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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: AVX Corporation (Formerly: Elco Corporation) in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

EPA sets national goals to measure progress toward meeting the nation’s major environmental goals.  For Corrective Action, EPA evaluates two key environmental indicators for each facility: (1) current human exposures under control and (2) migration of contaminated groundwater under control.  On August 19, 2010, EPA determined that additional environmental information was needed to determine whether the former Elco Corporation facility (Elco or Site), now owned by AVX Corporation (AVX), would meet the human health and groundwater environmental indicators. 

EPA’s primary focus for the Site is on potential human health and drinking water impacts, if any, presented by the Site.  From the Fall of 2010 up to the present, AVX has been cooperatively working with EPA to evaluate the Site under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action program and to determine the investigation and remediation objectives for the Site.  To date, AVX has performed a number of additional Site investigation and characterization activities, including a vapor intrusion assessment and the installation and sampling of additional shallow and bedrock monitoring wells. 

The most recent field activities performed at the Site were in December 2013, in accordance with an EPA approved November 1, 2013 Phase II Groundwater and Soil Vapor Investigation Work Plan.  The results of the December 2013 are documented in a May 20, 2014 Phase II Groundwater and Soil Vapor Investigation Report (Phase II Report) prepared by ARCADIS on behalf of AVX.  EPA reviewed the Phase II Report and provided comments to AVX in a correspondence dated July 23, 2014.       

Cleanup Background

In 1996, elevated levels of volatile organic compound (VOCs) were detected in the groundwater beneath the Elco facility building.  Environmental remediation was implemented at the Site in 1997 by AVX on a voluntary basis in accordance with Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act (Act Two).  Primary contaminants include cadmium in soil and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily trichloroethylene (TCE) and toluene, in groundwater.  

Remediation of the Site included the removal of soil and concrete contaminated with VOCs and the installation of a vacuum enhanced recovery (VER) system to remove TCE from contaminated soil and groundwater.  The VER system was in operation from April 1998 to December 2000 and removed 780 pounds (62-gallons) of TCE.  Following shutdown of the VER system, AVX performed groundwater monitoring and as of March 2013, on-site water quality conditions remained stable and in conformance with Pennsylvania’s State Health Standards (SHS) and Act 2 Site-Specific Standards.

In addition to the on-site remedial activities, a Deed Acknowledgement was executed in December 2000, for the premises and states that the site shall be limited to commercial or industrial activity, surface water and groundwater will not be used, subsurface strata and soils shall not be disturbed, and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) is to be notified before disturbing subsurface strata and soils.  In addition to the Deed Acknowledgement, the Smithfield Township enacted Municipal Ordinance No. 2001-4 in July 2001 which prohibits the drilling or use of water from a water supply well at and down gradient of the site. 

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Site Description

Interactive map of AVX Corporation (Formerly: Elco Corporation), Huntingdon, PA

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Constructed in 1961, the former Elco Corporation Facility used stamping and surface finishing processes, such as anodizing and electroplating, to manufacture metal electrical components until operations ceased on June 30, 1996. Electroplating processes at the Facility included copper, nickel, gold, tin-lead, zinc and silver. The Facility was purchased by AVX, a manufacturer of and supplier of electronic components in 1996. In 2000, AVX sold the Facility to D. Real Estate, Inc. The Facility is currently occupied by Seven D. Industries, LP, who manufactures vinyl window and patio door products.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Primary contaminants at the Facility include cadmium in soil and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily TCE and toluene, in groundwater.  

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

A Deed Acknowledgement was executed in December 2000 for the Site and states that the site shall be limited to commercial or industrial activity, surface water and groundwater will not be used, subsurface strata and soils shall not be disturbed, and PADEP is to be notified before disturbing subsurface strata and soils.  In addition to the Deed Acknowledgement, the Smithfield Township enacted Municipal Ordinance No. 2001-4 in July 2001 which prohibits the drilling or use of water from a water supply well at and down gradient of the site. 

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The site 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 with assistance from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

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