Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania
Fact Sheet April 1999
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of finalizing the remedial investigation for the Crater Resources Inc./ Keystone Coke Co./ Alan Wood Steel Co. Superfund Site in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania (referred to as the Crater Resources Site).
Site Location and Background
The Crater Resources Site (Site) is bordered on the south by the Gulph Mills Golf Course, and on the east and northeast by Renaissance Boulevard. The western portion of the Site is adjacent to where Crooked Lane intersects with the SEPTA railroad tracks. The Site consists of four quarries formerly used for disposal on a 50-acre parcel of land. Beginning in 1919, the Alan Wood Steel Company disposed of wastes generated by its coking facility in Swedeland, Pennsylvania, into three of the quarries (Quarries 1, 2, and 3). In 1977, Alan Wood Steel declared bankruptcy and transferred ownership of the coking facility to Keystone Coke Company, a subsidary of Alabama By- Products Corporation. Keystone Coke Co. continued to dispose of wastes in Quarry 3 until 1980. The Gulph Mills Golf Club purchased property containing a portion of Quarries 3 and 4 in 1954. In 1979, Haploid Corporation purchased property on which Quarries 1 and 2 and portions of Quarries 3 and 4 are located. Haploid later transferred the Quarry 3 portion of the property to Crater Resources, Inc. and the remainder of the property to Swedeland Road Corporation. Swedeland has since transferred its land holdings to several other parties.
Quarry 1 was originally mined for sand and gravel and is approximately 2.2 acres in area. Various organics and tar wastes were disposed of in Quarry 1 from 1919 to 1965 via a pipeline from the Alan Wood Steel coking facility. It is reported that Quarry 1 only received wastes when Quarry 3 was periodically bypassed. In the mid-1960s the quarry was filled with general fill, construction, and demolition debris. The quarry is now covered with dense vegetation.
Quarry 2 was also originally mined for sand and gravel and is approximately 0.7 acres in area. The quarry received organic and tar wastes from the pipeline from the 1920s through the 1960s. As with Quarry 1, Quarry 2 was only used for disposal when Quarry 3 was bypassed. During the 1960s the quarry was filled with construction and demolition debris, and is now covered with vegetation.
Quarry 3 is the only open quarry remaining. The quarry was originally mined for limestone and marble and covers an area of approximately 8 acres. It ranges from approximately 30 feet in depth at the eastern end to 65 feet at the western end, and contains three ponds filled with stagnant water. Quarry 3 received organics and tar wastes from Alan Wood Steel from 1919 to 1977, when Alan Wood's coking facility was sold to Keystone Coke Company. The wastewater was discharged into the quarry from a fixed pipeline that ran directly from the facility into Quarry 3. In 1975, Alan Wood installed a treatment system to treat the wastewater before it was sent to the quarry. Keystone Coke further modified the system and continued to treat the wastes until 1980, when all discharge to the quarry ceased.
Quarry 4 was originally mined for sand and gravel. The quarry may have received contaminated water as a result of overflows from Quarry 3, but did not receive wastewater directly from the Alan Wood Steel facility. The quarry was backfilled with construction debris and is now covered with dense vegetation.
Areas 5 and 6
Two additional areas, referred to as Areas 5 and 6, may have received wastes and construction debris. Samples of the soils in these areas were recently collected and will determine whether or not disposal occurred in these areas.
The Site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in October 1992. The NPL is a listing of sites where known or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants warrant further investigation and have become a national priority.
EPA is overseeing investigations into the nature and extent of contamination at the Crater Resources Site. These investigations are being conducted and paid for by a group of Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs). PRPs are companies or individuals that EPA has found likely to be responsible for causing or contributing to the hazardous waste contamination at a specific site. In September 1994, three PRPs signed an Administrative Order on Consent (order) to perform the remedial investigation and feasibility study under EPA oversight. The PRPs who agreed to the order are Beazer East, Inc., Keystone Coke Company, Inc., and Vesper Corporation.
The Remedial Investigation
The PRP group has retained Environmental Resources Management (ERM) as their contractor to perform the work associated with the Crater Resources Site. ERM began the remedial investigation (RI) in the summer of 1995, with related field work beginning in January 1996. The objectives of the RI are to:
- Identify and characterize the risk to human health and the environment associated with the Site
- Describe the physical and chemical characteristics of the areas of concern at the Site
- Determine the presence of contaminants at the Site and characterize the potential for contaminant migration from the Site Characterize the local groundwater flow regime and geologic features
The PRP group collected soil samples from each of the quarries as well as other areas onsite. In addition, they installed 17 groundwater monitoring wells throughout the Site. The data collected from these samples and monitoring wells will be used included in the RI Report.
The draft RI report has been submitted to EPA for comment. As a result of preliminary findings, the PRP group, with EPA oversight, conducted additional sampling of the soil at the Site in January 1999. The additional data will aid in conducting the baseline human health risk assessment, which will be finished in April 1999. The risk assessment will be developed to identify the existing and/or potential risks that could be posed to human health by the conditions at the Site. An ecological assessment of the area is also being conducted to determine the effect the Site or remediation processes may have on the surrounding ecological population. The finalized RI is expected to be finished in June 1999.
The Feasibility Study
After the RI, a feasibility study (FS) will be conducted for the Site. The purpose of the FS is to develop, screen, and present a detailed evaluation of possible technologies to be used to cleanup the Site.
The FS will aid in the development of the Record of Decision (ROD). The ROD is created from information generated during the RI/FS, and considers public comments and community concerns. The ROD is a public document that will explain which alternative(s) will be used to clean up the Crater Resources Site. The ROD for the Crater Resources Site is scheduled to be completed in fall/winter 1999.
Recent Real Estate Activities
Over the past few years portions of the Site have been sold to Liberty Property Trust (Liberty). Currently, areas surrounding the Site and some areas near and in Quarry 4 are undergoing extensive grading in preparation for the construction of office buildings. Much of the property across Renaissance Boulevard from the Site has already been developed by Liberty.
For Further Information
Information on the Superfund Program, EPA, or the Crater Resources Site can be found on the world wide web at www.epa.gov/region3.
In addition, EPA has developed an Administrative Record for the Crater Resources Site. The Administrative Record contains all relevant documents leading up to the Record of Decision and can be viewed at
USEPA Region III
Administrative Records Room
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Call 215-814-3157 for an appointment
EPA is in the process of setting up a Site Repository in the area of the Crater Resources Site. Once established, the Repository will allow more convenient access to the Administrative Record for those interested.
Interested parties may also contact:
Remedial Project Manager
1650 Arch St - 3HS21
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Community Involvement Coordinator
1650 Arch St - 3HS43
Philadelphia, PA 19103
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 address above.
MAILING LIST UPDATE/ADDITION
Crater Resources Inc./ Keystone Coke Co./ Alan Wood Steel Co. Superfund Site
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