On This Page
EPA Project Manager
Mr. Griff Miller
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region III
1650 Arch Street
Mail code: 3LC30
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
- Corrective Action Status:
Corrective Action Underway
- Human Exposure Controls: TBA
- Ground Water Controls: TBA
Several investigations of the facility have been conducted with PADEP oversight, beginning in 1990 and culminating in final reports for each of the six areas in 2000. Air sparging and soil vapor extraction remedial systems operated for two years in the Central Plant and Over-The-Hill Areas. Raccoon Creek and East and West Landfill Areas were capped with a soil and vegetation cover, and mercury-contaminated soil from the Phthalic Anhydride Plant Area was excavated and disposed of off-site. An Environmental Indicator (EI) Inspection was conducted in September 2002 to assess whether human exposures to contamination and migration of contaminated groundwater were under control. Although remedial efforts concluded in 2000, further investigation and analysis of conditions at the site will likely be necessary to ensure that adequate cleanup has occurred, and institutional controls will be required to prevent groundwater use and limit land use to non-residential purposes.
The Nova Chemical facility is located on an approximately 420-acre plot of land on the south bank of the Ohio River in Potter Township, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. The facility was initially constructed in 1942 by Koppers United Company on behalf of the US government. Processes at the facility at this time focused on manufacturing organic chemicals used to make synthetic rubber. In the 1940s-50s, Koppers used the facility for the manufacture of polystyrene and Dylite (expandable polystyrene). Although the manufacturing of polystyrene and expandable polystyrene has been ongoing since that time, the facility has had many owners: Sinclair-Koppers in the 1960s; ARCO from the 1970s to the 1990s; and Nova Chemical, Lyondell Chemical, and Beazer East up to the present.
For remedial purposes, the facility has been broken into six different areas: the Central Plant/Styrene II Area (71 acres) and the surface impoundments and wastewater treatment plant in the Over-The-Hill (OTH) Area (12 acres) are the two areas still operational; the Raccoon Creek Area (18 acres), West Landfill/Dravo Quarry Area (14 acres), East Landfill Area (54 acres), and Phthalic Anhydride Plant Area (4 acres) are all inactive areas.
Primary contaminants include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, and styrene. Soil and groundwater are the primary media impacted by the contaminants. The potential also exists for surface water to be impacted, especially in Raccoon Creek, when contaminated shallow groundwater discharges into the creek. More investigation will likely be necessary to determine whether any of the potentially complete exposure pathways (to groundwater and surface water) present an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Corrective action Factsheet [ 2 pp, 23 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.
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the photo)
Nova Chemical continues to use the active areas of the facility to manufacture polystyrene and other plastic feedstocks; inactive portions of the facility owned by Lyondell Chemical are unused.