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Press Release

Eastern Diversified Metals

1650 Arch Street Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103-2029
Phone - 215/814-5100 Fax - 215/814-5102

EPA Environmental News
November 27, 2001

EPA Selects Remedy For Eastern Diversified Site

Philadelphia - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has chosen a final remedy for the contaminated fluff pile at the Eastern Diversified Metals Superfund site in Rush Township, Schuylkill County, Pa. The remedy calls for securing the pile under an impermeable cap.

“This remedy protects human health by stabilizing the pile and preventing the contaminants from migrating into the environment. The agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection agree that this remedy is protective,” said Thomas C. Voltaggio, deputy regional administrator for the mid-Atlantic region.

The 25-acre Eastern Diversified Metals site is a former wire recycling facility. From 1966 to1977, the company disposed of 350 million pounds of waste insulation materials, commonly called fluff, in an open pile there. This fluff is plastic and lead covering that was stripped from copper wire when the copper was reclaimed. The pile is approximately 40 feet high, as high as a four-story building and 1500 feet long, the equivalent of five football fields.

The fluff pile will be isolated under a multi-layered impermeable cap so contaminants will not be able to move offsite. The fluff will be graded into a smooth mound and covered by a special clay liner, which will prevent water from infiltrating the fluff. A plastic liner, similar to a much thicker version of a swimming pool liner, will provide a second level of protection. A drainage layer will be is installed over both liners to divert water off the cap and into drainage ditches. The cap will be completed with a cover of two feet of soil and thick grass vegetation.

The selection of this remedy is based on extensive study, sampling data, public comments and Superfund law.

The remedy announced today, modifies a previous proposed remedy from July 1992, which attempted to recycle the fluff and dispose of hazardous materials. The 1992 remedy was found to be impractical after numerous aggressive efforts to recycle the fluff failed.

Under existing policy, EPA could not justify the much greater cost of off-site disposal because it would not be any more protective to human health or the environment.

In addition to the cap, the record of decision announced today calls for monitoring landfill gas and installing a gas collection and treatment system, if needed; managing storm water runoff; ground water monitoring; and security controls.

EPA is currently overseeing the cleanup at the site and will continue to do so. The cleanup is being conducted by Lucent Technologies, a potentially responsible party. Under Superfund law, those companies or individuals that have been deemed responsible for contamination at a site are responsible to pay for the cleanup.

Copies of the record of decision are available in the Rush Township Municipal Building, Route 54 in Hometown, Pa. They are also available at EPA Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia in the sixth floor docket room, to make an appointment to review the administrative records call 215-814-3157 and will be on line soon at www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/super/PA/eastern-diversified/

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