Ohio River Park
Superfund Fact Sheet - April 1996
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently completed a review of an investigation at the Ohio River Park Superfund Site located at Neville Island, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (see Figures 1 and 2). The report summarizing the investigation is called a Remedial Investigation/ Feasibility Study, which evaluates the types and amounts of contamination, the potential risk to human health and the environment, and the possible clean-up methods that EPA would propose for this site.
On April 2, 1996, EPA issued a Proposed Remedial Action Plan (Proposed Plan) for the Ohio River Park Superfund Site. In the Proposed Plan, EPA presents a discussion of the clean-up alternatives reviewed and describes its preferred clean-up method. EPA also summarizes the results of the risk assessment, describes the guidelines used by EPA for its preference of a clean-up method, and explains why EPA prefers one alternative over another.
EPA depends upon your comments and suggestions regarding its preferred alternative. Community input helps EPA to address your concerns and to select the most appropriate clean-up method for the Ohio River Park Superfund Site.
The results of the Remedial Investigation at the site revealed contamination of soils, surface water, sediment, and ground water. The following are summaries of the contaminants EPA found in each of these areas as specified in the Proposed Plan.
Air. EPA found trace amounts of naphthalene, 2-methylnaphthalene, and selected volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air both upwind and downwind of the site. EPA believes that these contaminants are naturally present in the area and are not originating from the site.
Surface Soils. Surface soil sampling detected semi-volatile organic compounds (semi-volatiles), including polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at concentrations up to 340 parts per million (ppm); pesticides including benzene hexachlorides; dioxin; polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at concentrations typically less than 0.5 ppm; and metals including arsenic (43.3 ppm), beryllium (5.1 ppm), and chromium (106 ppm).
Subsurface Soils. VOCs, semi-volatiles including PAHs, pesticides, and metals were detected in on-site subsurface soils. Benzene was detected at concentrations up to 11 ppm. The highest total concentration of PAHs was 38 ppm. Alpha-BHC, a pesticide, was detected at concentrations up to 7.9 ppm. Aluminum, beryllium, and manganese also were detected in the subsurface soil samples.
Waste Materials. Waste material samples collected from a trench area contained VOCs (benzene at concentrations up to 8.9 ppm) and high concentrations of total PAHs (up to 546 ppm). There also were detectable amounts of pesticides and the herbicide, 2,4-D.
Surface Water. Surface water samples collected from the river contained metals and pesticides. The highest concentrations of metals were mercury at 0.79 parts per billion (ppb), chromium at 19 ppb, and copper at 87 ppb. The pesticide gamma-chlordane was detected at 0.024 ppb. EPA determined that the site is a likely source of contamination to the Ohio River in the vicinity of Neville Island.
Sediment. EPA noted that the quality of sediment both upstream and downstream of the site was similar. However, both upstream and downstream sediment sampling did reveal the presence of site-related contaminants. Contaminants detected at levels of potential concern to human health were PCBs, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, arsenic, and chromium. Contaminants of potential ecological concern included heavy metals, pesticides, PCBs, and PAHs.
Ground Water. Samples showed VOCs, semi-volatiles, pesticides, and metals in the ground water. Benzene and trichloroethane were detected at concentrations up to 50 ppm and 18 ppb, respectively. The semi-volatile compound 2,4,6-trichlorophenol was detected at concentrations up to 210 ppm. Delta-BHC, a pesticide, was detected in one sample at 1.15 ppb. 2,4-D, a herbicide, was detected at concentrations up to 190 ppb. Cadmium and nickel were found at concentrations above the Safe Drinking Water Act Maximum Contaminant Levels and EPA Region III Human Health Risk-Based Concentrations. In addition, the results indicated that dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs), organic compounds or a mixture of compounds, may be present.
A baseline human health risk assessment and an ecological risk assessment were conducted. The risk assessment evaluates the types and amounts of site contamination to determine if existing or future exposure to the contaminants present a risk to public health and the environment.
Based on the results of the Remedial Investigation, the primary contaminants associated with potential human health risk at the site include:
- VOCs including benzene, 1,2-dichloroethane, and 1,1,2-trichloroethane;
- SVOCs including benzo(a)pyrene, dibenz- (a,h)anthracene, 4-methylphenol, 2,4-dichloro phenol, and 2,4,6-trichlorophenol;
- pesticides including dieldrin, alpha-BHC, and gamma-chlordane; and
- inorganics including manganese, beryllium, arsenic, and mercury.
Exposure to benzene affects the blood, bone marrow, central nervous system, respiratory system, eyes, and skin. Adverse effects on the central nervous system, digestive system, and respiratory system have been observed after exposure to 1,2-dichloroethane. In animals, 1,1,2-trichloroethane has been shown to affect the central nervous system, liver, kidneys, and the digestive system. The target organs affected by the PAHs benzo(a)pyrene and dibenz(a,h)anthracene include the lungs, liver, kidneys, and skin. Phenols have been shown to have adverse effects on the skin, liver, kidneys, central nervous system, and respiratory system. Pesticides generally act on the respiratory system, central nervous system, and/or the circulatory system. The target organs affected by exposure to manganese include the central nervous system, respiratory system, blood, and kidneys. Exposure to beryllium affects the lungs, skin, eyes, and mucus membranes. The target organs affected by exposure to arsenic include the liver, kidneys, skin, and lungs. Exposure to mercury affects the central nervous system, kidneys, eyes, and skin.
Primary contaminants associated with potential ecological risks associated with the site include:
- mercury, copper, and chromium (VI) in surface water;
- heavy metals, pesticides, PCBs, and semi-volatiles in sediment;
- arsenic, copper, lead, manganese, mercury, PAHs, and pesticides in soil; and
- mercury, zinc, phenols, and phthalates in ground water.
Heavy metals have been observed to impact the development and growth of both aquatic and terrestrial organisms adversely. Pesticides are generally designed to act on the central nervous system, respiratory system, and/or circulatory system. PCB exposure in terrestrial and aquatic organisms has shown adverse effects on reproduction and on growth and development, respectively. Adverse biological effects associated with PAHs include decreased survival, growth, and metabolism. Semi-volatiles, which include phthalates, have been observed in birds to produce abnormalities in body weight and egg production. Phenols have been observed to affect aquatic organisms in the reproductive and juvenile stages.
These are the primary contaminants associated with potential human health and ecological risks at this time. Additional contaminants may be identified during the cleanup of the site.
The results of the baseline human health risk assessment indicated that contamination at the site would present a risk above EPA's acceptable level to the following populations:
- people using water from on-site wells for drinking, showering, and bathing;
- people eating contaminated fish; and
- children and construction workers accidentally ingesting on-site soil.
The results of the ecological risk assessment indicated that the environment surrounding the site could be affected by:
- contaminants in surface water and sediments which could harm water-dwelling animals and plants in the Main and Back Channels of the Ohio River;
- site soil contaminants that could affect above-ground environments; and
- several ground water contaminants which could affect surface water, sediments, and soils at and near the site. Ground water is the primary pathway by which chemicals from the site reach the Ohio River.
SUMMARY OF REMEDIAL ALTERNATIVES
EPA has evaluated four different remedial alternatives for the cleanup of the Ohio River Park Superfund Site. EPA selected these alternatives based on the results of the Remedial Investigation, the Baseline Risk Assessment, the Ecological Risk Assessment, and the Feasibility Study. The remedial alternatives EPA considered for the site are detailed in the table presented on the next page.
When selecting an alternative, EPA evaluates the alternative according to nine essential criteria:
- Overall protection of human health and the environment
- Compliance with Federal or state laws and regulations
- Long-term effectiveness
- Short-term effectiveness
- Reduction of the toxicity, mobility, or volume of contaminants
- Implementability, or the feasibility of performing the alternative
- State acceptance of the alternative
- Community acceptance of the alternative
- Cost considerations/financial feasibility
These criteria allow EPA to choose a remedy which is cost effective and provides an acceptable level of protection to human health and the environment.
EPA's preferred alternative for the Ohio River Park Superfund Site is Alternative 2 - Multilayer Cap, Surface Water Runoff Controls, Ground Water Extraction and Treatment, Long-Term Monitoring, and Institutional Controls. This alternative includes:
- Construction of a multi-layered cover over buried waste to prevent the further contamination of ground water.
- Construction of a rainwater runoff and soil erosion control system to minimize the movement of contaminated soils to surface waters. The system would be designed in accordance with appropriate regulations and design standards.
- Ground water treatment to remove VOCs and heavy metals. The ground water would be treated to meet state discharge standards and discharged to the Ohio River.
- Monitoring of site conditions through the collection and analysis of ground water, surface water, and sediment samples.
- Restrictions on the use of land and ground water to reduce chances for humans to come into contact with site contaminants. Signs would be posted at the banks of the Ohio River to warn potential fisherman against eating contaminated fish.
Based upon an evaluation of the various alternatives, EPA recommends Alternative 2 as the preliminary choice for the site remedy. Alternative 2 best protects public health and the environment by reducing potential future site risks associated with using contaminated ground water. Two major components of this alternative include long-term effectiveness and a reduction in toxicity, mobility, and volume of contaminants. The recommended alternative complies with all applicable Federal or state laws and regulations and is accepted by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Alternative 2 provides the best balance of trade-offs between all required criteria.
EPA encourages the community to participate in the Superfund process by commenting on the Proposed Plan. The public comment period on EPA's Proposed Plan will open on April 2, 1996, and close on May 1, 1996. EPA recommends that the public either submit written comments or questions to EPA or attend the public meeting to ask questions directly of EPA personnel.
Questions or Comments on the Proposed Plan
Written comments or questions about the proposed plan should be postmarked before May 1, 1996 and addressed to:
Romuald A. Roman - 3HW22
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Community Involvement issues can be directed to:
Pat Gaughan - 3EA30
Community Involvement Coordinator
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
Room 410, Methodist Building
11th and Chapline Streets
Wheeling, WV 26003
The RI/FS report, the Proposed Plan, and other site-related documents are available for public review at the following information repositories:
Coraopolis Memorial Library
State and School Streets
Coraopolis, PA 15108
Monday through Thursday
10 AM to 8 PM
Friday and Saturday
10 AM to 5 PM
U.S. EPA - Region III
Administrative Record Coordinator
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Monday through Friday
9 AM to 4:30 PM
EPA invites the public to comment on the Proposed Plan. EPA plans to hold a public meeting on April 15, 1996, to present the Proposed Plan, receive community input, and answer questions. The public is invited to ask questions and to provide comments on the Proposed Plan.
Community input is very important in the successful selection of a clean-up plan for the Ohio River Park Superfund Site. Comments from the community are valuable to EPA because they help the Agency determine the community's assessment and acceptance of the preferred clean-up method.
Date: April 15, 1996
Time: 7:00 P.M.
Place: Cornell Educational Center
1099 Maple St.
Coraopolis, PA 1510
SUMMARY OF REMEDIAL ALTERNATIVES
|Number||Alternative Remedies||Present Worth Costs|
No future action to prevent exposure to risk from contamination would be taken. EPA is required to evaluate the "no action" alternative at every site.
Multilayer Cap, Surface Water Runoff Controls, Ground Water Extraction and Treatment, Long-Term Monitoring, and Institutional Controls
This alternative includes actions which address ground water, surface water, sediment, and wastes in trenches and soils. Ground water treatment would continue until ground water contaminant levels no longer present an unacceptable off-site threat to human health and the environment. Other measures would include a cover over the waste material, a system to collect gas from waste areas, control of rainwater runoff, restrictions on use of land and ground water, and a long-term site monitoring program.
|3.||Waste Material Stabilization, Multilayer Cap, Surface Water Runoff
Controls, Ground Water Extraction and Treatment, Long-Term Monitoring,
and Institutional Controls
In addition to the measures described in Alternative 2, waste materials would be stabilized by mixing them with cement and/or chemicals to keep the waste in place.
|4.||Waste Material Removal, Multilayer Cap, Surface Water Runoff Controls,
Ground Water Extraction and Treatment, Long-Term Monitoring, and Institutional
In addition to the measures described in Alternative 2, waste materials would be removed by excavation and disposed at an approved off-site location.