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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Homer City Automation Incorporated (Formerly: FMC Technologies Incorporated) in Homer City, 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 September 7, 2011, Michael Jr. Baker, Inc. (Baker) conducted an Environmental Indicator (EI) Inspection of the Homer City Automation, Inc. facility, on behalf of EPA.  The findings of the EI Inspection are documented in a December 2011 EI Inspection Report for Homer City Automation, Inc. prepared by Baker.  Also presented in the EI Inspection Report is a summary of the information reviewed by Baker in preparation for the EI Inspection, including records maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and EPA.  Based on a review of the information presented in the EI Inspection Report, EPA determined that the Facility met both of the EI indicators on August 31, 2012.  

EPA’s review of available information indicates that there are no unaddressed releases of hazardous waste or hazardous constituents from the Facility.  EPA will be preparing a Statement of Basis (SB) for propose its remedy for the Site as Corrective Action Complete with Controls.  The SB is anticipated to be published for public comment in the summer of 2013.

Cleanup History

Prior to the change in ownership from FMC to HCA, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) was conducted by Bureau Veritas North America, Inc. (BV), on behalf of FMC, in April 2007.  The Phase I ESA revealed evidence of several recognized environmental conditions (RECs) including past industrial land use, the presence of historic underground storage tanks (USTs) (fuel oil and gasoline), the historic presence of a vapor degreaser that used trichloroethene (TCE), a former hazardous waste storage area, an area of disturbed land, and possible soil contamination in the area of the existing loading dock.  Based on the findings of the Phase I ESA, an initial subsurface investigation of both soil and groundwater was performed in April 2007 by BV.  A total of 32 soil samples were collected from 22 soil borings (to a depth of 10 to 19 feet below ground surface (bgs)) and temporary groundwater monitoring wells were installed in 15 of the 22 soil borings.

Based on the results of the initial subsurface investigation, an additional subsurface investigation was performed by BV in June 2007.  The investigation included the installation of an additional 24 soil borings and TMWs were installed in 10 of the soil borings.  In addition, 14 permanent monitoring wells (MWs) were installed at the Site.  The purpose of the additional subsurface investigation was to further delineate the extent of the identified soil and groundwater contamination and determine groundwater flow direction and velocity.  Concentrations of TCE and cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-1,2-DCE) exceeded non-residential MSCs in soil and groundwater samples.  Vinyl chloride (VC) and lead were detected in multiple groundwater samples exceeding their respective groundwater MSCs.  PCBs were determined not to be a constituent of concern based on non-detect analytical results from groundwater samples. 

On August 28, 2007, a Notice of Intent to Remediate (NIR) was submitted by FMC to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) in accordance with Act 2.  As a part of the requirements of Act 2, site characterization activities were conducted from April through July 2008 with respect to the RECs identified during the April 2007 Phase I ESA.  Site characterization activities included the collection of surface and subsurface soil samples, sediment samples, groundwater samples to delineate the horizontal extent of the soil and groundwater contamination and an evaluation of potential exposure pathways, including indoor air modeling with the collection of  sub-slab soil gas samples and fate and transport analysis.  The site characterization identified four Areas of Concern (AOCs) at the Facility that have contributed to subsurface (soil and groundwater) contamination: Former Vapor Degreaser (AOC 1), Former Hazardous Materials/Waste Storage Area (AOC 2), Area of Disturbed Land (AOC 3), and (4) West Central Portion of Site (near shipping/receiving and loading dock) (AOC 4).    

On July 24, 2009, an Act 2 Final Report (Final Report) was submitted to PADEP.  The Final Report concluded that the Site attained the Statewide Health Standard (SHS) and Site-Specific Standard (SSS).  The attainment of the standards was demonstrated through an evaluation of human and ecological exposure pathways, an evaluation of vapor intrusion, an evaluation of the groundwater to surface water pathway, fate and transport modeling, and land use restrictions via the implementation of institutional controls (i.e, March 16, 2010 Environmental Covenant).  On March 17, 2010, a letter from PADEP to MWM stated that the Final Report was approved and cleanup liability protection was granted to current and previous owners where the attainment of Act 2 cleanup standards were demonstrated. 

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Homer City Automation Incorporated, Homer City, Pennsylvania


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Homer City Automation, Inc. (HCA or Facility) is located at 57 Cooper Avenue in Homer City, Indiana County, Pennsylvania within a residential area. The approximately 21.11-acre property is developed with one large industrial/manufacturing building, two Quonset huts, three natural gas wells, and asphalt paved parking areas. Multiple tenants currently utilize the property, including HCA, Miller Welding & Machine Co. (MWM), MGK Technologies, Inc. (MGK) (an affiliate of MWM), EME Homer City Generation LP, FMC Surface Wellhead, and Rosebud Mining Company (formerly Parkwood Resources, Inc.). The property is bounded to the west by Two Lick Creek, to the east by Hoodlebug Trail (a former railroad track) and residential properties, to the north by residential and commercial properties, and to the south by Rosebud Mining and undeveloped land.

HCA exclusively manufactures Syntron® parts handling and automation products for use in assembly operations and production lines. HCA offers products such as electromagnetic drive units, custom tooled rotary and vibratory orienting bowl feeders, bulk supply hoppers, linear drives, bowls, elevators, conveyors, linear feeders, tracks as well as customized systems for specialized parts handling requirements. HCA serves industries including pharmaceuticals, plastics, packaging/counting, ammunition, electronics, cosmetics, hardware, and food production. Operations include laser cutting, shearing, forming, welding, machining, and assembly of metal stock. The property has been used for industrial purposes since at least 1912. The Facility was occupied by Prairie State Incubator Company (PSI) from 1912 to the early 1920s and was used for the manufacture of fuel-oil heated wood incubators. In the early 1920s, PSI became Homer City Manufacturing (HCM), a manufacturer of various wood products such as caskets and wood truck bodies. HCM's operations ceased in the mid-1920s and the Facility was vacant until the late 1920s when Iler Electric and Manufacturing Company (Iler Electric) occupied the Facility. From 1937 to 1955, the Syntron Company (Syntron) operated the Facility and manufactured electric hammers and bin vibrators. Syntron was purchased by Link Belt in 1955, which was in turn purchased by FMC Corporation (FMC) in 1965.

From 1965 up to 2008, FMC used the Facility to manufacture the Syntron® product line of vibratory conveyor system parts for the food and mining industries. In 2000, FMC restructured the company into two separate, publically traded companies; FMC Technologies, Inc. (machinery business) and FMC Corporation (chemical business). On December 29, 2005, FMC sold a 3.96-acre portion of the property to Parkwood Resources, Inc. which was in turn purchased by Rosebud Mining on April 1, 2010. On April 2, 2008, HCA purchased the former FMC Technologies, Inc. and operates under EPA ID No. PAD060689130 previously held by FMC Technologies, Inc.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Groundwater beneath the Site is contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE), cis-1,2-DCE, vinyl chloride (VC) and lead. EPA has determined that there are no unacceptable human exposures to contamination (i.e., contaminants in concentrations in excess of appropriate risk-based levels) that can be reasonably expected under current land- and groundwater-use conditions (i.e., industrial).

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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 Site is under continued use for industrial operations.

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Site Responsibility at this Facility

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 3.

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