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Release Date: 11/25/1998
Contact Information: Ruth Podems (215) 814-5540

FRANKLIN SMELTING SITE, Philadelphia - Since March 1998, more than 1,100 tons of hazardous waste materials have been removed from this Superfund site in Port Richmond and shipped off site for treatment and disposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A total of 1,125 tons (58 truck loads) of the 8,250 tons of zinc oxide to be removed, have been transported, and 84 railcars have been sent off site to a copper smelter for recycling.  High concentrations of lead and arsenic were found at the site in September 1997. The materials being collected from the building decontamination operations -- approximately 15,000 tons of dust and production piles -- continue to be evaluated for potential recycling options.  EPA’s contractor is decontaminating the smelter building and the process equipment.  The internal structures are also being reevaluated for demolition.  Background:  Franklin Smelting and Refining Corporation, a former copper smelting facility, has been cited by the City of Philadelphia for noncompliance with wastewater discharge regulations, and is on record for causing the highest ambient air monitor lead concentration readings in the country.  Franklin has also been under investigation for suspected shipment of hazardous waste without a permit, illegal hazardous waste units and storage and improper leak detection for their underground storage tanks.  The facility is allegedly in violation of a Clean Water Act Consent Order issued by EPA and a Clean Air Act consent Decree. 

BOARHEAD FARMS, Upper Black Eddy -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed a Record of Decision on November 18, for the approximately 120-acre Boarhead Farms site.  A ROD documents EPA’s preferred cleanup method for a hazardous waste site, and includes input from the public on the selected method.  That action will consist of groundwater treatment, remediation of soil hot spot areas and excavation and removal of buried drums of hazardous substances from past disposal activities conducted at Boarhead Farms.   Background: Boarhead Farms was used for horse breeding until 1970, when the Boarhead Corporation purchased the property and began to repair equipment and store and bury waste materials from its waste salvaging and hauling business.  Also, the Boarhead Corporation discharged the contents of numerous tank trucks on the ground at the site. There have been a number or documented releases that have occurred both on and from the property, attributed to broken valves on trucks that stopped for repairs or to discharges by the Boarhead Corporation.  In 1984, EPA detected volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and heavy metals in wells, surface waters and sediments both on and near the site.  To date, EPA has conducted three separate removal actions at the site, and has removed numerous tanker trucks, truck hulks and over 2,600 drums of waste which were buried on the property.  Also, the contents were discharged at the site.   Approximately 900 people live within three miles of the site and get drinking water from public and private wells.  Roughly one-third of the site is low-lying wetlands.  The Delaware River, which is used for recreational activities, is two and a half miles downstream.