NGK Metals Corporation
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EPA Project Manager
Mr. Kevin Bilash
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region III
1650 Arch Street
Mail code: 3LC30
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Phone: (215) 814-2796
PADEP- Southcentral Regional Office
PADEP Project Manager
Linda Houseal, Branch Chief
909 Elmerton Way
Phone: (717) 705-4919
- NGK is investigating groundwater in the area of the facility. There are two main components of the investigation. First, NGK has turned off the groundwater extraction wells for the pump and treat (P&T) system as of June 4, 2007. The reason is that NGK performed a study to determine if the groundwater plume will remain stabilized (such that contaminated groundwater is expected to remain within existing area of contaminated groundwater) during non-pumping conditions. The first annual Extraction System Post-Shutdown Groundwater Monitoring Report was received in September 2008. Beryllium, chromium, and fluoride are the contaminants of concern at the NGK facility. The data showed that site contaminants did increase, but then decreased in off-site wells with no observable trend. The final Groundwater Monitoring Report was submitted November 12, 2009. The data showed that off-site movement of fluoride did occur to the south. This is in the direction of the former Berks Products Quarry which is planned to be used by the Muhlenberg Township Municipal Authority (MTA) for a water supply.
- The second part of the investigation is in the northwest portion of the NGK property. This was requested by EPA to monitor for possible off-site groundwater migration towards MTA Well #12. Two wells were installed in June 2008 to collect the data necessary to make a determination in this area. The final Groundwater Monitoring Report showed that there were no detections of dissolved site contaminants in off-site wells above EPA Maximum Contaminant Levels.
- A meeting was held on December 17, 2009 to discuss the November 12, 2009 Groundwater Monitoring Report. It was confirmed that Muhlenberg Township is going to use the quarry as the sole source of potable drinking water. NGK presented a model and calculations showing that the quarry could potentially draw contamination from the site. NGK presented possible scenarios in case this were to happen including an alternate treatment system or goals for the current P&T system or a sentinel well monitoring program with a stand-by P&T system. EPA discussed the desire to implement an Environmental Covenant.
- An Ecological Evaluation was performed in September 2009 pursuant to the existing Consent Order. The evaluation included surface water quality, sediment quality, and biota sampling to determine if historical operations impacted the biological communities in Laurel Run. The conclusions were that there are no apparent direct impacts, the conditions are typical of an urban stream, and that no further ecological evaluation is necessary. EPA approved the findings on January 22, 2010.
- A conference call was held on March 24, 2010. NGK explained that they have been in contact with PADEP to renew their previous NPDES permit. NGK explained they are re-costing the system with the assumption they are probably going to turn it back on. The timing will depend upon the NPDES permit reissuance. EPA also expressed a need to update the financial assurance.
- The NGK Metals site is located on 65 acres in Muhlenberg Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania, within a few miles of the City of Reading. Since 1935, various companies have operated a beryllium processing facility. The facility became NGK in 1986. The EPA RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) and RCRA Corrective Measures Study were performed on the site in accordance with the RCRA, Section 3008 (h), Administrative Consent Order of June, 1994.
- In March through August of 1991, an off-site investigation in the vicinity of NGK took place. The groundwater on- and off-site was sampled, off-site water quality was tested, an inventory of residential and commercial water wells was performed, soil on- and off-site was sampled. Levels of beryllium in residential soils at that time was found to range from 0.5 ppm to 6.9 ppm. Between 1991 and 1993, the first "Petitioned Public Health Assessment Initial Release" was performed on the NGK Metals site by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). The ATSDR determined that the NGK site did not present a public health threat.
- In June 23, 1998, a second "Petitioned Health Consultation study" on the NGK Metals site was completed by ATSDR. It concluded that "the off-site ambient air beryllium concentrations indicated that the facility presents no public health hazard to non-hypersensitive population."
- Construction of an impermeable cap over the source areas at the Facility, installation of a groundwater collection-extraction system, and groundwater treatment plant are completed. The "Engineer's Certification of Cap Installation Report" was finalized on 6-12-06 and was the remaining cleanup item. It covers the Eastern and Western Red Mud Areas on the facility.
- Beryllium, chromium, and fluoride are the contaminants of concern at the NGK facility.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Human Exposures [PDF, 7 pages, 27 KB, About ]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Groundwater Migration [PDF, 8 pages, 29 KB, About PDF]
- Documents and reports regarding this facility also can be reviewed in person at these locations:
U.S. EPA Region III
Land & Chemicals Division
1650 Arch Street-11th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Call for an appointment.
- Submit a FOIA Request
Get instructions on how to submit a FOIA request. Additional fee for requests over 100 pages.
|NGK Metals Corporation||NGK Metals GeoSPatial PDF Map [PDF, 1686 KB, 1 page, About PDF]|
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the photo or GeoSpatial PDF Map)
- The site is unused.
- The EPA is dedicated to providing you with timely and accurate information about our work at this site. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact EPA Project Manager: Mr. Kevin Bilash (215) 814-2796.