Jacks Creek / Sitkin Smelting & Refining, Inc.
Fact Sheet, April 1998
The Next Steps
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has received a good faith offer to conduct site work from a group of potentially responsible parties (PRPs) for the Jacks Creek Superfund Site. A good faith offer is a statement from the PRPs saying that they will participate in implementing the cleanup described in the Record of Decision (ROD). This participation may include hiring a contractor to do the cleanup work or contributing money to cover cleanup costs.
* All words highlighted in bold italics are defined in the Glossary at the end of this fact sheet.
EPA anticipates that negotiations with these PRPs will begin soon. These negotiations will define what roles the PRPs and EPA will have in the cleanup work. EPA and the PRPs will decide who will hire the contractor to conduct the cleanup work and/or how much of the cleanup costs each PRP will contribute. If the PRPs agree to conduct the cleanup work, EPA will oversee the project. EPA and the PRPs will sign a Consent Decree to formalize any agreements about the cleanup.
After signing the Consent Decree, the next step will be the remedial design. During the design phase, the PRPs and/or EPA will engineer the specific plans, details and requirements of the site work. After completing the remedial design, the actual cleanup work will begin. EPA predicts that site work on the cleanup will last between nine and twelve months.
Torn Cover Over Waste Pile Replaced
Recently 35 PRPs replaced the torn cover over the Ball Mill Tailings Pile, or waste pile, at the site. This was the first time that any of the PRPs did any actual site work. (Please refer to page three for a list of the participating PRPs.)
Bad weather conditions caused the cover on the waste pile to tear. If the cover was not replaced, the wastes could have spread to nearby soil and water, possibly harming human health and the environment. The new cover is made of a reinforced polypropylene plastic material. All of the seams of overlapping material were sewn and taped. This makes the cover more secure.
Before beginning the work, the PRPs prepared a plan to guide their work at the site. EPA reviewed and approved this plan which included the following information:
- the design of the cover,
- how the cover would be installed,
- how the cover would be secured to the ground to prevent it from tearing or coming off in high winds and
- how the PRPs would maintain the cover to prevent it from tearing again.
The PRPs also prepared a Health and Safety Plan that outlined how to protect the public and site workers from hazardous substances during site work. The plan also addressed possible work-related health and safety concerns that could have arisen when the cover was being installed. EPA reviewed and approved this plan as well.
The Cleanup Decision
On September 30, 1997, EPA issued the ROD for the Jacks Creek Site. The ROD is an EPA legal document; it officially announces and outlines the selected plan to clean up the site contamination. EPA's cleanup plan is Alternative 3: Excavation and Offsite Disposal of Material with over 40,000 ppm Lead; Consolidation and Capping of Remaining Material Above 1,000 ppm Lead. A description of why EPA selected this cleanup plan is detailed in the ROD.
The ROD is consistent with the Proposed Remedial Action Plan (Proposed Plan) that EPA presented to the public in February 1997. There is a minor difference between the Proposed Plan and the ROD. Based on discussions between EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP), onsite wetlands will be replaced. This is because approximately two-tenths of an acre of wetlands will be destroyed during the cleanup.
The Cleanup Details
- Dig up soils with lead contamination of 40,000 parts per million (ppm) or greater. These heavily contaminated soils will go to an offsite hazardous-waste treatment facility. Treatment involves mixing these soils with chemicals to reduce the soil's harmful effects. EPA estimates that approximately 14,500 tons of soil will be treated.
- Identify sediments in Jacks Creek near the site that are contaminated with lead above 1,000 ppm. Remove the sediments from the bottom of the creek using vacuum dredging. Combine the sediments with the onsite waste and soil piles to be capped.
- Identify waste left over from the site's operations and soils that have lead contamination between 1,000 and 40,000 ppm. Combine these soils and waste piles with the contaminated sediments. Place this pile of combined materials (waste, sediments and soil) in an area of the site that is not in use.
- Place a layer of crushed limestone over the pile of soil, waste and sediment. Cover the limestone with a multi-layer cap. Top this pile with a layer of soil and plant grass upon it.
- Install controls to prevent storm water from disturbing the cap.
- Use clean soil to fill in all places on the site where contaminated soil was removed. Level these areas to their original slope.
- Identify soils with lead contamination of 1,000 ppm or less. Cover these soils with 18 inches of new, clean soil. EPA estimates that this area will cover four acres.
- Tear down onsite buildings that are in danger of collapsing. Take the building debris to an offsite disposal facility. Install new doors and locks on the vacant buildings remaining at the site.
- Plant new vegetation (grass) on all areas of the site, except for the active scrap yard.
- Remove contaminated drums and vats to an offsite facility for proper disposal.
- Enclose the site on all sides by constructing an eight-foot fence with a gate along the north side of the active scrap yard.
- Conduct long-term monitoring of the creek's plants and animals.
- Monitor the groundwater and surface water.
- Place restrictions on land use of the capped area. Limit the use of other areas of the site to industrial work.
- Monitor the site periodically to make sure that the cleanup continues to protect human health and the environment.
The Jacks Creek Site covers approximately 105 acres in the village of Maitland, a rural farming area of Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. The site is five miles east of the Borough of Lewistown, near Decatur and Derry Townships. There are many residential and agricultural areas surrounding the site. Jacks Creek runs along the northwest border of the site.
From 1958 through 1977, the Sitkin Smelting Co. (Sitkin) owned and operated the site. Sitkin's operations included smelting non-ferrous metals (not containing iron) and recycling other metals. Sitkin's operations have caused much of the hazardous waste contamination at the site. Joseph Krentzman & Sons Inc. currently owns a portion of the site and operates a scrap metal and aluminum recycling business.
In March 1984 EPA collected and reviewed available information about the site to see if a possible environmental threat existed. In October 1985 EPA conducted a more extensive investigation of the site. As a result of these investigations, EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List in October 1989.
Between 1990 and 1993 EPA studied the types and amounts of contamination at the site and different options for cleaning up the contamination. Using information from these studies, EPA prepared and issued the Proposed Plan in February 1997. The Proposed Plan outlined EPA's preferred plan to clean up the site contamination and invited the public to comment on this plan. On September 30, 1997, EPA issued the ROD, which outlined the plan to clean up the site. (Please refer to page two for a description of this cleanup plan.)
Over the past six years, EPA has performed several removal actions at the site. This removal work included:
- sampling residential wells,
- controlling erosion,
- controlling water runoff from the site,
- disposing hazardous materials and
- placing a cover over the waste pile.
PRPs Who Re-Covered the Waste Pile
Following is a list of the PRPs who re-covered the waste pile:
- AMP Inc.
- Atkin's Waste Materials Inc.
- Brenner Iron and Metal
- Charles Caracciolo Steel & Metal Yard Inc.
- Central Brass Manufacturing
- Cerro Metal Products Co.
- Chapin & Fagin
- Charles Bluestone Co.
- Colonial Metals Co.
- Conbraco Industries Inc.
- The Dover Trust as Successor to The Shenango Furnace Co.
- Figgie International Inc. (formerly Badger-Powhatan (Figgie Fire Protection Systems))
- General Motors Corp.
- Klaff & Co. (Steelmet Inc.)
- Huron Valley Steel
- Lancaster Steel Service Co. Inc. (formerly Lancaster Iron & Metal Co. Inc.)
- Levin Brothers Inc.
- M&M Metals International Inc.
- Mercomp Inc. (formerly Harry Rock & Co.)
- Mueller Brass Co.
- NIBCO Inc. (formerly Northern Indiana Brass Co.)
- NL Industries Inc.
- Penn Harris Metals Corp.
- Pennsylvania Electric Co.
- Pneumo Abex Corp.
- Polaroid Corp.
- Randall Bearings Inc.
- Rockwell International Corp. (also representing Sterling Faucet)
- Southern States Inc.
- Staiman Brothers Inc.
- Tube City Inc./Independent Scrap Iron & Metal Co.
- Union Carbide Corp.
- Vulcan Materials Co.
- West Penn Power Co.
- WIMCO Metals Inc. (formerly Wilkinsburg Iron & Metal Co.)
- Consent Decree
- is a legal agreement between EPA and the PRPs. According to the document, the PRPs agree to conduct all or part of the cleanup work at a Superfund site, stop or correct actions or processes that are polluting the environment or otherwise comply with EPA regulations to reduce the contamination at a site.
- is the wearing away of soil by wind or water. Land-clearing activities related to farming, residential or industrial development, road building or logging can increase erosion.
- National Priorities List
- is EPA's list of the most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites identified for possible long-term cleanup using Superfund money.
- Remedial Design
- technical drawings and specifications are developed for future site work. The design is similar to a blueprint or work plan.
- Parts per million (ppm)
- is a unit of measurement commonly used to express concentrations of contaminants. For example, $1 in $1 million would be one ppm.
- Potentially responsible parties (PRPs)
- are companies or individuals responsible for contamination at a site. Whenever possible, through administrative or legal actions, EPA requires the PRPs to clean up hazardous waste sites they have contaminated. EPA found 230 companies and individuals responsible for contaminating the Jacks Creek Site.
- Vacuum dredging
- is a process that removes sediments from the bottom of a body of water using hand-held piece of equipment similar to a vacuum cleaner.
- Waste Pile
- is a mound of waste from smelting operations at the site. Approximately 140,000 tons of dross (an impurity that forms on the surface of melted metal) are in this pile. Some of the hazardous materials in this waste pile include antimony, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, silver, sodium and zinc.
Information Near You
You can find more information about the Jacks Creek Site in the Administrative Record. The Administrative Record is EPA's official collection of reports (including the Proposed Plan and the ROD), letters and other documents that show EPA's process for selecting a cleanup plan for the site. You can find the Administrative Record at the following locations:
Mifflin County Library
123 N. Wayne St.
Lewistown, PA 17044
Contact: Sara Charlton, Director
Hours: Monday - Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Administrative Records Room
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Contact: Anna Butch
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Please call in advance for an appointment.
For additional information, please contact one of these EPA representatives:
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029