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Schuylkill Metals Corporation

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Entrance to the Schuylkill Metals Corporation site.

Additional Resources
Site Summary Profile
EPA ID: FLD062794003
Location: Plant City, Hillsborough County, FL
Lat/Long: 28.010830, -082.143060
Congressional District: 12
NPL Status: Proposed: 12/30/82; Final: 09/08/83; Deleted: 08/22/01
Affected Media: Ground water, Sediment, Soil, Surface water
Cleanup Status: Deleted from the NPL
Human Exposure Under Control: Yes
Groundwater Migration Under Control: Yes
Sitewide Ready for Anticipated Use: Yes
Site Reuse/Redevelopment: In reuse – 11 acres of restored wetlands and wildlife habitat are located on site
Site Manager: Shelby Johnston (johnston.shelby@epa.gov)


Current Site Status

The Schuylkill Metals Corp. site is the former location of a battery recycling facility that operated from 1972 to 1986. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983 because of contaminated sediment, soil, surface water and ground water resulting from former waste disposal practices. EPA, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the site’s potentially responsible parties (PRPs) have investigated site conditions and taken steps to clean up the site in order to protect people and the environment from contamination. Site contamination does not currently threaten people living and working near the site. The site's soil and ground water contamination is not a threat to nearby residents and businesses. By monitoring ground water and undertaking Five-Year Reviews, EPA, FDEP and the site’s PRPs continue to protect residents and the environment from site contamination.

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Site Location and Background

The 17.4-acre site includes portions of 10 property parcels in Plant City, Hillsborough County, Florida. A Seaboard Coastline railroad track runs along the site’s northern boundary and a fiber cement siding and backerboard manufacturing facility operates west of the site. Several commercial and industrial buildings are located south of the site; the area immediately east-southeast of the site is primarily residential. An oil recycling facility is located north-northeast of the site. Approximately 20,000 residents live within three miles. A junior high school, an elementary school and a hospital are located within one mile. Contamination has not affected any of the site’s surrounding land uses.

From 1972 until 1986, Schuylkill Metals Corporation operated a battery recycling facility at the site. Parties transported spent automobile, golf cart and other batteries to the site. Operators then sawed off the tops of the battery cases. Afterward, they removed and loaded the lead plates on a railcar bound for a smelter in Louisiana. Initially operators dumped spent battery electrolyte solution containing sulfuric acid on the ground. Later, operators collected the solution in tanks for eventual resale. Operators collected saw cooling water and battery wash water in sumps and treated it prior to discharging it into an unlined holding pond. In 1981, the facility received a permit to discharge these wastewaters to the city's publicly owned treatment works (POTW). Operators landfilled emptied battery cases on site.  In 1983, EPA listed the site on the NPL. In June 1986, facility operations ceased.

An on-site monolith – a solid structure formed by mixing stabilized contaminants with cement – makes up approximately 6 acres of the site. Cleanup activities consolidated, stabilized and solidified contaminated soils and sediment as part of the monolith and covered the monolith with a vegetated soil cover. South of the monolith, an on-site surface water body occupies a former unlined holding pond. 11 acres of restored wetland areas known as the east marsh and west marsh flank either side of the surface water body; this portion of the site is in ecological reuse. In 1998, parties decommissioned the ground water treatment system used during cleanup activities; the unused equipment remains on site.

View site location map.

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Threats and Contaminants

Site investigations found contamination in ground water, soil, surface water and sediments that could potentially harm people in the area. Contamination resulted from waste handling practices at the site. Contaminants of concern include lead, sulfate and chromium.

Ground water sampling found contaminant levels that were higher than the State of Florida's primary drinking water standards for lead and chromium and the State of Florida’s secondary drinking water standards for sulfate.

Today, cleanup activities are complete and EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 2001. The entire site is fenced and secured to prevent access. Hillsborough County’s Clerk of the Circuit Court recorded a restrictive covenant, which restricts the use of the on-site monolith. In addition, two FDEP-enforced conservation easements protect the restored east marsh and west marsh wetlands.

Area residents and businesses are connected to the public water supply. The Southwest Florida Water Management District has also listed the site and nearby surrounding area as a ground water delineation area, which means all wells placed in the area require the District’s approval.

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Investigation and Cleanup Responsibility / Oversight

The PRPs lead site investigation and cleanup activities, with oversight provided by EPA and FDEP.

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Site Cleanup Plan

In 1990, EPA issued a cleanup plan (a Record of Decision, or ROD) for the site. The plan included the following activities:

In 1991, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) to update the site cleanup plan and address additional soil contamination found along the railroad track adjacent to the northern boundary of the site.

In 1993, EPA issued a second ESD that changed the wetland cleanup approach approved in the 1990 ROD. Instead of permanently flooding the east marsh, the revised cleanup plan called for removing contaminated sediments and re-establishing both the east and west marshes.

Summaries of site cleanup approaches are also available online in key site cleanup documents, including the ROD.

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Cleanup Progress

The PRPs removed over 266,000 tons of contaminated soil and sediment from the former process area and wastewater pond. The PRPs consolidated, stabilized and solidified contaminated soil and sediment into a monolith and covered it with a vegetated soil cover. The PRPs monitored the air during the digging up, transportation and solidification of contaminated soil to make sure contamination did not affect area residents and businesses.

EPA built a below-ground barrier wall surrounding contaminated ground water at the site in December 1993 and operated a ground water pump-and-treat system from July 1994 until December 1996. During its operation, the plant treated between 15 and 18 million gallons of wastewater.

The PRPs removed all contaminated sediments from the site’s wetlands. Restoration work is complete and the PRPs replanted the wetlands to create 11 acres of new wildlife habitat.

The PRPs put in place all parts of the cleanup by September 1998. EPA deleted the site from the NPL in August 2001.

Summaries of cleanup activities are also available in Five-Year Reviews online.

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Enforcement Activities

EPA negotiated legal agreements with site PRPs to investigate and clean up the site. The PRPs funded the site’s cleanup and continue to fund site monitoring activities. The PRPs continue to reimburse EPA for its oversight costs.

RODS and Five-Year Reviews online provide information on specific legal agreements for the site.

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Community Involvement

EPA worked with the community and its state partner to develop a long-term cleanup plan for the site, reflecting the Agency’s commitment to safe, healthy communities and environmental protection. Community engagement and public outreach are core components of EPA program activities.

EPA conducted a range of community involvement activities to solicit community input and to make sure the public remains informed about site activities throughout the cleanup process. Outreach efforts included public notices and interviews.

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Future Work

The PRP will conduct ground water monitoring near the monolith in early 2016.

EPA completed the last Five-Year Review in 2011 and plans to complete the next Five-Year Review in 2016.

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Additional Information

EPA keeps additional site documents and information in a site information repository at the location below. EPA also posts site documents, when available, on EPA’s CERCLIS Site Profile page. For documents not available on the website, please contact the Region 4 Freedom of Information Office.

Site Repository

Bruton Memorial Library
302 West McLendon Street
Plant City, FL  33566

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