the ordinance can be lifted.


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