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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Polymer Products Company Incorporated in Stockertown, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

An Environmental Indicator (EI) inspection was conducted in July 2008, to determine whether human exposures to contamination and the migration of contaminated groundwater were under control.  Although it appears that contamination from the facility is not widespread, further investigation may be necessary in order to determine whether both EIs are under control.

EPA and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) will focus first on the health and groundwater impacts, if any, presented by the facility.  Once EPA and PADEP completes this review process, an environmental indicator determination will be prepared and posted to this website. 

On  September 12, 2018, EPA determined that the Human Health Exposures Under Control  had been met, and on November 20, 2017 EPA determined that the Groundwater Migration Under Control had been met.

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Site Description

Interactive map of Polymer Products Company Incorporated, Stockertown, PA

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According to the Northampton County property records website, the property was developed in 1937.  Structures present at that time included two sets of railroad tracks, a commercial detached masonry garage, a commercial carport, two steel pressure tanks with a paved parking lot and a chain link fence (Source: Northampton County Tax website, 2009).  The Site activities and ownership in 1937 is unknown. 

Prior to 1974, the Facility was owned by Chemtron, a manufacturer of plastic products, which was headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.  Not much is known about Chemtron except that site activities included utilization of a nitro building.  The Site was purchased by PPG Industries, Inc. in 1974 and was used for the production of fire‑retardant concentrates and compounds, which were pelletized for resale.  The flame retardant pellets were mainly used for cabinetry needs.  This Facility also pelletized a non-dust form of pure antimony concentrate for resale.  From 1974 to 1984, colorant was used in the production process.  Prior to 1984, the Facility was involved in transferring liquid phosgene from one-ton cylinders to 150-pound cylinders for distribution.  Phosgene remaining in the vapor space of the cylinders was vented to an ammonia scrubber, where it was neutralized, creating a build up of ammonium chloride.  Blowdown was directed to an on-Site cooling pond.  The cooling pond was also used for recirculation of cooling water generated by the Facility.  The start-up date for the pond is unknown.  The closing date was December 1984. 

In September 1994, the Polymer Products Company, a branch of the PMC Group headquartered in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, obtained the Site from PPG Industries under formal Change of Ownership.  Tax records indicate that the property was transferred in 1995 from Polymer Products Company to Northampton County New Jobs Corporation (Source: Northampton County Tax Office, 2009).  The most recent record of transfer was in March 2001 from Northampton County New Jobs Corporation to Polymer Products Co., Inc.  It is not known if production continued during these real estate transfers.

The Facility currently specializes in the design, development, and production of plastic additive masterbatches and flame retardant compounds.  An additive masterbatch is a concentrate containing active ingredients that produce specific performance benefits in either the manufacturing process or the end product.  Products produced at the Facility include flame retardant masterbatches, stabilizer masterbatches, static dissipative masterbatches, ignition resistant styrenics, flame retardant polyolefins, and specialty masterbatches and compounds.  These products are utilized in a broad range of applications.

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Contaminants at this Facility

The facility was a hazardous waste large quantity generator (LQG) during the 1990s.

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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's future use is yet to be determined.

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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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