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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Sechan Limestone Industries Incorporated in Portersville, 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.  In June 2001, EPA determined that both the Human Exposures and Groundwater Environmental Indicators have been met.

The Facility operated as a landfill from 1972 through 1985. All landfill areas and associated units were closed under the supervision of the PADEP.  The post-closure requirements were specified in the October 23, 1996 PADEP Consent Order and Agreement (COA). 

EPA issued a Corrective Action Statement of Basis (SB) in August 2016. The SB described the environmental conditions at the site and asked for public comments on EPA's tentative decision.  In September 2016, EPA issued a Final Decision requiring continued compliance with the post-closure care requirements of the COA, and implementation of land use restrictions through an Environmental Covenant to prevent human exposure to contaminants remaining at the Facility.

On August 9, 2019, PADEP determined that the post-closure care requirements of the COA are complete.  Therefore, continued groundwater monitoring at the facility is no longer required. 

The land-use restrictions required by the EPA Final Decision were implemented through two environmental covenants, recorded on 10/17/2019 and 1/13/2020.

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Site Description

Interactive map of Sechan Limestone Industries Incorporated, Portersville, PA

All waste disposal areas were former limestone strip pits that were lined with clay soil from the site.  The landfill areas and associated impoundments and sedimentation ponds operated under PADEP permits and orders since 1979.  Landfill areas A, A’, C-3, F, and G received only non-hazardous, lime-neutralized pickle liquor waste.  Landfill area C received both hazardous and non-hazardous waste.  Areas C-1 and C-2 operated under RCRA Interim Status authority from July 1982 until April 1985.   

All landfill areas were closed with waste remaining in place.  Closure activities were performed in accordance with the PADEP-approved plan and with PADEP oversight.  A groundwater pump and treat system operated from 1984 through 1988 to remediation contamination from area C-1.   

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Contaminants at this Facility

All contaminated material is contained under the landfill caps.  The closed disposal units are heavily vegetated with no signs of erosion.  Following groundwater remediation, groundwater monitoring showed no contaminants above the EPA drinking water screening levels.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

The following land use restrictions are in place for all landfill areas.   

  1. The areas shall not be used for residential purposes.
  2. No wells shall be installed on the areas unless the PADEP provides prior written approval to install such wells.
  3. The areas shall not be used in any way that will adversely affect or interfere with the integrity and protectiveness of the caps, unless it is demonstrated to the PADEP and EPA that such use will not pose a threat to human health or the environment and the PADEP or EPA provides prior written approval for such disturbance.
  4. All earth moving activities on the areas, including excavation, drilling and construction activities, shall be conducted in a manner such that the activity will not pose a threat to human health and the environment.  No such activities shall take place at the areas unless the PADEP or EPA provides prior written approval.

The restrictions are implemented through Environmental Covenants pursuant to the Pennsylvania Uniform Environmental Covenants Act, 27 Pa. C.S. Sections 6501-6517 (UECA).   

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The current and future uses of the landfill areas are restricted by the provisions of the environmental covenants.  The remaining facility areas has no use restrictions.

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Site Responsibility at this Facility

RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 3.

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