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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: MAX Environmental Technologies, Incorporated (Formerly: Mill Service Incorporated) in Bulger, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

MAX Environmental Technologies Inc. (formerly Mill Service) currently operates a passive seep collection system and actively pumps groundwater from three wells onsite to control the migration of contaminated groundwater from the facility. Leachate and contaminated groundwater from the two onsite impoundments is characterized by elevated chloride and nitrate concentrations, which are indicative of the treated spent pickle liquors that were disposed of in the impoundments in the past.  Sulfate, iron and manganese concentrations are elevated as well, but these contaminants are also indicators of mine water from the surrounding properties, and are therefore not representative of contamination originating solely from the impoundments.  Contamination appears to be limited to the shallow groundwater zone, and is not adversely affecting Little Raccoon Run, the stream that runs adjacent to the MAX Environmental Technologies Inc.   Groundwater contamination was not found in the deeper bedrock aquifer.  As both impoundments have soil covers, the concentration of contaminants in the groundwater has decreased over the past five years, and is expected to continue to decrease over time.  MAX Environmental Technologies Inc. will continue to conduct quarterly groundwater monitoring at the facility as required by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.  No drinking water sources were found to be within 1000 feet hydraulically down gradient of the disposal units.

MAX Environmental Technologies Inc. continues to work cooperatively with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to close the second waste impoundment. Closure of half this impoundment was completed in 2004 with the remainder to be closed in 2007.  As part of this closure, MAX Environmental Technologies Inc. will take steps to improve the efficiency of the in-place seep collection system, and groundwater collection system to control migration of contaminants from the facility.  MAX Environmental Technologies Inc. increased seep collection pumping frequency in 2001, at Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP’s) request.

Cleanup Background

Constructed from earthen materials, impoundment 1/1A lies in the southern portion of the facility and received waste from the start of operations at the facility until November, 1981 when it was closed. In 1979, a groundwater collection system was installed along the southeastern border of the impoundment and consisted of a 1600 foot french drain system to collect contaminated groundwater for treatment.  This system is still in operation today.

Impoundment 2 was in operation from 1981 to 1987 and the facility is currently working towards receiving final closure under the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) for this area.  Leachate and contaminated groundwater from this impoundment are collected by way of french drains and pumping wells in order to contain off-site migration of groundwater contamination.  PADEP approved a revised closure plan on March 18, 2002 that specifies final closure deadlines and approves revised technical specifications for the final cap and cover system.

In August 1991, PADEP approved the first phase of an application for a new hazardous waste landfill at the facility (Landfill No. 3).  However, at the request of Max, work on this application has been suspended.  In the interim, Max is authorized to store and treat hazardous waste generated on site, however they may not commercially manage hazardous waste from other sources until they meet PADEP requirements and submit a revised storage/treatment application to PADEP for approval.

In September 2006,  PADEP and MAX entered into a  Consent Order Agreement (COA)  and PADEP approved a plan to re-close Impoundments 1 and 1A by rebuilding the settled grade with residual waste, then installing a synthetic liner.  This seven year project will eliminate the continued leaching of contaminates into groundwater from these units.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of MAX Environmental Technologies, Incorporated (Mill Service Inc), Bulger PA

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The Max Environmental Technologies Inc. Bulger facility is located approximately 1500 feet northwest of the town of Bulger, in Washington County, Pennsylvania.  In operation since 1958, the facility used to treat, store, and dispose of hazardous wastes generated by the iron and steel, glass manufacturing, electroplating and metal finishing industries.  These wastes included lime neutralized acids (pickle liquor), sludge from the various lime neutralized metal bearing wastes, and waste rolling oils.  Many of these wastes were treated and processed before being disposed of in one of two onsite surface impoundments.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Hazardous wastes included lime neutralized acids (pickle liquor), sludge from the various lime neutralized metal bearing wastes, and waste rolling oils.

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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 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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