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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Conewago Equities (Formerly: Chain Bike Corporation, Ross Bicycles) in Allentown, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

After prior removals of hazardous wastes and contaminated soils and several groundwater investigations at the former Chain Bike facility, the final remedy is complete and consists of institutional controls to eliminate exposures to any contamination remaining on-site. These controls require restrictions on groundwater use within the non-use aquifer designated by a municipal ordinance (Hanover Township Ordinance No.494, Bill No.2009-03) and deed notices (Document ID 7392402, Lehigh County Recorder of Deeds) on the Main Plant area barring residential or residential-type land uses of the Facility property and prohibiting groundwater use.

The Facility received a release of liability from Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) through Pennsylvania's Act 2 program on September 29, 2009. EPA's Final Decision of Corrective Action Complete with Controls for the Facility became effective February 3, 2010.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of  Conewago Equities, Allentown, Pennsylvania


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Constructed in 1969, the former 41 acre Chain Bike facility (also known as Ross Bicycles, Inc.) manufactured bicycles and metal ammunition boxes from 1970 until approximately 1987. Manufacturing processes during this period included metal electroplating, electrostatic spray painting, metal stamping, finishing, assembly, and warehousing. The Facility ceased these operations in 1988, but was purchased by Conewago Equities, LP for use as a warehouse. First Industrial Realty Trust bought the Facility from Conewago in 2007. The Facility presently houses several tenants.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Primary contaminants at the Facility included chromium in soil and groundwater and trichloroethene (TCE) in groundwater. As a volatile organic compound, TCE has the potential to migrate from groundwater in the vapor phase and impact indoor air quality. EPA terms this phenomenon "vapor intrusion" and all Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) cleanups require an evaluation of this pathway. At the Chain Bike Facility, the thickness of the soil layer, the depth to groundwater and low TCE levels effectively eliminate the potential for vapor intrusion into buildings on the Facility or in its vicinity. Other potential exposures to Facility contaminants have been eliminated by requiring institutional controls that prohibit groundwater use and restrict the Facility property to non-residential purposes.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    Municipal Ordinance identifying non-use aquifer area and groundwater restrictions within this area. (Hanover Township Ordinance No.494, Bill No.2009-03)

    Deed notices for Main Plant area barring residential/residential-type land uses and prohibiting groundwater use. (Document ID 7392402, Lehigh County Recorder of Deeds)

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

     The facility is being reused.

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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 PA DEP.

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