Eastern Diversified Metals
October 1996 - Information Update
CLEANER WATERS AT THE SITE
Contractors for AT&T (now known as Lucent Technologies), under oversight from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recently completed work to enlarge the stormwater runoff collection basin at the Eastern Diversified Metals Superfund Site. As a result of this work, stormwater runoff from rain and snow fall is collected and treated separately from contaminated leachate. Storm water is directed through ditches lined with limestone rock to the runoff basin. This basin separates any fluff (see "Site History" on page 2) from the water and allows the water to drain. This is the last in a series of construction actions designed to clean the water leaving the Site.
PREVIOUS CLEANUP WORK
Last winter, a collection system for leachate water was completed. The collection system captures and drains the leachate from wet areas at the base of the fluff pile. "Spring's very wet weather severely tested the collection system, and it proved to be very effective in capturing the leachate water from the fluff pile," said EPA Remedial Project Manager, Frank Vavra.
Another improvement was made this year when contractors upgraded the Site Treatment Plant (STP). Upgrades included installing a more advanced filtration system. The improved STP began operating in March 1996. Tests on the improved system revealed that the new sand filters and ion exchange resin filters are very efficient at removing solids and metals from the leachate and groundwater.
Because water levels were very high during the spring and early summer, EPA is conducting further tests on the water entering and leaving the STP to determine if further upgrades are necessary.
UPCOMING CLEANUP WORK
EPA has completed and approved the final Remedial Design for removing fluff from sediments in the tributary of the Little Schuylkill River. This design also includes plans for removing the last of the dioxin-contaminated fluff and soil from the burn area adjacent to the fluff pile. Contractors began this work in early October, and EPA expects this work to be completed in December 1996. The dioxin-contaminated fluff will be taken to an approved facility in Coffeyville, Kansas for treatment and disposal. The sediments will be drained, and the fluff that is removed from the sediments will be disposed offsite at an approved landfill.
Design work is continuing for separating and recycling the metals and plastic in the fluff pile. In addition, contractors are drafting the technical specifications for a full-scale on-Site recycling plant. Once this work is completed, a final report will be submitted to EPA.
Small-batch testing and chemical analysis of the plastic and metals revealed low levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in some of the plastic separated from the fluff. EPA will evaluate the final report before determining how this will affect the recycling of polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride.
ADDITIONAL SITE INFORMATION
You can find more information about the Eastern Diversified Metals Site at the Information Repository EPA established in the local community. The Repository contains legal and technical documents that were used in deciding cleanup actions at the Site. The Information Repository is located here:
Rush Township Municipal Building
RD 1, Box 1326
(Route 54 West - street address)
Tamaqua, PA 18252
EDM SITE HISTORY
The Eastern Diversified Metals (EDM) Corporation reclaimed copper and aluminum from wire and cable from 1966 to 1977. During operations, leftover plastic stripping from the wire (referred to as "fluff"), was piled at the Site.
In 1974, EDM installed a treatment system to process the liquid waste coming from the pile. Between 1984 and 1987, EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) conducted tests on the water underneath the site (ground water) and on nearby streams. These tests revealed contamination resulting from the fluff pile and site operations.
In 1989, EPA added the Site to the National Priorities List, which is EPA's list of abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites in need of cleanup.
In accordance with the Superfund law, Theodore Sall, Inc. and AT&T Nassau Metals Corporation, both potentially responsible for Site contamination, investigated the Site under EPA's direction between 1987 and 1990. Lucent Technologies is cooperating with EPA in the cleanup.
EPA CONTACT INFORMATION
EPA maintains a mailing list for the Eastern Diversified Metals Site. If you would like to receive EPA's mailings about the Site, please contact Lisa Brown, EPA's Community Involvement Coordinator. Brown can be reached here:
Lisa Brown (3HW43)
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
If you have a Site-related dispute that needs to be resolved, please contact John Armstead, EPA Ombudsman, at 800-438-2474. EPA also maintains toll-free numbers for community members to obtain other information:
Regional Customer Service Hotline
Regional Business Assistance Center Hotline