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NPL Site Narrative for Ohio River Park

OHIO RIVER PARK
Neville Island, Pennsylvania

Federal Register Notice:  August 30, 1990

Conditions at proposal (October 26, 1989): The 61-acre Ohio River Park Site is on the western end of Neville Island in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It is almost completely surrounded by the Ohio River. The site was owned by Pittsburgh Coke & Iron Co. [later named Pittsburgh Coke & Chemical Co. (PC&C)] from the 1920s until 1970, when the property was transferred to a wholly owned subsidiary, Neville Land Co. In 1976, the property was donated to the county. According to EPA, from the 1930s until the mid-1950s, the site served as a landfill for municipal wastes from Neville Township. From 1952 until 1965, trenches were dug on-site to dispose PC&C's wastes such as coking sludges (which often contain benzene and toluene), cement production wastes, and pesticides. Other industrial wastes such as plant demolition materials and slag were also disposed on-site.

In 1978, Allegheny County began developing the site as a park but stopped construction after industrial waste was found. In 1979, an Allegheny County consultant reported that on-site ground water and soil contained contaminants such as benzene, toluene, 2,4-D, 2,4,6-trichlorophenol, and 2,4-dichlorophenol. The consultant concluded that a public health threat existed at the site. The land was then returned to Neville Land Co.

Routine monitoring by the county's consultant consistently detects benzene and toluene in ground water.

Neville Land hired a consultant to further evaluate the site. The work has included installation of 27 multilevel wells, extensive sampling, excavation of test pits, analysis of aerial photographs, and toxicological and hydrogeological evaluations. Limited remedial actions were taken, including the removal of a container of almost pure 2,4-D from the surrounding soil, stabilization of a section of shoreline where sulfur-containing waste was exposed, installation of a fence, and posting of warning signs.

An estimated 40,000 people obtain drinking water from public and private wells within 3 miles of the site. Seven municipal wells are 600 to 1,200 feet from the site.

An outfall from a storm sewer system which drains a small portion of the northeastern quadrant of the site is contaminated with 2,4-dichlorophenol, 2,4,6-trichlorophenol, 2,4-D, and 2,4,5-T, according to tests Allegheny County's consultant conducted in 1979 and 1981. This outfall discharges to the Ohio River. Sewickley Water Works draws water from the river 1.7 miles downstream from the contaminated outfall. The intake provides drinking water to an estimated 8,000 people.

Status (August 30, 1990): EPA plans to investigate the possibility that Neville Land Co. will conduct a remedial investigation/feasibility study to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site and identify alternatives for remedial action.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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