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Crater Resources

Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania
Fact Sheet August 1999

Public Availability Session

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a public availability session to answer any questions on the completed Remedial Investigation at the Crater Resources Superfund Site.

When: Aug. 31, 1999 from 5-7 p.m.
Where: at the Upper Merion Township Building, 175 W. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406.

The Remedial Investigation

The Remedial Investigation (RI) is one of the beginning phases in the Superfund process. It involves site sampling and analysis to find out what kind and how much contamination is at a site.

The findings showed contamination in the quarry soils and sediments, as well as in the groundwater both on and off-site. Various levels of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), volatile organic compounds, (VOCs), polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals showed up as the contaminants from the coking process and former Site activities.

What is a Superfund Site?

In response to growing concern over health and environmental risks posed by hazardous waste sites, Congress established The Superfund Program in 1980 to clean up the Nation's most serious sites. The Superfund Program is managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in cooperation with individual states and tribal governments. Superfund locates, investigates and cleans up hazardous waste sites throughout the United States.

Superfund cleanups are very complex and require the efforts of many experts in science, engineering, public health, management, law, community relations, and numerous other fields. The goal of the process is to protect you and the environment you live in from the effects of hazardous substances.

Crater Resources Site Location and History

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 next to where Crooked Lane intersects with the SEPTA railroad tracks. The Site has four quarries that were used for disposal on a 50-acre piece of land. Beginning in 1919, wastewater from the Alan Wood Steel coking facility in Swedeland, PA was disposed of in three of the quarries (Quarries 1, 2, and 3). The coking process contaminated the wastewater with waste ammonia liquor (WAL). WAL discharge into the quarries ended in 1980.

Quarries 1, 2, and 4

Quarries 1, 2 and 4 were originally mined for sand and gravel. Various organics (compounds containing carbon) and tar wastes were disposed of in Quarries 1 and 2 from 1919 to 1965 through a pipeline from the Alan Wood Steel coking facility. Quarry 4 may have received contaminated water from overflows in Quarry 3, but did not receive wastewater directly from the coke facility. In the mid-1960s the quarries were filled with general fill, construction, and demolition debris and are now covered with plant life.

Quarry 3

Quarry 3 is the only open quarry left. The quarry was originally mined for limestone and marble, and covers an area of approximately 8 acres. Ranging from approximately 30 to 65 feet, the quarry has three ponds filled with stagnant water. Quarry 3 received organics and tar wastes from Alan Wood Steel from 1919 to 1977. Alan Wood's coking facility was sold to Keystone Coke Company in that final year. The wastewater was released 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 the water was no longer released into the quarry.

Areas 5 and 6

Two additional areas, referred to as Areas 5 and 6, may have received wastes and construction debris. However, it is not clear whether these two areas were used for direct disposal from the coke processing plant.

Who is Funding the Work?

All of the environmental work taking place at the Site is being funded by a group of the potentially responsible parties (PRPs). The PRP Group members are Beazer East, Inc., Keystone Coke Company, Inc. and Vesper Corporation. In September 1994, these three companies signed an Administrative Order on Consent to perform the remedial investigation and feasibility study under EPA supervision. The remedial investigation was completed in June 1999.

The Remedial Investigation

The Remedial Investigation (RI) is one of the beginning phases in the Superfund process. It involves site sampling and analysis to find out what kind and how much contamination is at a site. The RI at the Crater Resources Site began in the summer of 1995. Samples taken from the site focused on sampling and analyzing the groundwater, surface water, sediments, and soils that may have been affected by WAL disposal.

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. More soil samples were taken in the quarries during January 1999.

Human Health and Ecological Risks

The human health risk assessment is in the process of being developed. The assessment figures out definite and possible risks to human health caused by conditions at the Site. Also, an ecological assessment of the area will determine the effect the Site or cleanup processes may have on the surrounding ecological population. Both of the risk assessments should be finished by the end of September 1999.

The Feasibility Study and Record of Decision

After the RI, a feasibility study (FS) will be conducted for the Site. The purpose of the FS is to evaluate possibilities for cleanup of the contamination.

The FS will help in the development of the Record of Decision (ROD). The ROD is created from information gathered during the RI/FS, and includes 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 by the end of December 1999.

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/reg3hwmd/super/

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:

Administrative Records Room
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Call 215-814-3157 for an appointment

Upper Merion Township Building
175 W. Valley Forge Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Hours: M-Th 9 am - 9 pm
Fri. 9 am - 5 pm
Sat. 10 am - 5 pm
Sun. 1 pm - 4:30 pm

Interested parties may also contact:

Andrea Lord
Remedial Project Manager
1650 Arch St - 3HS21
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Community Involvement Coordinator
Bill Hudson
1650 Arch St - 3HS43
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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