NPL Site Narrative for Metro Container Corporation
METRO CONTAINER CORPORATION
The Metro Container Corporation is located approximately 20 miles south of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a mixed industrial/commercial/residential area along the Delaware River.
The site has a long history of industrial use. At the close of the 19th century, the site was occupied by the Delaware Oil Works. From 1920 until 1959, the Stauffer Chemical Company, Inc. (Stauffer) operated a chemical manufacturing plant on the property and manufactured a variety of chemicals. Historical site maps and aerial photographs indicate that Stauffer constructed a waste disposal lagoon in the 1950s in the southwest corner of the site, adjacent to Stoney Creek. In April 1963, the site was purchased by the Joseph A. Reis Company and converted into a steel drum reconditioning facility. After several changes in ownership, in 1983, the property was sold to the Metro Container Corporation. This company was the last in the series of owners who conducted drum reconditioning operations at this location. Drum reconditioning ended in December 1987 when Metro Container filed for bankruptcy. The site is currently owned by Trainer Industries, an industrial painting company. The site is used mainly for storage and administrative office space as most of the painting is done offsite.
The main source of contamination remaining on the property is a backfilled industrial waste lagoon which is about 0.5 acres in size. This lagoon was used for disposal of drum contents and wastewater until a wastewater treatment system was constructed onsite. The unlined lagoon was eventually filled in with soil and artificial fill materials. Additionally, subsurface soils and ground water are contaminated at the site as well as nearby properties as a result of historic waste handling practices. This contamination has also been traced to the tidal flats adjacent to the Delaware River. The site is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and inorganics.
Potential Impacts on Surrounding Community/Environment:
The tidal flats along the Delaware River are contaminated. Also, fishing occurs in the Delaware River in this area. There is a fishing advisory along the Delaware from Trenton, New Jersey to the C&D Canal in Delaware for the consumption of finfish due to PCBs, dioxin, mercury and chlorinated pesticides. Also, ground water in the area, which is not known to be used for drinking water purposes, is contaminated and locally contains non-aqueous phase liquids.
Response Activities (to date):
In 1989-1990, under an EPA consent order, several responsible parties conducted a response action at the site. The response action included the removal of approximately 58,000 drums, removal of all accumulated sludge and decommissioning of the lagoon.
Need for NPL Listing:
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania referred the site to the EPA because of the potential for continued releases of contaminants from the site into the Delaware River. The EPA received a letter of support for placing this site on the NPL from the state. The local residents also support cleanup of the site.
[The description of the site (release) is based on information available at the time the site was evaluated with the HRS. The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination. See 56 FR 5600, February 11, 1991, or subsequent FR notices.]
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.