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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: GBW Rail Car Services (Formerly: Watco Mechanical Services, Millennium Rail Incorporated) in Hollidaysburgh, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

On October 2, 2006, and October 10, 2009 respectively, EPA determined that both the Human Exposures and Groundwater Environmental Indicators have been met.

EPA published in a notice, in local newspaper detailing the proposed Agency decision of no further corrective action, and issued a Final Determination of Corrective Action Complete without controls on March 5, 2009. No further corrective action is required at this time at the Millennium Rail, Hollidaysburg facility.

Cleanup Background

The State, EPA and EPA's contractor (URS) conducted an Environmental Indicator (EI) inspection at this facility to on August 1, 2006.

At a January 24, 2007 meeting, EPA and Millennium agreed that current groundwater data near the former impoundments was necessary. These sampling results would be used to determine if the former impoundments were having any effect on groundwater or surface water. Millennium agreed to install and sample three temporary low flow wells between the former lagoons and Brush Run. The groundwater samples were analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOC's), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC's), pesticides/polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs'), and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) metals. In addition Millennium had the well contractor close and cap off well MW-1, which was in poor condition and could have provided a direct conduit to the underlying aquifer.

Chemical analysis of the groundwater samples collected from the three temporary wells revealed only minor concentrations of metals, and one hit of a VOC. Barium was detected in all three samples at concentrations ranging from 90 to 93 ppb. The Act 2 screening level for Barium is 2000 ppb, Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) levels for Barium are 7300 ppb, and EPA RBC screening levels for Barium are also 7300 ppb. Barium is commonly detected in geologic formations like those found under and around this location. One well had a hit for Acetone of 5ppb, which is well below the Act 2 screening level of 3,700 ppb, and EPA risk-based concentration (RBC) levels of 22,000 ppb, and there is no SDWA level for Acetone. Acetone is a common laboratory artifact, which may have been caused by inadvertent contamination during sample handling at the lab. There were no detections in any of the samples of SVOCs, pesticides, or PCBs. No groundwater sample concentrations exceeded SDWA, RBC, or PADEP Act 2 levels. After reviewing the sample results from the three temporary wells it appears that the former lagoons are not having an adverse effect on the groundwater or Brush Run.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of GBW Rail Car Services, Hollidaysburgh, Pennsylvania


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The Facility is located on Berwind Dr. in Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania on 65 acres of land. Brush Run flows along the northern border down through the eastern side of the site. The site was owned by the Berwind family from 1905 to June 1998 when the Hollidaysburg facility was sold to Millennium Rail, Inc. The Hollidaysburg facility has repaired and refurbished railcars since the 1950's. The facility has contracts with the petrochemical industry for the refurbishing of tank cars, hopper cars, box cars, and flat cars. The Berwind family began in the coal-mining industry in the early 1900's when it owned the Berwind-White Coal Company. The Hollidaysburg facility was set up to build and service coal cars. The coal car business lasted until World War II. During World War II, the plant was involved in the war effort manufacturing shell casings. During the 1950's the company expanded its operations to include the repair of train cars. Production processes at the site include cleaning and decontamination, mechanical and assembly work, metal fabrication, grit blasting, and lining and painting of rail cars.

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Contaminants at this Facility

No contaminants above levels of concern exist at the facility.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional Controls were not required at the facility.

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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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