Eastern Diversified Metals
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to supervise the clean-up of the Eastern Diversified Metals Superfund Site. This EPA fact sheet highlights recent and future events. It also tells you how to find out more about the site cleanup and the Superfund program.
Funding the Cleanup
Currently, AT&T Nassau Metals Corporation (AT&T) is paying for site clean-up. AT&T generated site waste and is potentially responsible for site contamination. The company, under EPA supervision, studied the site and reviewed clean-up methods.
On September 26, 1994, 65 potentially responsible parties (PRPs) signed and agreed to pay, as a group, four million dollars towards the site clean-up. The settlement allows the 65 parties to "cash out" of the site cleanup and end their responsibility for the site. This settlement means EPA can spend less time on legal action and have more money for clean-up. The companies who settled sent very small amounts of waste to the site (less than 0.1% of the total amount of waste on the property).
Recent Clean-up Work
- Off-site Incineration
- In March and April 1994, workers shipped 630 cubic yards of debris and fluff to a treatment plant in Coffeeville, Kansas, run by Aptus Corporation. (Fluff is chopped-up, plastic wire insulation.) Aptus destroyed the site debris and fluff in a high-temperature incinerator. The off-site incineration ended in June 1994. The debris and fluff were contaminated with dioxin. One other area of dioxin-contaminated debris and fluff remains on site. Plans are underway to clean up this area.
- Recycling Study
- EPA has ordered AT&T to recycle the fluff pile. The company, as part of its effort to explore options for recycling, sent fluff samples to a lab in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lab workers studied the fluff samples, which were made up of plastic (65%), metal concentrate (23%), soil (8%), paper, fiber (2.5%), wood (0.9%), and miscellaneous materials (0.31%). Lab workers also separated two types of plastic (floating and sinking) for possible recycling. These results will guide future handling and treatment of the on-site fluff pile.
- Site Sampling
- This summer, contractors sampled the on- site fluff pile and nearby soil to help decide how to recycle the pile. Contractors also checked air quality to assess possible health effects for site workers during the planned clean-up work. The air quality is safe for the workers. Contractors did not find any off-site air problems.
- Wastewater Treatment
- In March 1994, EPA ordered AT&T to re-start the on-site wastewater treatment plant. The company complied with EPA's Order, which involves treating rainwater run-off and leachate and preventing the on-site basin from overflowing. Leachate is liquid (such as rainwater) that collects contaminants as it trickles through site wastes.
Future Cleanup Work
In August 1994, EPA conditionally approved the plan for future clean-up work. Under this work plan, contractors will:
- improve the wastewater treatment plant;
- remove sediment from the unnamed tributary to the Little Schuylkill River;
- replace or improve the on-site basin;
- incinerate the remaining area of dioxin-contaminated debris and fluff; and
- dig a trench to direct shallow groundwater to the treatment plant.
On-site contractors are still studying shallow groundwater and its impact on site leachate and surface water. This study, which EPA is supervising, will determine if metals contamination in the groundwater is seeping into the unnamed tributary.
For More Information
EPA Contact Person
Public input about the site clean-up is important to EPA. If you have any questions or comments about the site, Lisa Brown, the EPA Community Involvement Facilitator, is ready to assist you. Ms. Brown keeps residents, local officials, and the media informed of site activities. You can contact her at the address and phone number listed below.
Lisa Brown (3EA30)
Community Involvement Facilitator
U.S. EPA Region III
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
EPA has set up a file of documents on the site clean-up and the Superfund process. This file includes technical reports, the Proposed Plans for site clean-up, and the Records of Decision announcing EPA's long-term site clean-up plans. You can review the EPA file at the location listed below.
Rush Township Municipal Building
Contact: Carol Opet
RD 1, Box 1326
Tamaqua, PA 18252