(Formerly: General Battery Corporation)
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EPA Project Manager
Mr. Khai M. Dao
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region III
1650 Arch Street
Mail code: 3LC30
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Office: (215) 814-5467
Fax: (215) 814-3113
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Mr. John Krueger
909 Elmerton Ave.
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: (717) 705-4938
Fax: (717) 705-4830
Mr. Matthew A. Love
3000 Montrose Avenue
Reading, PA 19605
Phone: (610) 921-4054
Fax: (610) 921-4062
- Corrective Action Status:
- Human Exposure Controls: Information Needed
- Ground Water Controls: Information Needed
Offsite Soil Investigation and Cleanups:
Offsite Soil Sampling
In August 2000, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) to Exide to investigate the extent of lead contamination in soil near the Facility and to clean up properties that are adversely impacted by the lead emissions. In 2001 and 2002, Exide sampled approximately 600 properties, which equate to approximately 12,500 soil samples procured in Laureldale Borough and Muhlenberg Township.
In the summer of 2002, Exide initiated the site-specific risk assessment to determine a protective soil lead level in the community. The risk assessment evaluates lead exposure risks from various sources, such as tap water, air, lead paint, soil, dust, and food. The risk assessment consists of additional environmental sampling (e.g., tap water, house dust, lead-based paint screening) and a blood lead study. The risk assessment targets residences with children seven years old and younger, who are considered most susceptible to lead exposures. In 2007, EPA approved the site-specific risk assessment and determined a protective soil lead level of 650 parts per million (ppm) will ensure long term protection of the residents and the environment in Laureldale Borough and Muhlenberg Township.
Residential Soil Cleanups
Residential properties with soil lead levels of 650 ppm and less do not pose a health risk and did not require soil cleanup. In 2008 and 2009, residential properties that contained soil lead levels greater than 650 ppm were cleaned up. The cleanups consist of soil excavation, backfilling with clean soil and restoring the property to its original condition. Exide and its contactors worked with the property owners to insure that the cleanups met the owners’ satisfaction. Exide cleaned up a total of 220 residential properties. The residential cleanups were completed in the fall of 2009.
Onsite Investigation and Cleanups:
Under the EPA Corrective Action and Waste Minimization Permit, Exide conducted a RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) to determine the nature and extent of potential releases of hazardous wastes or hazardous constituents from regulated units, solid waste management units, and other source areas at the facility. In 2014, Exide submitted the Phase III RFI Report that re-evaluated the current environmental conditions; specifically groundwater, sediment and soils. Based on the findings of the report, additional rounds of groundwater sampling are required to fully evaluate the groundwater conditions and characteristics of the hydrogeology at the site. Exide will conduct a Corrective Measures Study (CMS) to further assess the lead levels detected in sediment and soils. The CMS is expected to be completed in the second half of 2015. After the completion of several additional rounds of groundwater sampling and the review of the CMS report, EPA will determine the appropriate remedies to address any environmental impacts that resulted from past operations at the facility.
The Exide Technologies (Exide) facility is located in Laureldale Borough and Muhlenberg Township, just northeast of Reading, PA and occupies approximately 50 acres. Presently, most of the operations at the facility is shut down except for the plastic recycling. For many years Exide operated a lead smelter and recycled lead batteries. As a result of 35 years of lead smelter operation prior to the installation of air pollution controls and the advent of the Clean Air Act of 1970, Exide contributed to lead emissions and releases that impacted the soils in the surrounding community and conditions at the site. The RCRA Corrective Action investigation at the Exide facility is twofold, which consist of the offsite soil investigation and cleanups and the multimedia onsite investigation to assess the impacts of Exide's past operations.
The major contaminants and risks are elevated levels of lead and specific heavy metals associated with Exide's past operations in soil, sediment and groundwater.
Free Blood Lead Testing
Exide is providing free blood lead testing for residents who reside in Laureldale Borough and Muhlenberg Township. The free service is available at Quest Diagnostics. The facility is located at:
Fairgrounds Square Mall
3050 North 5th Street Highway
Reading, PA 19605
Additional information about the program is available at the following link:
Exide Technologies Community Blood Testing Program
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest :
- Exide Offiste Study Area and Property Determination
- Frequently Asked Questions[PDF, 211 KB, 6 pages, About PDF]
- Risk Assessment Summary and Conclusions[PDF, 2111 KB, 4 pages, About PDF]
- Residential Cleanup Fact Sheet
- Bernhart Park Investigation
- Corrective Action Permit - September 1988 [PDF, 237 KB, 23 pages, About PDF]
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.
Documents and reports regarding this facility also can be reviewed in person at these locations:
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the photo )
The site is under continued use.
- 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. Khai M. Dao (215) 814-3113