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Tonolli Corporation

Cleanup Work Underway at Tonolli Site

On April 17, 1998, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the work plan for cleanup actions at the Tonolli Corporation Site (site). The work plan provides schedules for site activities and details exactly how workers will clean up contamination at the site. The work plan follows the remedy EPA selected in the 1993 Record of Decision (ROD).

On April 20, 1998, contractors for the Tonolli Site Steering Committee (TSSC) began preparing the site for cleanup. The TSSC is a group of Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs), companies or individuals who may have contributed to contamination at the site. On May 7, 1998, more than 50 of these companies entered into a Consent Decree with EPA and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP) to complete the site cleanup.

The TSSC hired Mactec, Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia, to perform the cleanup work outlined in the work plan. Mactec will perform all cleanup actions under oversight by EPA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and PaDEP. In response to a public request at an information briefing with EPA on March 25, 1998, USACE will be onsite a minimum of four days a week to oversee the cleanup work.

In 1997, under a consent order with EPA, TSSC began removing battery casings and other recyclable material from the site. From April 15 to 17, Mactec removed 11 truck loads of lead waste for offsite recycling at the Exide/General Battery Corporation in Reading, Pennsylvania. To date, TSSC has removed more than 3.5 million tons of recyclable waste. Workers will remove several truck loads of a sludge material and nickel/cadmium batteries before this removal action is complete. 

Pumping and treating water in the onsite landfill.

Workers completed construction of a water treatment system designed to clean the water currently forming a pond in the landfill. Operation of the new water treatment system began on May 6, 1998. Workers also cleaned out the existing storm water treatment system at the site and began operating the system on May 11, 1998. To date, both systems have treated between 0.5 and 1 million gallons of water a week. Sampling results of the treated water show that cleanup levels are being achieved for lead and other metals.

Stabilizing and expanding the side slopes of the landfill.

On May 4, 1998, Mactec began to move coal waste located adjacent to the east side of the landfill to expand the side slope. On May 14, 1998, Mactec began to place and compact structural fill on the east side of the landfill in order to stabilize the landfill walls.

Construction of a groundwater treatment trench along the southern site boundary.

Construction of the trench began on May 4, 1998, but is proceeding slowly due to large rock boulders and concrete encountered along the path of the trench.

Excavation and stabilization of all onsite and offsite soil contaminated with lead.

Excavation of lead contaminated soil is underway in several areas, and stabilization began in early June.

Decontamination and demolition of site buildings and tanks.

All buildings and tanks scheduled for demolition, including the large smelter and crusher buildings, have been decontaminated and torn down. Workers have completed removing scrap steel from the site for recycling and placing debris in the landfill. All asbestos was removed from the buildings and properly disposed of before demolition. Several PCB transformers were also found and removed from the site buildings.

Placement of soil, sediment and debris in the onsite landfill.

Workers began placing excavated material in the landfill during the first week of May. The following actions are scheduled to begin later in the cleanup process.

These actions, as well as previous cleanup actions, will address all sources of contamination present in soils, battery wastes, the onsite landfill, sediment and surface water so that the site can be used for industrial purposes in the future.

Other Site Activities

Workers emptied and removed several old oil and fuel tanks on the site. During this process, workers discovered that two 20,000-gallon oil tanks leaked oil into the surrounding soil. Because this area is close to the proposed path of the groundwater treatment trench, the oily soil will be cleaned before the trench is completed. Mactec will follow PaDEP regulations to clean the soil in this area.

Air Monitoring

Air monitoring conducted during building demolition activities at the site indicated a high concentration of lead in the dust. The highest concentrations, in excess of approved plans, occurred over a two day period during the demolition of the crusher building. In order to protect site workers and reduce these high concentrations, the contractor modified the demolition procedures and implemented additional dust control measures, including the use of several water trucks and fire hoses to thoroughly wet the areas to suppress dust. The EPA toxicologist and air monitoring experts have reviewed data collected to date. While high concentrations of lead in dust have been measured at the fence line of the site, the average concentrations have been below the 90-day average EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for lead of 1.5 ug/m3. As building demolition is completed, EPA will be closely watching the contractor to ensure dust suppression is being done and reviewing air monitoring data to ensure soil excavation and treatment do not cause high concentrations of lead in the air. EPA has informed the contractor that work will be stopped or slowed if additional violations occur.

EPA . . .On The Move

This summer, EPA is moving the Region III offices. EPA will arrive in the new space in mid July. Contacting them during this transition will still be easy because only the first three numbers of the EPA phonenumbers will change instead of dialing 566, starting in July you will dial 814. The new EPA address is:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

Public Information Meeting

The EPA Project Manager will hold an information briefing for local citizens and officials to update you on site cleanup activities. The meeting is scheduled for:

Monday, June 22, 1998 7:00 p.m.

Nesquehoning Borough Recreation Center
391 W. Railroad St.
Nesquehoning, PA 18240

Site History

From 1972 until 1986, Tonolli Corporation operated a lead acid battery recycling and secondary lead reclamation facility at the site. In 1989 a group of PRPs began studying the site to assess the contamination and evaluate possible cleanup options. Also in 1989, EPA implemented a removal action to address a waste water lagoon and a 500,000 gallon storage tank at the site. EPA constructed a wastewater treatment plant to treat the water in the lagoon and tank.

In 1993, EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD), which selected a cleanup plan for the site. A ROD is an EPA legal document that officially announces and outlines the selected plan to clean up contamination at a site. In 1994 and 1995, EPA worked to resolve issues that arose regarding the consent decree with the PRPs. In 1996, Mactec began designing a plan to clean up the site and to remove battery casings from the site. EPA approved the final design for the cleanup on February 20, 1998.

For More Information

For more information about the Tonolli Corporation Site, please contact one of the following EPA representatives:

Remedial Project Manager
John Banks
1650 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

Community Involvement Coordinator
Bill Hudson
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
215- 814-3214

You may also find information about the Tonolli Site, EPA's Superfund Program and other EPA programs and activities by visiting EPA on the Internet at: www.epa.gov/region3/

If you would like EPA to add your name to the Tonolli Site mailing list, please contact either John or Bill. If leaving a message, be sure to include your name, address, city, state and zip code, and mention the Tonolli Site.

To Review Site Records

Information about the Tonolli Site is available for review in the Administrative Record File, EPA's official collection of documents, data, reports and other information that supports EPA's decision on cleanup the site. You may review the Administrative Record File at the following locations.

Nesquehoning Borough Building
127 W. Catawissa St.
Nesquehoning, PA 18240
(717) 669-9588
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

1650 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Please contact Anna Butch at (215) 814-3157 for an appointment.

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