(Formerly: General Battery Corporation)
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Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Mr. John Krueger
909 Elmerton Ave.
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: (717) 705-4938
Fax: (717) 705-4830
- Corrective Action Status:
- Human Exposure Controls: Information Needed
- Ground Water Controls: Information Needed
The Exide Technologies facility is located in Laureldale, PA and is approximately 45 acres in size. In August 2000, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Administrative Order on Consent [PDF, 143 KB, 32 pages, About PDF](AOC) to Exide. As part of the AOC requirements, Exide will collect additional soil samples in Laureldale Borough and Muhlenberg Township to assess the extent of soil lead concentrations that are above EPA’s screening level. Each property within the boundary of the screening level will be sampled for lead in soil. Properties that have an average lead exposure above the determined lead cleanup levels will be cleaned-up. As an interim measure, the AOC requires Exide to cleanup nineteen properties adjacent to the facility as directed by a Consent Order and Agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), which was issued on May 22, 2000. The cleanup of the nineteen properties was completed in October 2000. In early November 2000 and at EPA’s request, Exide voluntarily tested the soils of an approximately additional twenty properties in the northern proximity of the facility. Four of the twenty-two properties require no further corrective action. The remaining 18 properties will be further evaluated pursuant to the AOC.
A public comment period was set from September 8 through October 23, 2000. A public meeting was held on September 27, 2000 at the Muhlenberg Middle School, 801 E. Bellevue Street, Reading, Pennsylvania, for the community and all other interested parties to hear a description of the AOC and to ask questions. The meeting was attended by a total of thirty-seven (37) people, including representatives of EPA, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), the local government, and citizens. This was an opportunity for the public to comment on the AOC and to present any issues and concerns. Comments and oral testimony given at the meeting and comments received during the comment period were considered and addressed by EPA in the Response to Comments[PDF, 152 KB, 20 pages, About PDF] and summarized in the RTC fact sheet. [PDF, 54 KB, 2 pages, About PDF]
The Exide Technologies Site occupies approximately 50 acres of land and is located in Laureldale Borough and Muhlenberg Township, just northeast of Reading, PA. The Facility began operating as a battery manufacturing plant in the mid-1930s under the ownership of the Bowers Battery Company. General Battery Corporation purchased the facility in 1958, and was itself acquired by Exide in 1987. The Facility currently recycles lead batteries. Spent lead-acid batteries are sent to a battery breaker unit where lead, plastic and acid are separated. The recycled lead is smelted and cast into lead-alloy bars to make new battery plates. As a result of approximately 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 contamination in soil of the surrounding areas of the Facility. Currently, the Exide plant operates in compliance with air permits issued by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Air Quality.
The major contaminants and risks are the high concentration levels of lead in the soil.
The community has been vocal about their concerns with Exide’s operations. EPA has interacted with the public in numerous occasions through public meetings, responding to controlled correspondence and answering phone calls.
There will be future opportunities for the public to review the Risk Assessment and Remediation Workplans with respect to the off-site investigation and remediation. The workplans will be available for review at the Muhlenberg Community Library and the EPA Region III Office. A public meeting will be held to present the content of the workplans and to respond to any questions that the public may have.
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 are accessible at: Exide Technologies Cleanup Investigation Website
- 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 )
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