This fact sheet contains a description of the site, a discussion of site clean-up activities currently underway, an explanation of additional investigations that took place at the site, and information about how the site clean-up activities may affect the surrounding community.
Description of the Site
The Osborne Dump Site lies 1/2 mile east of Grove City in Pine Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania. From the 1950s through 1978, the site accepted industrial wastes. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania closed the site in 1978 for accepting and disposing of hazardous wastes without an appropriate permit. The state and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigated the site and found high levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium, benzene, and other substances in the soils and surface waters at and near the site.
EPA also considered the ground water -- the drinking water supply for the area near the site -- to be at risk from the site's contamination. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List in December 1982 and began a thorough investigation of the site and its contamination problems. Under the Superfund law, U.S. EPA, in consultation with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP), has oversight of the cleanup on behalf of all citizens. After proposing several options and considering community comments, EPA decided that Cooper Industries, Inc. (Cooper), one of the parties responsible for the site's contamination, should build a slurry wall around the landfill area of the site and install a cover made of clay over the landfill area. Cooper hired contractors to do this work.
Clean-up Activities Underway
The cleanup at Osborne began in August 1995 and will take approximately two years to complete. The cleanup will include:
- Installing a 40' deep slurry wall to surround the landfill area at the site
- Placing a cap made of clay over the landfill area to prevent rainwater from seeping into the waste inside
- Drawing out and treating any water seeping into the landfill area.
Since August, the slurry wall has been partially built. This work is continuing, although it may be slowed at times due to winter weather conditions. In addition, workers have regraded the site and have begun constructing the building needed to treat the water from the landfill area on site.
EPA expects the slurry wall to be complete by summer of this year. The clay cap is expected to be in place by fall of this year, and all construction activities at the landfill area are expected to end by the fall of 1997.
EPA investigated several nearby areas to see if the contamination at the site might be causing other problems. The investigation showed the site contamination had migrated. EPA examined the ground water, deep aquifers (water sources), nearby wetlands, and the Clarion aquifer. Tests of these areas showed contamination only in the Clarion aquifer. The water contains levels of one chemical, vinyl chloride, that do not meet EPA's drinking water standards. This summer, EPA will decide whether clean-up actions will be needed for the water in the aquifer.
The Cleanup and Your Community
The remaining construction activities will mean moving a great deal of soil using large machinery. During the working day, nearby residents can expect to hear the type of noise made by heavy construction equipment, as well as see some dust. Cooper's contractors will control the dust and mud tracked by construction vehicles as much as possible. In addition, the community should continue to see increased truck traffic to and from the site bringing materials to build the slurry wall, cap, and water treatment machinery.
Questions or Comments?
Mr. Pat Gaughan (3EA30)
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA, Region III
11th & Chapline Streets
Wheeling, WV 26003
Mr. Frank Vavra (3HW23)
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029