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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Honeywell International (Formerly: Petrowax Pennsylvania Incorporated Emlenton Plant) in Emlenton, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

The Final Report for the former Honeywell International facility was approved by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) in November 2009; contingencies to this approval were satisfied and acknowledged by PADEP in February 2010. EPA issued a Statement of Basis proposing that Corrective Action was Complete with Controls in March 2010, and the Corrective Action Final Decision of Corrective Action Complete with Controls became effective May 3, 2010. This Final Decision includes institutional and engineering controls that were codified in an environmental covenant, and will require the Facility to restrict use of the Facility property and groundwater to prevent human exposure to contaminants while such contaminants remain in place.

 
 


 

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Site Description

Interactive map of Honeywell International (Formerly: Petrowax PA Incorporated Emlenton Plant), Emlenton, PA

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The former Honeywell facility is located in Emlenton, Venango County, Pennsylvania. The facility occupies 50 acres adjacent to the Allegheny River on the western border of the town. Oil refining operations occurred at the facility from the 1890s until 1980 under different ownerships. Petrowax bought the facility in 1990 and converted it to the manufacture of petroleum waxes. In 1999, Allied Signal purchased Honeywell Incorporated and retained the name Honeywell International. In February 2000, Honeywell ceased all production operations at the plant.

Since that time, all buildings, including storage tanks and refinery operational equipment at the Facility have been demolished except for a garage at the Hill Street entrance and a groundwater treatment system building. In 2006 the Facility granted an easement to the Allegheny Valley Trails Association to construct a recreational trail on top of the former railroad bed that transverses the Facility and parallels the Allegheny River. The remaining property at the Facility is vacant.

Primary contaminants at the facility included benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, trimethylbenzenes, arsenic, and lead. Soil, groundwater, and (to a lesser extent) surface water were the media impacted by the contaminants. Each of these contaminated media were remediated through several efforts, including excavation of soil, pumping and treating groundwater, a series of subsurface pipe removals, and the installation of a phyto-barrier of native plants and trees along the river bank to contain and degrade any residual groundwater contamination remaining. Since contamination remains in soil and groundwater above levels considered protective of unrestricted use, institutional controls were required to prevent groundwater use at the facility and limit land use to non-residential purposes.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Primary contaminants at the facility included benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, trimethylbenzenes, arsenic, and lead.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    The Institutional Controls on the facility include a restriction on the withdrawal or use of groundwater beneath the facility for any purposes; a restriction on land use to prevent residential, recreational, or residential-style use or occupation of the facility property (excepting the fenced Rail-to-Trail area that runs through the facility near the river bank); and a restriction on development or excavation in or near the Former Waste Disposal Area and an obligation to maintain vegetative cover and surface drainage features in this area.

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    The Site is unused.

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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 with assistance from PADEP.

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