Recticon/Allied Steel Corporation
Fact Sheet - March 1999
EPA to discuss recent progress of the waterline and completion of the groundwater treatment system at the Recticon/Allied Steel Superfund Site
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public availability session on March 30, 1999 to update community members about recent progress and upcoming activities regarding cleanup of the Recticon/Allied Steel Superfund Site (Site) in East Coventry Township, Pennsylvania. The meeting will be held at the East Coventry Township Building at 5:00 pm. The topics to be discussed will include the recent completion and startup of the groundwater extraction and treatment system as well as the residential and business connections to the municipal waterline.
The Recticon/Allied Steel Site consists of two former factory facilities. Located across from each other at the intersection of Route 724 and Wells Road in Parker Ford, the two properties together cover approximately 5 acres.
The property to the west of the intersection was formerly occupied by Recticon, a subsidiary of Rockwell International and a manufacturer of silicon wafers used in computers. Recticon ceased operations at the Site in 1981.
The property to the east of the intersection was occupied by a subsidiary of Allied Steel Products Corporation, Allied Steel Products Corporation of Pennsylvania (Allied PA). Allied PA custom fabricated pressurized steel vessels at this location until about 1988.
In the 1980s, both Recticon and Allied PA made efforts to address contamination found in soil and groundwater. Recticon initiated a pump and treat system to address volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater and excavated and disposed contaminated soils offsite. Treatment was discontinued when the company ceased operations at the facility. Allied PA excavated soils and constructed an aeration tower to remove VOCs from groundwater. The tower was never operated, and Allied PA subsequently filed a petition for bankruptcy.
A Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) was conducted by Rockwell International who signed an administrative consent order with the EPA in 1990. The RI/FS resulted in a 1993 Record of Decision (ROD).
The Cleanup Decision
On June 30, 1993, after reviewing comments received from the public, EPA signed a Record of Decision for the Recticon/Allied Steel Site. The ROD required:
- installation of a public waterline to replace affected or potentially affected wells
- excavation of contaminated soils with disposal offsite
- extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater with discharge of treated water to the Schuylkill River
- long-term groundwater monitoring,
- verification sampling for copper and zinc in the onsite drainage ditch
- performance of a Phase I archeological survey
Following the ROD signing, EPA tried unsuccessfully to negotiate an agreement with potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to carry out the ROD requirements. On March 24, 1994, EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) to the PRPs. The UAO requires them to implement the ROD.
Between November 1994 and April 1995, Rockwell's contractor, Dames & Moore, conducted field work needed to complete a remedial design investigation report. The report was approved by EPA in December 1995. The report found the following:
- pumping two existing wells, one offsite and one onsite, should intercept the plume of contaminated groundwater from the Site and prevent it from discharging to the Schuylkill River
- levels of copper and zinc which may be harmful to plants and animals have migrated offsite in the drainage ditch
- the cleanup actions may proceed without the need for further cultural resource investigations
Dames & Moore submitted a preliminary remedial design for the groundwater extraction and treatment system to EPA on January 19, 1996. This design proposed extracting contaminated groundwater at a rate of 150 to 200 gallons per minute and treating it in a refurbished portion of the existing Allied Steel building. Contaminants would be removed from the water using a low-profile air-stripping unit equipped with a vapor-phase carbon filter. Treated water would then be released into the river via underground piping.
The EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) submitted comments on the preliminary design in mid May and approved the plan in December 1995. The final plan was originally submitted on June 14, 1996. A revised final remedial design, which incorporated EPA and PADEP comments, was submitted to EPA on January 16, 1998. EPA provided comments to Dames & Moore and approved a final design on May 21, 1998.
In addition to the above efforts, EPA, PADEP, Rockwell, East Coventry Township, and the public water supplier, Citizens Utilities Water Company of Pennsylvania (Citizens), have worked together toward an agreement on the installation of a waterline. The waterline will replace wells actually or potentially affected by the contaminant plume from the Site. Rockwell and Citizens reached an agreement on the design and installation of the waterline in the Spring of 1996.
Citizens Utilities and East Coventry Township reached agreement on the franchise area to be granted to Citizens. Also, East Coventry Township and Rockwell reached agreement on negotiations involving payment of user fees for a number of years, reimbursement for the Township's review costs relating to the Site and access to Township property for a portion of the cleanup.
Rockwell's contractor, Dames & Moore, under EPA and PADEP oversight along with Township review, began constructing the cleanup remedy at the Site in June 1998.
The design and acquisition of easements and permits for the waterline were completed in July 1998. The construction contract was placed out for bid and the contract was awarded to Bulldog Construction Company in August 1998. The actual construction of the waterline began in October 1998 and was completed in December 1998. The connections into individual homes and businesses are ready to be made.
The East Coventry Township engineer is in the process of meeting with each residence or business to be connected to the waterline on an individual basis to identify the specifications for each property. A professional plumber will then be contracted by East Coventry Township and the individual connections will be made to the waterline.
Extraction and Treatment System
On May 21, 1998 EPA approved the final design for the groundwater extraction and treatment system submitted by Dames & Moore on behalf of Rockwell.
Construction of the system began in June 1998 and was completed in November 1998. The system now pumps and treats the water from a well located in the most contaminated area and a well located between the Site and the Schuykill River. The system is currently undergoing a startup period and should be deemed operational and functional in the near future.
Copper & Zinc
EPA took actions to address copper and zinc contamination that had migrated from the former crane area into the Allied Steel drainage ditch at levels that had potential adverse ecological effects. Six inches of soil contaminated with copper and zinc were excavated and removed from the crane area. The area was then backfilled with clean soil and grass was planted. Maintenance was also done on the drainage ditch alongside the soil removal area.
CONTEXANT Systems, Inc.
As of January 1, 1999 Rockwell International spun-off its semiconductor business, and the new entity responsible for the Recticon/Allied Steel Site is CONTEXANT Systems, Inc. CONTEXANT has taken over all of Rockwell's responsibilities that relate to the Site.
For Further Information
EPA maintains a file of Site-related information at:
East Coventry Township
855 Ellis Woods Road
Pottstown, PA 19464
US EPA Region III
Public Reading Room
1650 Arch Street - 6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Interested parties may also call:
Remedial Project Manager
Community Involvement Coordinator
Mailing List Update
If you know of anyone who is not receiving Site-related information but would like to, please fill out the attached information form and return it to Bill Hudson at the EPA address above.
MAILING LIST UPDATE/ADDITION
(Recticon/Allied Steel Site)
I am a: resident, PRP, affected business, other