Sharon, Mercer County, Pennsylvania
Fact Sheet - June 1999
EPA Issues a Proposed Plan
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a Proposed Remedial Action Plan (Proposed Plan) for Operable Unit One (OU-1) at the former Westinghouse Electric Company Transformer Plant located in Sharon, Pennsylvania. The Proposed Plan follows the finalization of a Remedial Investigation in April 1998 and a Feasibility Study relating to Site soils which was completed in December 1998. Both of these were conducted by a contractor on behalf of Westinghouse Electric Corporation (now CBS Corporation).
OU-1 addresses surface and subsurface soils in several areas of the Site contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other hazardous substances. Most of the contaminated soils are covered by buildings and/or concrete or asphalt. Exposed soils are located in the moat area in the southwestern portion of the Site, and in an area along the western edge of the Conrail railroad tracks. Limited amounts of exposed soils are also located between the buildings owned by Sawhill Tubular in the North Sector of the property, and along the west side of the Winner Steel Services building in the South Sector (see site diagram below).
June 24, 1999 at 7:00 p.m.
City of Sharon Municipal Building
155 West Connelly Boulevard
The Proposed Plan reviews various alternatives to address the contaminated soils and identifies EPA's recommended cleanup actions. In preparing the Proposed Plan, EPA considered several cleanup alternatives for surface soils (all soils to a depth of two feet) and subsurface soils (all soils below a depth of two feet). EPA evaluated each cleanup alternative against several criteria before selecting its preferred alternatives. (See list of EPA's evaluation criteria.) Listed below are the cleanup alternatives EPA evaluated for contaminated soils at the Westinghouse Site. A complete description of all activities associated with each alternative can be found in the Proposed Plan, which is part of the information repository located at the Shenango Valley Community Library.
- Surface Soils
- Alternative 1: No Action
- Alternative 2: Fencing and Deed Restrictions
- Alternative 3: Cover Systems
- Alternative 4: Excavation and Offsite Disposal
- Alternative 5: Insitu (in-place) Treatment
- Subsurface Soils
- Alternative 1: No Action
- Alternative 2: Deed Restrictions
- Alternative 3: Asphalt Cap
EPA's Preferred Actions
After reviewing all of the cleanup alternatives, EPA selected the following scenarios as its preferred cleanup actions to address each area of soil contamination at the Site. All cleanup actions will include backfilling clean soil into the excavated areas and incorporating deed restrictions to prevent future exposure to contaminated soils.
- Railroad Area Soils and Soil Areas West of the Middle Sector Building - excavation, to a depth of 2 feet, and offsite disposal of surface soils with concentrations exceeding EPA cleanup standards.
- Moat Area Soils - excavation and offsite disposal of surface and subsurface soils with concentrations exceeding EPA cleanup standards
- A/B Slab Area Soils - further characterizing surface soils. (Based on sampling results, EPA will select either: no action; excavation and onsite/offsite disposal; or excavation, offsite disposal and paving.)
- South Sector Truck Roadway, and Railroad Spur Soils - excavation, to a depth not to exceed 10 feet, and offsite disposal of surface soils and subsurface soils with concentrations exceeding EPA cleanup standards
- North Sector Soils - further characterizing surface and subsurface soils. (Based on sampling results, EPA will select either: no action; excavation and onsite/offsite disposal; or excavation, offsite disposal and paving. Excavation will be to a depth not to exceed 10 feet.)
- "Y" Building Soils - further characterizing surface and subsurface soils and excavation and offsite disposal of soils with concentrations exceeding EPA cleanup standards. Surface soils would be excavated to a depth of 2 feet and subsurface soils would be excavated to a depth not to exceed 10 feet.
EPA believes that these cleanup actions best meet the evaluation criteria, are protective of human health and the environment and are cost effective. EPA's preference of the above cleanup actions is only a recommendation at this time. EPA welcomes community input on all of the alternatives listed in the Proposed Plan during the public comment period (see below). Based on input received from the community during the comment period, EPA may change its preferred cleanup actions.
EPA's Evaluation Criteria
- Protection of human health and the environment
- Compliance with applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements
- Long-term effectiveness
- Reduction of toxicity, mobility or volume of contamination
- Short-term effectiveness Implementability
- Cost State acceptance
- Community acceptance
Your Role in the Cleanup Process
Community participation is an important part of the Superfund process. Because the local community is directly impacted by the cleanup of the Westinghouse Site, EPA encourages community members to review and comment on the Proposed Plan during the public comment period. The comment period began June 11, 1999 and ends July 10, 1999.
Prior to selecting a final cleanup action for OU-1, EPA will review all comments received during the comment period. EPA will respond to any relevant comments received during the public comment period and will include these responses as part of a Record of Decision, which announces the selected cleanup remedy.
Comments on the Proposed Plan also may be provided at the public meeting on June 24, 1999 or submitted to one of the EPA officials listed on this page. All written comments must be postmarked by July 10, 1999.
If you have any questions regarding cleanup work at the Westinghouse Site or you would like to submit comments on the Proposed Plan for OU-1, you can contact one of the EPA officials listed below.
Remedial Project Manager
Victor Janosik (3HS23)
U.S. EPA Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Community Involvement Coordinator
Pat Gaughan (3HS43)
U.S. EPA Region III
1060 Chapline Street
Wheeling, WV 26003
More Site Information
EPA's local information repository contains the complete Proposed Plan for OU-1 and other site- related documents. You can review these documents during normal business hours at the location below.
Shenango Valley Community Library
11 North Sharpsville Avenue
Sharon, PA 16146
How Did We Get to This Point?
Between 1936 and 1976, the former Westinghouse Electric Transformer Plant used blends of PCBs and trichlorobenzene in the manufacture of transformers at the plant. Operations at the plant ceased in 1985. Over the decades of operations at the plant, leakages and spills of various materials resulted in contamination at the Site. In 1984, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) responded to an incident at the Site involving 6,000 gallons of solvents and oils that had leaked from an underground storage tank.
In 1985, EPA sampling detected PCBs at two of the four locations where the facility discharged water into the Shenango River. PCBs were also detected in river sediment. A surface water intake for the Shenango Valley Water Company, which provides drinking water to approximately 75,000 people, is located downstream from the Site. EPA placed the Site on its National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990, making it eligible for cleanup under the Superfund program.
In 1988, Westinghouse entered into an agreement with PADEP to study contamination at the Site and to evaluate methods to clean it up. In 1994, EPA issued a Unilateral Order to Westinghouse to remove a layer of oil lying on top of ground water at the site in order to prevent the oil from migrating to the Shenango River. Westinghouse initiated this response action in 1995 and that work is ongoing. In 1996, Westinghouse completed the Remedial Investigation which identified the nature and extent of contamination at the Site. Westinghouse also prepared two Risk Assessments, in 1997 and 1998, to determine the risks posed by the Site to human health and the environment. Westinghouse submitted a Feasibilty Study outlining cleanup options relating to soils in December 1998.
Additionally, Westinghouse (now CBS) has agreed to the cleanup of the Middle Sector Buildings which are contaminated with lead from lead-based paints, and with PCBs. The cleanup of the Middle Sector Buildings is being conducted primarily under the regulatory authorities of PADEP and is expected to be complete by the end of the year 2000.