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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Tecumseh Redevelopment Incorporated (Formerly: Bethlehem Steel) in Johnstown, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

In November 2006, EPA determined that the Human Health Exposures Under Control and Groundwater Migration Environmental Indicators had been met.

Cleanup Background

Tecumseh Redevelopment Inc. (TRI) continues to monitor and assess environmental conditions at their Johnstown and East Taylor Township location (known as the Riders Disposal Area) under the regulation of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). Several distinct disposal units at Riders Disposal Area including the Site four Residual Waste Landfill, the Electric Arc Furnace Dust (EAF) Dust Landfill, Spent Pickle Liquor Treatment and Disposal Area, Ferro manganese Landfill, and Hot Forming Sludge Dewatering Lagoon have been closed, or are in the process of being cleaned up under PADEP-approved closure plans or permit. Groundwater and surface water continue to be monitored on a regular basis.

Bethlehem Steel Corporation (BSC) wastes that were historically managed at the Facility include waste pickle liquor, lime-stabilized waste pickle liquor sludge, ferromanganese sludge and slag, oils & grease, acid rinse water, coal tar sludge, zinc ore leach sludge, EAF and other baghouse dusts, brass foundry waste, filter cake from the wastewater treatment plant. These wastes were disposed at several areas at the Facility.

The ferromanganese landfill (non-hazardous waste) was closed with a soil cover. The hazardous waste EAF Dust landfill was closed with a low-permeability cap. The non-hazardous waste hot forming sludge lagoon was clean closed by removing all waste, bulking and dewatering as necessary and disposing of the non-hazardous wastes in the Site 4 residual waste landfill. The Site 4 landfill has been closed with a soil cover and was capped with a low permeability geomembrane liner in 2005 and "re-closed" to reduce precipitation infiltration and impacts to groundwater and surface water. The hazardous waste spent pickle liquor treatment and disposal area closure permit has been approved, and the ferromanganese metal and slag are being mined under a state mining permit.

As part of the closure/post-closure requirements for these disposal units, the Facility continues to monitor groundwater, seeps and surface water as well as the condition of the final covers on the closed units.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Tecumseh Redevelopment Incorporated, Johnstown, Pennsylvania


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Bethlehem Steel Corporation operated hazardous and residual waste disposal facilities on approximately 220 acres of property they own known as the Riders Disposal Area in East Taylor Township, and Johnstown Cambria County, Pennsylvania, from 1967 to 1996. This facility reaches from south of the Hinckston Run Reservoir to within two miles of the northern limits of the City of Johnstown (a 6 mile distance) and it rises in elevation 250 feet above the stream bed elevation of Hinckston Run which flows south into the Conemaugh River.  Both rivers are degraded from acid mine drainage.

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Contaminants at this Facility

BSC wastes that were historically managed at the facility include waste pickle liquor, lime-stabilized waste pickle liquor sludge, ferromanganese sludge and slag, oils & grease, acid rinse water, coal tar sludge, zinc ore leach sludge, EAF and other baghouse dusts, brass foundry waste, filter cake from the wastewater treatment plant.  These wastes were disposed at several areas at the facility. The ferromanganese landfill (non-hazardous waste) was closed with a soil cover; the hazardous waste EAF Dust landfill was closed with a low-permeability cap; the non-hazardous waste hot forming sludge lagoon  was clean closed by removing all waste, bulking and dewatering as necessary and disposing of the non-hazardous wastes in the Site 4 residual waste landfill; the Site 4 landfill has been closed with a soil cover and was capped with a low permeability geomembrane liner in 2005 and “re-closed”  to reduce precipitation infiltration and impacts to groundwater and surface water, the hazardous waste spent pickle liquor treatment and disposal area closure permit has been approved, but closure has been delayed pending TRI’s plans to mine ferromanganese metal and slag around and through the disposal area.  A new proposal to mine through this area was submitted in 2006 with mining to begin in 2007.   As part of the closure/post-closure requirements for these disposal units, the facility continues to monitor groundwater, seeps and surface water as well as the condition of the final covers on the closed units.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Currently there are no Institutional Controls at the facility. 

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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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