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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Action Manufacturing in Atglen, Pennsylvania

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    Cleanup Status

    The Action Manufacturing facility achieved a “Yes” determination for the Current Human Exposures Under Control Environmental Indicator (EI) in April 2003.  The Migration of Contaminated Groundwater Under Control EI determination is currently being evaluated.

    The following Corrective Action work has been completed at the facility:

    • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation, Phases I and II, provided information on the nature and extent of environmental contamination at the site.
    • Interim Measures included the removal of contaminated surface soil from four waste management areas.  Post-excavation sampling confirmed that these areas were cleaned to safe residential exposure levels.
    • Supplemental Phase II RCRA Facility Investigation was conducted to complete the soil and groundwater investigation.
    • Action conducted additional groundwater and soil investigations to provide information needed to select the final remedy.  A final decision on groundwater contamination and other areas of soil contamination will be made after the investigation report is submitted and evaluated by EPA.
    • EPA evaluated Action’s June 2003. proposal for dealing with two areas where elevated surficial soil arsenic concentrations were found.   The proposal called for the installation of  high-visibility construction-type fencing around two areas in the near-term and a focused feasibility study for evaluation of remedial alternatives in these areas for the long-term.  Based on an EPA site visit in October 2003, it was agreed that fencing would not be required in the former Building One and Four septic leachfield area, since this area was difficult to access.  Action agreed to post signs in this area warning employees and plant visitors to stay out of that area.

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    Site Description

    Interactive Map of Action Manufacturing, Atglen, Pennsylvania


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    Action Manufacturing has operated as an explosive assembly facility since 1965.  It generates hazardous waste during the assembly of detonators, leads, ignition elements and fuses.  Past practices included the land disposal of waste material.  Soil and groundwater at the site are contaminated with explosive compounds, organic compounds and/or metals at levels above EPA’s Risk Based Concentrations for human exposure. 

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    Contaminants at this Facility

    The main contaminants of concern at the facility are RDX, an explosive compound, a few organic compounds and a few isolated areas with elevated soil arsenic concentrations.  Off-site properties are not impacted by the facility contamination.  Well water contamination, primarily nitrate/nitrite, at an adjacent residential property is believed to be associated with surrounding agricultural practices. 

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    Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    The need for Institutional Controls has yet to be determined.

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    The facility is under continued use.

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    Site Responsibility at this Facility

    RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 3.

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