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NPL Site Narrative for CryoChem, Inc.

CRYOCHEM, INC.
Worman, Pennsylvania

Federal Register Notice:  October 04, 1989

Conditions at proposal (June 10, 1986): CryoChem, Inc., has operated a metals-fabrication facility on a 19-acre site in Worman, Berks County, Pennsylvania, from 1962 to the present. The facility is composed of several production and storage buildings and an office complex situated at the lower portion of the property. The company uses solvents to clean finished metal parts. Any excess solvent is collected in shop drains. Prior to 1982, the company used about one 55-gallon drum of 1,1,1-trichloroethane per year for 3 or 4 years and allowed the shop drain system to discharge into nearby surface waters that lead to Manatawny Creek.

In August 1981, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (PA DER), acting on complaints of area residents, began sampling residential wells. Analysis of nine wells downgradient of the site detected chlorinated solvents, including 1,1,1-trichloroethane. In June 1982, PA DER detected up to 270 parts per billion (ppb) of 1,1,1-trichloroethane on-site in an unnamed tributary to Ironstone Creek, which is used for fishing. As a result of this discharge, PA DER notified the company that it was in violation of the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law. PA DER also recommended that the company discontinue the use of 1,1,1-trichloroethane, clean out the drain system, and properly dispose of all contaminated materials. The company complied with the recommendations.

Since the original sampling, PA DER has extensively sampled residential wells located near and mostly downgradient of the site. Concentrations of 1,1,1-trichloroethane were high, generally ranging from 0 to 180 ppb; one sample measured 600 ppb.

PA DER notified the affected residents of the contamination. Some citizens have chosen to purchase bottled water or are filtering tap water at their own expense. An estimated 1,500 people are served by wells within 3 miles of the site.

Status (October 4, 1989): EPA is conducting a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site and identify alternatives for remedial action. The RI/FS report is scheduled to be issued in the fall of 1989. A focused FS covering alternate water supply for the affected residences was open to public comment in July-August 1989.

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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