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Record of Decision System (RODS)



Address:  RTE 54 
City & State:  NESQUEHONING  PA  18240
County:  CARBON
EPA ID:  PAD073613663
EPA Region:  03
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/ROD/R03-92/156
ROD Date:  09/30/1992
Operable Unit(s):  01
Media:  Soil, Sediment, Debris, Ground Water, Surface Water
Contaminant:  Metals
Abstract:  SITE HISTORY/DESCRIPTION: The 30-acre Tonolli site is located in Nesquehoning Borough, Carbon County, Pennsylvania. Land use in the area is predominantly industrial and residential, with 20 residences located within one-quarter mile of the site. Two aquifers, an overburden aquifer and a bedrock aquifer, are found below the site, the latter being a current source of drinking water. Site-related impacts appear to be confined to the overburden aquifer only. From 1974 to 1986, the Tonolli Corporation operated a battery recycling and secondary lead smelting plant onsite. Operations included storage, breaking, processing, and smelting of used batteries, battery components, and other lead-bearing materials. The site consists of a battery receiving and storage area, crushingoperation, smelter, refinery, wastewater treatment plant, above-ground 500,000-gallon wastewater storage tank, a rubber-lined waste lagoon, and a 10-acre rubberlined solid waste landfill. Four primary waste streams were generated from site operations and included slag from the secondary lead smelting process, which was disposed of in the landfill; calcium sulfate sludge from air pollution control scrubbers, which was pumped to the landfill; plastic battery casings and bakelite chips, which were disposed of in the landfill; and excess process water, battery acid, and stormwater runoff, which went to the wastewater lagoon to be neutralized and recirculated back into the lime slurry air scrubbers. From 1974 to 1989, the state, EPA, and Tonolli Corporation conducted various sampling investigations that showed elevated levels of lead and other heavy metals in the soil, air, surface water, and ground water. In 1985, Tonolli filed for bankruptcy and abandoned the site. In 1989, EPA's Emergency Response Program completed stabilization activities, which included pumping and onsite treatment of lagoon wastewater, pumping and offsite disposal of wastewater in the above-ground storage tank, excavating and stabilizing lagoon sludge, removing the lagoon liner, excavating the soil beneath the lagoon, backfilling and grading an illegal diversion ditch and the lagoon, repairing the perimeter fencing, and installing a mobile onsite treatment system for contaminated surface water. In 1991, EPA issued a UAO to 46 PRPs to operate and maintain the automated onsite water treatment plant to address the contaminated surface water that continues to flow across the site during precipitation events. This ROD addresses a final remedy for all the contaminated media present onsite, including battery piles, onsite structures, soil, sediment, ground water, and surface water. The primary contaminants of concern affecting the soil, sediment, debris, ground water, and surface water are metals, includingarsenic, cadmium, and lead. PERFORMANCE STANDARDS OR GOALS: Chemical- specific soil excavation levels are based on health-riskcalculations and include onsite lead 1,000 mg/kg and offsite lead 500 mg/kg. Soil will be stabilized onsite to meet RCRA TCLP levels, such as lead 5 mg/l, prior to disposal. Chemical-specific sediment clean-up levels will be determined during the remedial design stage. Chemical-specific surface water and ground water clean-up levels will also be determined during the remedial design stage and will be based on allowable NPDES discharge parameters and statespecified background levels, respectively. INSTITUTIONAL CONTROLS: Institutional controls in the form of deed restrictions will be implemented to limit the use of the land to industrial applications and prevent excavation or construction on the closed landfill.
Remedy:  SELECTED REMEDIAL ACTION: The selected remedial action for this site includes transporting and treating offsite approximately 13,000 cubic yards of battery wastes, including battery casings, iron oxide, sump sediment, and dust by resource recovery at a secondary lead smelter; conducting additional sampling and characterization of other waste pile materials effectively via excavating and characterization of all sediment and battery fragments in stormwater collection piping and onsite dumps, or consolidation within the onsite landfill; excavating and consolidating approximately 39,000 cubic yards of soil with lead levels above 1,000 mg/kg within the onsite landfill; stabilizing onsite approximately 7,300 cubic yards of soil with lead levels over 10,000 mg/kg, with consolidation of the treated soil into the onsite landfill; excavating soil situated in the residential area to the immediate west of the property boundary containing greater than lead 500 mg/kg; collecting confirmatory samples, consolidating soil into the onsite landfill, and backfilling both onsite and offsite excavated areas with clean soil; sampling to define the area and volume of soil potentially impacted by the site activities and requiring remediation; consolidating and, if necessary, treating approximately 2,020 cubic yards of treated sludge, 250 drums of melted plastic, and 210 cubic yards of excavated lagoon soil in the onsite landfill prior to closure; conducting additional sampling and completion of bioassays for contaminated sediment in Bear and Nesquehoning Creeks during the RD to develop appropriate clean-up levels, and excavating all sediment above the set levels from the creek(s) with consolidation within the onsite landfill; closing the onsite landfill in accordance with the federally authorized state requirements for hazardous waste, including removal of standing water from the landfill; upgrading the leachate collection system, consolidating materials generated during the remedial action within the landfill to meet the minimum grading requirements; application of the properly designed layer of agricultural limestone, and covering over the landfill with a low permeability cap; conducting a treatability study to evaluate the optimal application rate of agricultural limestone to provide maximum pH buffering capacity to the consolidated soil for this insitu passive treatment method; maintaining the cap and dewatering system, and monitoring ground water; collecting and treating approximately 2 million gallons of landfill leachate decontamination fluids generated during remediation, and approximately 16 gallons per year of contaminated stormwater using the existing onsite treatment system, prior to onsite discharge to Nesquehoning Creek; using monitoring data collected from the treatment system to determine appropriate discharge levels; decontaminating onsite buildings, dismantling of nonstructural components, with removal of equipment and debris offsite; disposing of drained nickel/iron batteries offsite; monitoring air; implementing measures to prevent runoff of surface waters, sediment, and/or contaminated soil or battery wastes into Nesquehoning or Bear Creeks; evaluating underground storage tanks during remedial design, any tanks that will impede the completion of the selected remedy (especially contaminated soil) will be addressed during remediation; treating the contaminated overburdened ground water by constructing a vertical chemical barrier, with possible injection of pH-adjusted water to enhance ground water flow rates; using gradient controls to prevent infiltration of contaminants into the bedrock aquifer; monitoring the effectiveness of the vertical chemical barrier and/or injection of the pH adjusted fluids; and implementing institutional controls, including deed restrictions to prevent excavation of the landfill and limit site use, and site access restrictions. The estimated present worth cost for this remedial action is $16,616,000, which includes an estimated annual O&M cost ranging from $35,300 to $35,600 for 30 years.
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