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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Alcoa Fastener Division in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

This facility is one of EPA Region 3’s high priority Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action sites and EPA has determined that both the Human Exposures and Groundwater Environmental Indicators have been met.

The facility submitted a Summary of Previous Investigation and Conceptual Site Model Report to EPA and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) in January 2014.  EPA is currently evaluating this report to determine if any data gaps still exist and whether all corrective action requirements have been met.



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Site Description

Interactive map of Alcoa Fastener Division, Lancaster, PA

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The ALCOA Fastener Division, Lancaster Works facility manufactured products such as rivets, threaded fasteners, screw machine parts, and bottle caps during its period of operations from 1953 through 1987.  For the majority of that time period, spent process solutions containing hexavalent chromium and cyanide were discharged to an on-site wastewater treatment plant consisiting of pH adjustment, chromium reduction facilities, a clarifier, two sludge impoundments and a polishing impoundment.  ALCOA stopped its anodizing operations at the facility in 1985 and closure of the hazardous waste impoundments was accomplished and approved by PADEP in 1988. 

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily trichloroethylene (TCE) have been found in the groundwater in the vicinity of a former vapor degreaser.  The degreaser was removed in 1987 and contaminated soils were removed from the area around and beneath the unit.  A recovery well was used from 1998 through 2012 to keep the plume within the site boundaries and to ensure that the plume does not impact the wetlands and surface water tributary on site.  The recovered groundwater was treated at an on-site air stripper before being discharged under an NPDES permit to an on-site wetland pond and a receiving stream.  The recovery system has been shutdown on a trial basis since April 2012 to determine whether TCE and other contaminant concentrations would increase in the absence of further pumping.  TCE concentrations, after briefly spiking immediately after the shutdown, appear to exhibit a downward trend in the more recent groundwater monitoring events. 

ALCOA ceased all manufacturing activities at the facility in 1987 and all on-site buildings, with the exception of the air stripper storage building were torn down in 1992.  By 2002, the site had been redeveloped as the Red Rose Commons shopping center.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Impacted soils were removed from the area of the former vapor degreaser in 1987.  The facility has been fully redeveloped into a shopping center, eliminating the potential for direct exposure to any potential remaining residual contamination.  Groundwater beneath the facility is still found to contain TCE at concentrations above the maximum contaminant level (MCL) of five ug/l.  However, groundwater is not used as a source of potable water in the vicinity of the site and the present levels of TCE in the groundwater are not suspected to be of vapor intrusion concern.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

EPA is currently deciding the scope of institutional controls at the facility.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The facility is being reused.

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Site Responsibility at this Facility

RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 3.

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