Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

Once a municipal landfill and a disposal site for industrial and chemical wastes, the Ohio River Park Superfund site now hosts a 32-acre sports complex. The site lies on Neville Island, Pennsylvania, in the middle of the Ohio River. In 1976, Allgheny County received the land as a donation for use as a park. Allegheny County discovered the industrial waste during park development and returned the land to its previous owner, Neville Land Co. (NLC). Improper waste storage and disposal resulted in contaminated soil, sediment, surface water and groundwater. In 1990, EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL). EPA, NLC, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Allegheny County, and the local community worked together to return the land to productive use. Under EPA, state, and county oversight, NLC removed contaminated soil, covered waste with a multi-layer cap and covered remaining site areas with an erosion cap. After placing use restrictions on the property, developers began construction of the multi-purpose recreational center in 1998. The Island Sports Center began its first full season of operations in 1998. The Center includes a golf training facility, a fitness center, a restaurant, a covered golf dome, an outdoor site for soccer and baseball, a shot put practice area, a 5-acre building housing two Olympic indoor ice skating rinks, and accompanying parking lots and sidewalks. The 250-by-300-foot covered golf dome lies on a section of a 7-acre area covered by a multilayer cap. Another capped area supports an ice rink and a restaurant. In 2004, Robert Morris University purchased the property and added a new track area, a lacrosse field and a practice field. NLC remains responsible for ensuring the cleanup remains protective, as operation and maintenance at the site.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2018, EPA had data on 2 on-site businesses. These businesses employed 14 people and generated an estimated $633,000 in annual sales revenue. View additional information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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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.

Institutional controls are in placed to protect the cap, prevent residental development, restrict groundwater use and warn againist consumption of potentially contaminated fish. Additional information about the institutional controls are available in the 2018 Five-Year Review (PDF) (pages 6-7). 

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