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Palmerton Zinc

June 1998 Fact Sheet

EPA Introduces New Remedial Project Managers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) welcomes Charlie Root and Eugene Dennis as the new Remedial Project Managers (RPMs) for the Palmerton Zinc Superfund Site. Charlie and Eugene will continue the work of Fred MacMillan, the site's former RPM, who has accepted a position with EPA's Water Division.

Between them, Charlie and Eugene have more than 20 years of experience working with EPA. Individually, they have worked on numerous Superfund sites throughout Pennsylvania.

Charlie will be the lead RPM for the site, overseeing cleanup efforts of the Borough of Palmerton, Blue Mountain and the site's waste material pile. Having worked with EPA in the Superfund Program since 1990, Charlie has been an RPM since 1994. He has a bachelor's degree in physics from Millersville University.

Eugene will be in charge of the cleanup efforts for the ground and surface water contamination. He has worked with EPA since 1984 and has over 10 years of experience as an RPM. Eugene received a bachelor's degree in geology from LaSalle University.

EPA CONTACT INFORMATION

If you have questions regarding the Palmerton Zinc Superfund Site, you may contact either of the new Remedial Project Managers or David Polish, the Community Involvement Coordinator. Contact information for the EPA representatives is listed below. 

David Polish (3HS43)
Community Involvement Coordinator
215-814-3327
polish.david@epa.gov

Charlie Root (3HS21)
Remedial Project Manager
215-814-3193
root.charlie@epa.gov

Eugene Dennis (3HS21)
Remedial Project Manager
215-814-3202
dennis.eugene@epa.gov

EPA is moving its Philadelphia office. After July 16, mail can be sent to:

U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

All phone extensions will remain the same, but the 566 exchange will become 814. Toll-free 800 numbers will remain the same.

Study Will Present Cleanup Methods for Lead and Arsenic Contamination

Having recently finalized the Risk Assessment Study for Operable Unit 3 (Borough of Palmerton and surrounding area), EPA will soon begin a Feasibility Study.

A Risk Assessment Study is an evaluation that assesses conditions at a site and determines the risk posed to public health and the environment. A Feasibility Study identifies and evaluates possible cleanup methods to address risks identified at a site.

According to the Risk Assessment, lead and arsenic are the contaminants that pose the greatest risks to the area. The Feasibility Study will identify and evaluate possible methods for cleaning up the lead and arsenic contamination. The study will include the benefits, limitations and costs of each possible method.

At the end of the Feasibility Study, EPA will compare the different cleanup methods to identify the most effective remedy. EPA will present a preferred alternative in the Proposed Plan and invite community members to comment on the alternative. EPA will consider the community members' input before finalizing a plan for cleaning up the site.

Community members are welcome to review the Risk Assessment Study which is currently available in the Administrative Record File. (Please see below for information on the Administrative Record File.) When the Feasibility Study is complete, it also will be added to the Administrative Record File.

The Administrative Record File

The Administrative Record File is EPA's official collection of documents, data, reports and other information that supports EPA's decision on cleaning up a site. You may review the Administrative Record File at the information repository listed below.

Palmerton Library
402 Delaware Avenue
Palmerton, PA 18071
(610) 826-3424
Contact: Gerald Geiger

Hours:
10 a.m. - 4:55 p.m. Monday - Friday
7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

The Administrative Record is also available for review in the EPA Administrative Records Room at 1650 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029. Please call (215) 814-3157 for an appointment.

EPA Schedules Summer Calendar

EPA has a busy summer schedule for the Palmerton Zinc Superfund Site. There will be a public meeting regarding groundwater; an ecological risk assessment will be worked on and the community interviews will be analyzed. Here is a closer look at the three immediate activities EPA has planned for the site.

Groundwater Meeting Open to Public

This summer, the Groundwater Subcommittee will host a public meeting to discuss contaminated groundwater at the site.

Last year, members of the subcommittee requested that EPA investigate the option of using existing monitoring wells to test the site's groundwater instead of drilling new wells. EPA has researched this option and will present the results of the research at the meeting.

Ecological Risk Assessment Nears Completion

Also this summer, EPA will work on completing an Ecological Risk Assessment Study of the site's ground and surface water. The study will assess the ecological conditions at the site and evaluate the risks posed to plants, animals and the environment.

Community Interviews Lead to Community Relations Plan

Currently, EPA is reviewing responses from the community interviews that were conducted April 30 - May 1 in local residents' homes. The one-on-one question and answer sessions provided EPA with insight into individuals' concerns about the site.

During the interviews, EPA asked questions on the individuals' thoughts about contamination at the site, their feelings about how the government is cleaning up the site, their overall site knowledge and their familiarity with the Superfund Program.

Early analysis of the interviews reveal that a majority of the respondents believe their community is very interested in the Palmerton Zinc Superfund Site and the actions being taken to clean up the site. When asked to name environmental issues of greatest concern facing their community, almost all of the interviewees responded with a topic related to the site, such as air and soil contamination, the effects of site contamination on children and animals and the site's impact on their property values.

As a whole, the interviewees said they would like to continue receiving information about site cleanup activities on a regular basis. A large number of interviewees said they prefer to receive information about the site in the form of a fact sheet.

The interviews will be summarized in the Community Relations Plan (CRP) that EPA expects to release later this year. A CRP is a document that highlights a community's concerns about a site; outlines the activities EPA will conduct to address these concerns; and fosters communication between EPA and the community. When a CRP is complete, EPA places a copy in the local information repository. A copy of the CRP for the Palmerton Zinc Superfund Site will be placed on file at the Palmerton Library.

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