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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: WABTEC in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

The final corrective action remedy for the facility is complete and consists of institutional controls to restrict land use and groundwater use. These institutional controls are codified in two environmental covenants, which are accessible below. The Corrective Action Final Decision for the facility was issued by EPA on September 28, 2012.

Remedial activities at the facility were carried out under the Act two Land Recycling program, which was initiated with a Notice of Intent to Remediate in 2001. A cleanup plan was approved by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) in February 2008. The October 2010, Final Report summarized the remediation performed at the facility and demonstrated attainment of the Site Specific Standard. The Final Report also included institutional controls necessary to be protective of human health and the environment under the Site Specific Standard. The Final Report was approved by PADEP in December 2010. More information on the investigation and remediation of the facility can be found in the Statement of Basis.

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Site Description

Interactive map of WABTEC, Wilmerding PA

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The WABTEC facility is located on 35.2 acres of land nestled between Turtle Creek to the north and railroad tracks to the south in Wilmerding, Pennsylvania. The facility has manufactured railroad and mass transit braking equipment since 1890.

In 2002, the facility was divided into two lots. Thomas Real Estate Holdings purchased Lot 1, comprised of approximately 18 acres and one large building on the western portion of the property. The building is used for general warehousing to various tenants. WABTEC retained Lot 2, comprising approximately 20 acres on the eastern portion of the property and including the former Foundry Area and most of the Central Yard area.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Primary contaminants at the facility include heavy metals and chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  As part of the Act two remedial process, a risk assessment of the facility was conducted and submitted to PADEP in October 2005. The risk assessment concluded that vapor intrusion of contamination into indoor air and direct contact with contaminated soil were potentially complete exposure pathways. Results of soil gas sampling in 2007 suggested that concentrations of chlorinated VOCs remaining in areas of soil and groundwater at the facility were below acceptable levels of risk, and post-excavation levels of lead in soil in 2009 were reduced to levels considered protective of site workers. Institutional controls have also been implemented in order to minimize exposure to remaining contamination and be protective of current and anticipated future uses of the facility.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional controls prohibiting both residential land use and potable use of groundwater have been codified in environmental covenants for both lots of the facility that were recorded with the deed for each lot in February 2011.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

WABTEC continues to use Lot two to manufacture pneumatic brake components and related rail and transit devices. Lot one has been reused since its sale in 2002 to Thomas Real Estate Holdings as a warehousing space for several tenants.

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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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