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Record of Decision System (RODS)



Address:  201 STRUBLE ROAD 
City & State:  STATE COLLEGE BOROUGH  PA  16801
County:  CENTRE
EPA ID:  PAD000436261
EPA Region:  03
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/ROD/R03-95/195
ROD Date:  04/21/1995
Operable Unit(s):  01
Media:  groundwater, soil, surface water, sediments, fish
Contaminant:  Benzene, 1,2-dichloroethene, ethylbenzene, tetrachloroethane,
Abstract:  Please note that the text in this document summarizes the Record of Decision for the purposes of facilitating searching and retrieving key text on the ROD. It is not the officially approved abstract drafted by the EPA Regional offices. Once EPA Headquarters receives the official abstract, this text will be replaced.

The Centre County Kepone site (Site) consists of an approximately 32.3 acre property housing the Ruetgers-Nease Corporation, an active chemical manufacturing facility, and a portion of the Spring Creek water shed. The Site is defined as all areas impacted by contaminants originating from the Ruetgers-Nease plant, and currently includes all of the plant area, the area underlain by impacted groundwater, Thornton Spring, and Spring Creek from the Village of Lemont to the Pennsylvania Fish Commission Research Station.

The area immediately surrounding the Site is a combination of commercial, industrial, retail, and residential properties.

According to the Centre County Regional Planning Commission, the 1990 population in college Township was 7,620, with a projected population of 8,400 by 1995. Public water is supplied throughout the surrounding area by the Lemont Water Company.

The primary media of concern at the Site is contaminated groundwater, surface water, soils, sediments, and fish tissue which present both a carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risk to human health are the chemicals which contribute most to potential future carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks.

Since the beginning of operations at the Site in 1958, a variety of organic chemicals have been produced, many with specialized applications, including products and intermediates utilized in the soap and detergent industry, in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products, in the agricultural chemical industry, in metal plating, and in the manufacture of plastics. The primary organic raw materials used in the production of intermediates and products include, but are not limited to, benzene, methanol, perchloroethylene, tetrachloroethane, toluene, and xylene.

Two organic compounds of particular interest which were manufactured as custom products at the Ruetgers-Nease facility are kepone (chlordecone) and mirex (dodecachloropentacylodecane). Kepone was produced at two different time periods between 1959 and 1963. Mirex was manufactured at the facility from 1973 through 1974.

In the early 1960s, Nease began on-site waste disposal by utilizing earthen lagoons. On February 22, 1960, Nease was notified that a chemical odor was emanating from Thornton Spring. As a result, an inspection was conducted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (PADER) in 1971) on June 10, 1960 which indicated that the lagoons may be the cause of the spring odor. As a corrective action, a concrete lagoon was constructed in 1962 and in 1963 an earthen lagoon was macadamized with asphalt. These lagoons served as combined neutralizing and settling basins, where lime was added to the wastewater. The treated water was then sprayed on an open grassy area at the southern end of the Site identified as the Former Spray Field.

During 1969, several investigations of Site geology and dye tests were conducted by PADER to determine if water infiltrating from the spray field was impacting the water discharging at Thornton Spring. Investigations revealed that the spring waters were impacted by the spray field. PADER recommended the spray field be discontinued and requested Nease to schedule actions to prevent further discharges to Thornton Spring. Nease complied with this recommendation.

In May 1972, following a bioassay of the water in the lagoons, PADER ordered Nease to perform in-situ treatment of the wastewater and sludge in the concrete and earthen lagoons using a process called Chemfix. In addition, PADER ordered that the contents of the asphalt impoundment be disposed of and the asphalt and earthen impoundments backfilled. Nease complied with PADER's requirements for waste treatment and disposal by November 1972, and subsequently backfilled the asphalt and earthen lagoons. since April 1972, Nease and Ruetgers-Nease have disposed of waste materials at offsite disposal facilities.

EPA proposed the Site for inclusion on the National Priorities List (NPL) on December 1, 1982 and placed it on the NPL on September 8, 1983.

In October 1985, PADER issued a notice letter to Ruetgers-Nease requesting a Work Plan for conducting a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study ("RI/FS") at the Site. In May 1986, while discussions concerning the content of the Work Plan were pending, oversight of cleanup activities under CERCLA were transferred from PADER to EPA.

The RI and FS Reports were conditionally approved on March 26, 1993 and September 27, 1994, respectively. EPA developed the Proposed Remedial Action Plan (Proposed Plan) for the Site based on the findings of the RI and FS Reports.
Remedy:  The major components of the Selected Remedial Action for OU1 are as follows: extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater with discharge to the freshwater drainage ditch; long-term groundwater monitoring; excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soils; surficial soil sampling of the 15-acre Former Spray Field Area and the calculation of environmental risks; improvements to the surface water drainage system in the plant production area; engineering controls and hazardous materials management practices for surface water drainage; monitoring of surface water discharge from the Site; excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated sediments; fish tissue and stream channel monitoring; on-site and off-site fencing; deed restrictions; and, riparian area sampling, including the drainage channel of Thornton Spring, Section B of the freshwater drainage ditch, and downstream of Benner Fish Hatchery, and calculation of environmental risks. The second operable unit (OU2) will address the soils from the riparian-areas of Spring Creek and the 15-acre former spray field area, and sediments from the lower portion of the freshwater drainage ditch and Thornton Spring. EPA's decision regarding OU2 will be presented in a future ROD after the additional data has been collected and analyzed from these areas.

It may become apparent during implementation or operation of the groundwater extraction system and its modifications that contaminant levels have ceased to decline and are remaining constant at levels higher than the performance standards over some portion of the area of attainment. If EPA, in consultation with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, determines that implementation of the selected remedy demonstrates, in corroboration with hydrogeological and chemical evidence, that it will be technically impracticable to achieve and maintain the performance standards throughout the entire area of attainment, EPA in consultation with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may require that any or all of the following measures be taken, for an indefinite period of time, as further modification(s) of the existing system: long-term gradient control provided by low level pumping, as a containment measure; chemical-specific Arabs may be waived for those portions of the aquifer for which EPA, in consultation with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, determine that it is technically impracticable to achieve such ARARs; institutional controls may be provided/maintained to restrict access to those portions of the aquifer where contaminants remain above performance standards; and remedial technologies for groundwater restoration may be reevaluated.
Text:  View full-text ROD [ 217K ]
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