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Price Battery and Safety Light Corporation Added to Superfund Hazardous Site List

Release Date: 4/27/2005
Contact Information: David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548

David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized the addition of the Price Battery and Safety Light Corporation to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites today.

The NPL is a national list of sites where contaminants have impacted or might impact public health or the environment. NPL sites are required to undergo a thorough assessment of the nature and extent of contamination prior to cleanup by EPA or the responsible parties.

Price Battery is an inactive lead battery recycling and manufacturing operation, located in Hamburg, Berks County, Pa. As part of the battery recycling process, a secondary lead smelter operated on the property. Former operations at Price Battery have resulted in lead-contaminated soil on residential properties surrounding the property. Investigations conducted in the area of the Price Battery site have attributed the lead contamination in residential soil to lead emissions from Price Battery.

The lead-contaminated soil may also be attributable to lead battery waste used as fill material throughout the Borough of Hamburg. Approximately 222 residential properties have been documented to have lead-contaminated soil at levels more than three times the background concentrations. The NPL listing will focus on the remediation of lead contaminated soils on residential properties.

Safety Light Corporation (SLC) is located in South Centre Township near Bloomsburg, Columbia County, Pa. The 1.5 acre SLC property is bounded on the north by Old Berwick Road, on the east and west by residential areas, and on the south by the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. Past and present activities at SLC include the manufacturing of self-illuminated watches and instrument dials, smoke detectors, neutron sources, exit signs, and other merchandise containing radioactive materials, as well as activities regulated under the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). SLC activities have resulted in contamination of surface and subsurface soil, surface water (lagoons and the Susquehanna River), sediment, and ground water. NPL listing will focus on the removal of the containers and drums, address the ground water and surface water contamination, and soil contamination on the property.

Documents related to the site will continue to be available for public review at the following local repositories: Price Battery Site, Hamburg Public Library, 35 North 3rd Street, Hamburg, Pa. and Safety Light Corporation Site, Bloomsburg Public Library, 225 Market Street, Bloomsburg, Pa.