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The McAdoo Associates site, located in Schuylkill Co., Pennsylvania, consists of two areas: the McAdoo Kline Township (MKT) location, covering about 8 acres in Kline Township, and the McAdoo Blaine Street (MBS) location, occupying less than 1 acre in McAdoo Borough.

The original use of the MKT location was the strip and deep mining of anthracite coal, which occurred sporadically from the 1880s to the 1960s.  In 1975, McAdoo Associates acquired a 1 ½ acre tract comprising the western portion of the MKT location and used this site to reclaim metals from waste sludges by operating two rotary kiln furnaces and a liquid waste incinerator.  McAdoo Associates utilized waste solvents as fuel for the furnaces and incinerator.  This operation was closed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (now known as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection) in 1979 as a result of numerous environmental compliance problems.

Prior to 1972, the MBS location was the site of a heating oil and gasoline storage business that utilized five underground storage tanks.  From 1972 to 1979 the property was used by McAdoo Associates for temporary storage of various liquid wastes used as fuel at the MKT location. 

This site was proposed to the National Priorities List (NPL) on December 30, 1982, and formally added to the list on September 8, 1983. The Site was deleted from the NPL on December 13, 2001.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The Site consists of two separate areas: the McAdoo Kline Township (MKT) location and the McAdoo Blaine Street (MBS) location in the Borough of McAdoo.

McAdoo Kline Township (MKT):

In 1979, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (now the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection) issued an order requiring the closing of the MKT location. A remedial investigation (RI) at the MKT location was completed in 1984. The results of the RI indicated elevated levels of metals and organic contaminants in the mine pool groundwater underlying the Site and in the Site fill.

In 1985, EPA released a feasibility study (FS) report for the MKT location that focused on the contamination of soils and wastes. Removal of an above ground storage tank, additional soil sampling, and implementation of a mine subsidence study was performed at the MKT location by the PRPs from October 1988 through January 1989. Excavation and offsite disposal of contaminated soils in two areas was performed in May 1990. Construction of a low permeability soil cap and surface water drainage features was completed in November 1991.  On March 10, 1992, EPA notified the PRPs that all elements of the remedial action as described in the Consent Decree had been completed satisfactorily.

A second RI/FS was conducted in 1991 at the MKT location to evaluate surface water, sediment, and groundwater. Based on the findings, a ROD was issued in September 1991 that called for no further remedial action at the MKT location, and increased groundwater monitoring. Annual sampling and landfill inspections are conducted at the Site, and the reports continue to be submitted to EPA yearly.

McAdoo Blaine Street (MBS):

EPA conducted a field investigation at the MBS location in 1981 and collected liquid samples from four underground storage tanks.Than in 1982, EPA ordered the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to pump 11,000 gallons of waste liquids from the underground storage tanks (UST). EPA completed the excavation of contaminated soil and removal of USTs in March 1985.

In 1992, as part a focused feasibility study, EPA installed four groundwater monitoring wells and collected groundwater samples.

The remedial action (RA) began in March 1995 with the installation of five groundwater extraction wells.  After the installation of the extraction wells, it was determined that a significant pumping rate could not be sustained by pumping these wells either individually or collectively without the wells going dry.  EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) in September 1995 that modified the selected remedy.  The ESD specified manual extraction and off-site disposal of free product.  EPA continues to implement this remedy.

On August 15, 2001, EPA signed the Final Close out Report for the McAdoo Associates Site. A Notice of Intent to Delist the site was published in the Federal Register on October 3, 2001, including a 30-day public comment period. No comments were received and a final Notice of Deletion was published in the Federal Register on December 13, 2001.

Based on a recommendation in the 2010 Five-Year Review, EPA completed a vapor intrusion investigation at the MBS location.  The investigation determined that site-related vapors are not migrating to nearby residences.

EPA worked with the Borough of McAdoo to have a local ordinance created that restricts the potable use of groundwater to ensure the continued protectiveness of the remedy. The local ordinance was passed on June 14, 2011. Once the groundwater is cleaned up at the site, the ordinance can be lifted.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

Annual sampling and landfill inspections are conducted by the Potentially Responsible Parties (PRP) at the MKT location.  Reports are submitted to EPA yearly.

Annual groundwater monitoring and free product removal and offsite disposal continues at the MBS location.

EPA is currently implementing a pilot study at MBS to evaluate alternative methods to more efficiently restore groundwater to beneficial use. The pilot study  is evaluating in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) and in-situ bioremediation.

EPA has conducted several five-year reviews of the Site’s remedy. These reviews ensure that the remedies put in place protect public health and the environment, and function as intended by Site decision documents. The most recent, 2015 Five-Year Review (PDF), concluded that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment. All exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled. However, in order for the remedy at MBS to protective in the long term, an alternative groundwater remedy should be proposed to address remaining groundwater contamination more effectively than the current remedy. The next five-year review is scheduled for 2020.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.

For more background, see Institutional Controls.

ICs are in placed to restrict groundwater use.
Additional information about the ICs are available in the 2015 Five-Year Review (PDF) (on page 11)

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