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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: ANH Refractories (Formerly: Harbison Walker Refractories) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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    Cleanup Status

    As part of the Environmental Indicator (EI) inspection and evaluation for Current Human Exposures and Migration of Contaminated Groundwater, a comprehensive record search and review were conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protections (PADEP) and its contractor, Michael Baker Jr., Inc (Baker). This undertaking consisted of evaluating the Facility's manufacturing operations and waste management practices, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit applications, historical spills and releases, documentation of previous site inspections, RCRA closure activities and correspondence between the EPA, PADEP and the Facility.

    In April 2009, PADEP and Baker conducted a site visit. The visit consisted of a plant tour and information gathering to assess the current status of the Facility. No obvious areas of concern were identified during the visit. Historically, there appears to be no indications of spills or releases that have negatively impacted soil, groundwater, surface water, or air that would lead to adverse impacts to human health or the environment at this time.

    EPA determined that there is no unacceptable human exposure to contamination nor is there any evidence of groundwater contamination caused by the Facility. Furthermore, EPA concludes that there have been no past or current releases that warrant further investigation or corrective action at this Facility at this time. In November 2009, EPA issued a Final Determination that no further action or land use controls are required at the Facility at this time. The Facility continues to operate under the Hazardous Waste Storage Permit (permit number PAD083960286) issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) for the storage and treatment of hazardous wastes.

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    Site Description

    Interactive Map of ANH Refractories, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


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    The Facility was constructed in 1958 and is located in West Mifflin, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. In 2000, Harbison-Walker became a conglomerate of ANH Refractories Company (ANH) that includes A.P. Green and the North American Refractories Company. Subsequently, ANH renamed the Harbison-Walker facility to the ANH Refractories Technology Center. The Facility started operation in 1959 as a research laboratory that conducted chemical and physical tests on refractory clays and other ceramic materials. Presently, the Facility specializes on "post-mortem" testing of refractory materials, furnace lining, and testing of competitors' products. Only small quantities of wastes are produced from the tests, which translate to less than 1,000 kilograms of wastes generated and accumulated per month. For this reason the Facility is designated as a conditionally-exempt small quantity generator (CESQG) and does not require a waste storage permit.

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    Contaminants at this Facility

    EPA determined that there is no unacceptable human exposure to contamination nor is there any evidence of groundwater contamination caused by the Facility. Furthermore, EPA concludes that there have been no past or current releases that warrant further investigation or corrective action at this Facility at this time.

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    Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    Institutional controls were not required at the site.

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    The site's future use is to be determined.

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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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