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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Johnson Matthey - Riverside Facility (Formerly: Lonza Incorporated) in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

Environmental investigations have recently been performed on June and July 2010.  The Facility conducted a combined Remedial Investigation Report/Risk Assessment Report (RIR/RAR) – in July 2011.

Based upon a review of the historical use of the site, former steel manufacturing, some contaminants of concern (COCs) are the result of the previous operations at the site and not of the more recent pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Soil:  The demonstration of attainment is for the Non-Residential Site Specific Standard in soil for the following metals:  Arsenic and Lead which were identified during soil boring investigations in surface samples (0-two feet bgs.) in localized areas of the site above their respective direct contact numeric values. Since these COCs remain in soils, a site specific standard is selected via pathway elimination to eliminate exposure.  

Groundwater: Based upon the results of groundwater sampling conducted between July and November 2010, on MWs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 within the Remedial Investigation / Final Report the following COC, bis-2 (ethyl – hexyl phthalate) (BEHP) was detected in MW-5 above its non-residential GWSHS @ 7.3 µg/l during one sampling event.  MW-5 is  an interior well.  BEHP was not detected in any of the other site wells.  Based upon localized groundwater flow as presented within the Final Report, groundwater flow is in a radial pattern emanating from MW-5, an hydraulic high with a flow component to the east toward MWs 1, 3 and 4 and a flow component to the west-southwest toward MW-2.   With the predominating flow direction inferred west southwest toward MW-2.    The consultant identified and pursued the GWSSS which are attained via pathway elimination for COC Bis-2(ethyl-hexyl phthalate) (BEHP).  The groundwater exposure pathway is an incomplete exposure pathway since the Site is supplied with public water.  Distances to off site potable supply wells are greater than a minimum of 1,000 foot radius from the site. Based upon the information contained within a Non-Use Aquifer Determination (NUAD), which was submitted for the site as part of the RIR.

EPA/Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) is reviewing existing environmental information to determine if further investigation is required.  EPA/State will focus first on the health and groundwater impacts, if any, presented by the facility.                        

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Johnson Matthey - Riverside Facility, Conshohocken, PA

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The site consists of pharmaceutical manufacturing buildings, warehouses, tanks, piping, office building, paved areas, gravel areas and undeveloped and wooded areas. The wooded areas are located in the northern and southern portions of the site. The current site building were constructed in the 1980's and previously utilized for chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing by GlaxoSmithKline. Approximately 60% + of the land surface at the site is paved and covered by the site buildings with the exception of wooded areas and gravel- covered areas. The property is serviced by public water and public sewer.

The site was previously owned by Allen Wood Steel and utilized for steel manufacturing operations prior to the site's redevelopment in the 1980's and consisted of undeveloped land which consisted of slag and cinder materials. Other remnants of the Allen Wood Steel operations included concrete piers, and a cooling tower foundation. Previous to the Allen Wood Steel operations, the site and surrounding area had included other industrial manufacturing plants, steel coking facilities, quarrying operations. Due to the industrial nature of the site and surrounding area, coking process liquors which may have contained metals, including arsenic, chromium and lead and organic compounds may have been deposited onsite and within the surrounding area.

The site is currently owned by Lonza, Inc. who purchased the site from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and operated the site as a plastics manufacturing facility for pharmaceuticals through October 2010, when the site discontinued operations.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Arsenic and Lead in the soil and bis-2 (ethyl – hexyl phthalate)- BEHP in groundwater. 

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

The need for Institutional controls is yet to be determined.

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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

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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