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Record of Decision System (RODS)

PUBLICKER INDUSTRIES INC.

Abstract

Site Name:  PUBLICKER INDUSTRIES INC.
Address:  3223 S DELAWARE AVENUE 
City & State:  PHILADELPHIA  PA  19148
County:  PHILADELPHIA
 
EPA ID:  PAD981939200
EPA Region:  03
 
NPL Status:  Deleted from the Final NPL
 
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/ROD/R03-89/073
ROD Date:  06/30/1989
Operable Unit(s):  01
 
Media:  SOIL GROUNDWATER
 
Contaminant:  VOCS, PCBS, PESTICIDES
 
Abstract:  THE PUBLICKER/CUYAHOGA WRECKING SITE IS A 37-ACRE, ABANDONED MANUFACTURING PLANT IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA. A CHEMICAL COMPANY LIES TO THE NORTH, A MARINE TERMINAL TO THE SOUTH, AND THE DELAWARE RIVER TO THE EAST. ALTHOUGH THE IMMEDIATE AREA SURROUNDING THE SITE IS PRIMARILY INDUSTRIAL, APPROXIMATELY 400,000 PEOPLE LIVE WITHIN ONE MILE OF THE SITE. FROM 1912 TO 1985, PUBLICKER INDUSTRIES OWNED AND OPERATED A LIQUOR AND INDUSTRIAL ALCOHOL MANUFACTURING PLANT AT THE SITE. THE PLANT INCLUDED 440 LARGE TANKS, STORAGE DRUMS, PRODUCT STOCK, CHEMICAL LABORATORIES, REACTION VESSELS, PRODUCTION BUILDINGS, WAREHOUSES, A POWER PLANT, AND SEVERAL HUNDRED MILES OF ABOVE- AND BELOW-GROUND PROCESS LINES. PETROLEUM WAS ALSO STORED ONSITE DURING THE LATE 1970S AND THE EARLY 1980S. PUBLICKER INDUSTRIES DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS AND SOLD THE PROPERTY IN 1986. EPA EVALUATED SITE CONDITIONS IN 1987 FOLLOWING TWO EXPLOSIONS AND A LARGE FIRE. TANKERS, PITS/SUMPS, AND NUMEROUS PROCESS LINES WERE FOUND TO CONTAIN FUEL OILS OR OTHER CONTAMINATED OILS. EPA INITIATED AN EMERGENCY REMOVAL ACTION IN DECEMBER 1987 TO STABILIZE THE SITE AND CONTROL THE THREAT OF ADDITIONAL FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS. EMERGENCY REMOVAL ACTIVITIES INCLUDED ONSITE BULKING AND STORING OF SOLID AND LIQUID WASTE STREAMS; DISPOSING OF HIGHLY REACTIVE LABORATORY WASTES AND CYLINDERS OFFSITE; CRUSHING APPROXIMATELY 3,100 EMPTIED DRUMS; WRAPPING OVERHEAD PIPELINES INSULATED WITH ASBESTOS; AND IMPLEMENTING A 24-HOUR FIRE AND SECURITY WATCH. ACCORDING TO EPA ESTIMATES, OVER ONE MILLION GALLONS OF BULKED WASTE MATERIALS REMAIN ONSITE STORED IN DILAPIDATED TANKS AND DRUMS. TWELVE WASTE STREAMS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED, INCLUDING BASE NEUTRAL LIQUIDS AND SOLIDS, ORGANIC LIQUIDS AND SOLIDS, OXIDIZING LIQUIDS AND SOLIDS, WATER REACTIVES, CHLORIDES, CRUSHED EMPTY METAL DRUMS, AND CONTAMINATED OILS. THIS REMEDIAL ACTION IS DESIGNED TO STABILIZE THE SITE AND ENABLE CONTINUED SITE CLEANUP OF SOIL, GROUND WATER, AND ASBESTOS. THE PRIMARY CONTAMINANTS OF CONCERN AFFECTING THE SOIL AND GROUND WATER ARE VOCS, AND OTHER ORGANICS INCLUDING PCBS AND PESTICIDES.

THE SELECTED REMEDIAL ACTION FOR THIS SITE INCLUDES OFFSITE TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL OF THE VARIOUS WASTE STREAMS IN RCRA-PERMITTED FACILITIES; DEMOLITION OF ABOVE-GROUND PROCESS LINES, WITH PROPER PACKAGING OF CONTAMINATED INSULATION AND ONSITE STORAGE PENDING DISPOSITION IN A SUBSEQUENT REMEDIAL ACTION; AND OFFSITE DISPOSAL OF HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS RECOVERED FROM WITHIN THE LINES. THE ESTIMATED CAPITAL COST FOR THIS REMEDIAL ACTION IS $13,900,000; THERE ARE NO O&M COSTS.
 
Remedy:  THIS INITIAL OPERABLE UNIT WAS DEVELOPED TO PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT BY ELIMINATING THE PRESENT THREAT OF FIRE AND/OR EXPLOSION AS A RESULT OF KNOWN POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS AND OTHER CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS ON-SITE. THE SELECTED REMEDIAL ACTION WILL ENABLE THE SITE CLEANUP, WHICH BEGAN AS A REMOVAL ACTION, TO CONTINUE, UTILIZING REMEDIAL PROGRAM FUNDING IN PLACE OF EMERGENCY REMOVAL PROGRAM DOLLARS. BULKED HAZARDOUS/FLAMMABLE WASTE STREAMS WILL BE TRANSPORTED OFF-SITE AND WILL UNDERGO TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL AT PERMITTED RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY ACT (RCRA) FACILITIES.

SUBSEQUENT INVESTIGATIONS INTO OTHER OPERABLE UNITS ADDRESSING THE SOIL, GROUND WATER AND ASBESTOS CONTAMINATION AT THE SITE WILL BE FORTHCOMING.

THE MAJOR COMPONENTS OF THE SELECTED REMEDY ARE AS FOLLOWS;

* TRANSPORTATION AND OFF-SITE DISPOSAL OF THE KNOWN REMAINING ON-SITE WASTE STREAMS TO PERMITTED RCRA FACILITIES.
* DEMOLITION OF ABOVE-GRADE PROCESS LINES THAT TRAVERSE THE SITE. THIS MAY INCLUDE THE RECOVERY OF UNKNOWN HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS AND THE REMOVAL OF PIPE INSULATION MATERIALS SUCH AS ASBESTOS-CONTAINING MATERIALS. DISMANTLED PROCESS LINES WILL REMAIN ON-SITE UNTIL FUTURE SITE REMEDIAL ACTIONS ARE PERFORMED.
* PROPER PACKAGING OF THE INSULATION MATERIALS REMOVED FROM THE PROCESS LINES. INSULATION MATERIALS, INCLUDING ASBESTOS, WILL BE PROPERLY STORED ON-SITE UNTIL FUTURE SITE REMEDIAL ACTIONS ARE PERFORMED.
* TRANSPORTATION AND OFF-SITE DISPOSAL OF HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS RECOVERED FROM WITHIN THE PROCESS LINES TO PERMITTED RCRA FACILITIES.
 
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