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Record of Decision System (RODS)

AUSTIN AVENUE RADIATION SITE

Abstract

Site Name:  AUSTIN AVENUE RADIATION SITE
Address:  133 AUSTIN AVE. 
City & State:  DELAWARE COUNTY  PA  19050
County:  DELAWARE
 
EPA ID:  PAD987341716
EPA Region:  03
 
NPL Status:  Deleted from the Final NPL
 
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/ROD/R03-94/181
ROD Date:  06/27/1994
Operable Unit(s):  01
 
Media:  soil
 
Contaminant:  Radioactive contamination
 
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 EPA Regional offices. Once EPA Headquarters receives the official abstract, this text will be replaced.

The Austin Avenue Radiation site is located on and near approximately forty parcels in Lansdowne Borough, Aldan Borough, East Lansdowne Borough, Darby Borough and Upper Darby Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Land use in the area is residential and commercial with some industrial properties. These parcels have been contaminated with radium and thorium-contaminated waste. The parcels are noted with their area numbers, in parenthesis, as follows: Lansdowne Borough---216 Wayne Avenue (1); 218 Wayne Avenue (2); 219 Wayne Avenue (3); 237 Wayne Avenue (4); 6 East Plumstead Avenue (5); 10 East Plumstead Avenue (6); 16 East Plumstead Avenue (7); 42 South Union Avenue (8); 133 Austin Avenue (9); site of the former radium refining facility at S. Union Ave and Austion Ave. (10); Upper Darby Township---500 Harper Avenue (11); 346 Owen Avenue (12); 310 Shadeland Avenue (13); 3723 Huey Avenue (14); Aldan Borough---64 South Clifton Avenue (15) East Landowne Borough---34 Lewis Avenue (16); 211 Penn Boulevard (17); 151 Lexington Avenue (18); Darby Borough---617 Pine Street (19); 619 Pine Street (20); 621 Pine Street (21); 623 Pine Street (22).

The Austin Avenue Radiation site is intertwined with a former Superfund site, the Lansdowne Radiation site, which was a twin house located at 105-107 East Stratford Avenue in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. A professor from the University of Pennsylvania developed a process for refining radium and set up his own business in his home basement. Waste was apparently dumped into cesspool systems in the immediate vicinity of the facility.

In 1963, the Pennsylvania Department of Health inspected the site and found extremely high levels of radiation. In 1964, officials attempted to decontaminate the house. In 1984, EPA and PADER found residual radiation contamination levels. In 1986, EPA issued a ROD which called for the dismantlement and off-site disposal of the house and contaminated soils. In May 1991, PADER detected elevated levels of radiation at the site. In June 1991, PADER and EPA conducted a joint assessment and confirmed the presence of radiological contamination at the site. In July 1993, EPA issued a Proposed Remedial Action Plan describing five alternatives for the 21 of the parcels.

EPA has conducted CERCLA Removal Actions at a number of the contaminated properties. The Removal Actions have included the temporary relocation of residents of several of the properties; complete dismantlement of the warehouse at South Union and Austin Avenues; dismantlement of the structure at 133 Austin Avenue; soil removals at a number of the properties; and removals of plaster, stucco, and concrete at selected properties. Additional Removal Actions are ongoing.

This ROD addresses the remedial actions selected for twenty-two properties within the site containing contaminated soil and building structures. Eighteen parcels have been, or are being, cleaned up under EPA's removal activities.

The remedy status for the media addressed in this ROD are as follows: Debris 1 is Final Action. The contaminated media volume/area associated with this site is not documented. Debris 2 is Final Action. The contaminated media volume/area associated with this site is not documented. Debris 3 is Final Action. The contaminated media volume/area associated with this site is not documented. Debris 4 is Final Action. The contaminated media volume/area associated with this site is not documented. Soil 1 is Final Action. The contaminated media associated with this site has a volume/area of 13,818 Sq. Miles. The state concurs with the selected remedy.
 
Remedy:  The selected remedial action for this site includes removing contaminated components from the residential structure located at 346 Owen Avenue and repairing the structure; removing contaminated structural components or completely dismantling residential structures on eighteen other properties followed by repairing or replacing the structures on those properties or relocating the residents; dismantling of an addition at 42 South Union Avenue and repairing that building and the adjacent structure; temporarily relocating residents during remedial activities; removing and disposing radiation-contaminated soils and radioactive demolition wastes at off-site permitted facilities; backfilling and revegetating remediated properties; replacing the storage building at 135 Austin Avenue; provision of an off-site structure replacing the building formerly located at 133 Austin Avenue; implementing institutional controls where soils cannot be removed to acceptable levels. The overall total costs are $36,642,250 to $38,581,200.
 
Text:  View full-text ROD [ 137K ]
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