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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 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

Site Location

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.

Site History

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: 

PRPs Who Re-Covered the Waste Pile

Following is a list of the PRPs who re-covered the waste pile:

Glossary

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.
Erosion
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 
(717) 242-2391 
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
(215) 814-3157 
Contact: Anna Butch 

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

Please call in advance for an appointment. 

EPA Representatives

For additional information, please contact one of these EPA representatives: 

Richard Kuhn
Community Involvement Coordinator 
U.S. EPA, Region III 
1650 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
215--814-3063
kuhn.richard@epa.gov 

David Turner
Remedial Project Manager 
U.S. EPA, Region III 
1650 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
215-814-3216 
turner.david@epa.gov

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