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NPL Site Narrative for East Tenth Street

Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

Federal Register Notice:  January 18, 1994

The East Tenth Street site is located on a 36-acre parcel of land in an industrialized area of Marcus Hook, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. American Viscose Co. purchased the property in 1910 for the manufacture of rayon. In 1958, cellophane production replaced rayon production. FMC Corp. bought the property in 1963 and continued production until 1977. Marcus Hook Business and Commerce Center obtained the property in 1986 and sold or leased many parcels and buildings. The site is currently divided into 23 lots.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (PA DER), EPA, and the potentially responsible parties have conducted numerous environmental assessments of the site since 1979. During an April 1988 investigation, PA DER found employees excavating an underground solvent storage tank farm consisting of 30 tanks and disposing of the contents on the ground. FMC emptied the tanks of solvents and refilled them with water before vacating the property. Samples of soil and discharge water revealed significant levels of organic contaminants.

In October 1990, an environmental assessment report of the site was prepared. Visual observations revealed the presence of tanks, leaking transformers, and asbestos within and outside of buildings. Samples of ground water and soil revealed numerous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and inorganics. No samples for asbestos or PCBs were taken at this time.

In November and December 1990, EPA initiated a removal assessment at the site. The initial evaluation revealed that asbestos, PCBs, and other hazardous substances had apparently been mishandled during past demolition activities. Nearby daycare and senior citizens centers were closed due to the presence of contaminated soils, drums, and loose asbestos on site. Further sampling showed PCBs, asbestos, heavy metals, and organic contamination in soils throughout the site. PCBs were also detected in the sediments of adjacent Marcus Hook Creek, which is classified as a State-designated area for the protection of aquatic life. EPA also discovered a sludge-filled tunnel located on one of the lots. Samples of the sludge showed chloroform, cadmium, and mercury.

In 1979, Envirosafe Services bought a 4.24-acre parcel in the southeastern corner of the property. In 1984, this property was transferred to its subsidiary, Marcus Hook Processing Inc. (MHPI). Two sludge lagoons that had been used by FMC as part of their wastewater treatment system are located on the MHPI property. MHPI is a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) transport, storage, and disposal facility. The facility is currently under a RCRA consent order for a removal action to remediate the lagoons; therefore the lagoons have not been considered as a source of contamination for the East Tenth Street site.

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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