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Record of Decision System (RODS)



Address:  133 AUSTIN AVE. 
City & State:  DELAWARE COUNTY  PA  19050
EPA ID:  PAD987341716
EPA Region:  03
NPL Status:  Deleted from the Final NPL
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/ROD/R03-96/238
ROD Date:  09/27/1996
Operable Unit(s):  02
Media:  Groundwater, soils.
Contaminant:  Radionuclides such as radium, thorium, and uranium.
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 Austin Avenue Radiation site consists of approximately 40 properties in the municipalities located in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. All of the properties are within a 2 mile radius of the intersection of South Union Avenue an Austin Avenue in Lansdowne Borough.

Situated at the northwest corner of that intersection is a lot which was the site of the former W.L. Cummings Chemical Company (Cummings) warehouse. The Cummings operation is the suspected source of radium and thorium-contaminated tailings which contaminated the other Austin Avenue Radiation site properties. EPA also suspects that uranium-contaminated waste waters were discharged to the soil via cesspools near the former warehouse.

The history of the Austin Avenue Radiation site is intertwined with that of a former Superfund site, the Landsdowne Radiation site, which was a twin house located in Landsdowne, Pennsylvania. At that site, a former university professor, who also worked for Cummings, set up his own radium processing business in the basement of the home. In 1963, the PA Department of Health inspected the home and found with extremely high levels of radiation. Decontamination of the house was attempted but eventually EPA ordered the house to be dismantled and contaminated house debris and soils to be disposed of off site. Investigations led EPA to conduct studies at the Cummings site.

EPA testing showed that approximately 40 properties within a 2 mile radius of the site of the former Cummings radium processing facility had become contaminated with radium 226 and thorium 230. Cleanup actions at a number of the contaminated properties have been conducted; this includes relocation of residents, dismantling buildings, and removal of debris.

In the spring of 1994, a study of the groundwater was conducted. Soon after, EPA conducted a more extensive sampling of soils and groundwater in the vicinity of the former Cummings facility. A report on the study was finalized in the summer of 1995.
Remedy:  The selected remedy for this site is No Further Action.
Text:  View full-text ROD [ 31K ]
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