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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: American Nickeloid Company in Walnutport, Pennsylvania

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    Cleanup Status

    The American Nickeloid Company (ANC) has been under an EPA Administrative Order since 1993. Under the Order, American Nickeloid began implementation of remedies at the following areas: Chrome-plating area, Former Naphtha Tank Area, and the Former Surface Impoundment Area.  ANC is continuing to pump and treat groundwater from two recovery sumps and four wells.  Approximately 62.6 pounds of chromium were removed from the groundwater during in 2009.  The pumping of groundwater maintains a hydraulic barrier to prevent contaminated groundwater from entering the Lehigh River.  Quarterly groundwater monitoring continues at the site.

    As part of its quarterly monitoring requirements per the Administrative Order, ANC is required to determine if Walnutport Municipal Well #5 is running, and if so, American Nickeloid is required to collect a sample for total chromium analysis. Municipal Well #5 was not running on November 11, 2009, the most recent time the municipality was contacted.

    The American Nickeloid facility achieved a “Yes” determination for the Current Human Exposures Under Control Environmental Indicator (EI) in September 2002.  The facility achieved a “Yes” determination for the Migration of Contaminated Groundwater Under Control EI in September 2003 after it was demonstrated that the conversion of monitoring well B-2 to a recovery well adequately prevents contaminated groundwater from escaping the Former Surface Impoundment Area toward the Lehigh Canal.

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    Site Description

    Interactive map of American Nickeloid Company, Walnutport, PA

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    American Nickeloid Company is a specialty metal plating facility in operation since 1923 in Walnutport, Pennsylvania. The facility is located on 40 acres and is bordered on the west by the Lehigh Canal which is adjacent to the Lehigh River. Residential properties are situated to the south and southeast. American Nickeloid started its chromium electroplating operations in the 1930s. Over the years, the tanks, pipes and pumps associated with the chromium electroplating processes are known to have leaked.

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    Contaminants at this Facility

    The main contaminant in the groundwater is chromium from wastes at the Former Surface Impoundment Area and releases of chromic acid from the Chrome-plating area. Naphtha has also been found in the groundwater near the Former Naphtha Tank Area. Naphtha and chrome have also been found in the soil.

    American Nickeloid has closed the Former Surface Impoundment Area under the supervision of PADEP.   Soil samples were collected from various depths within the impoundments and berms in the summer of 2003 and  2004.  None of the samples collected contained chromium at concentrations above Pennslyvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) medium specific concentrations (MSCs).  Only one sample collected (sample no. C-13) contained nickel (673 mg/kg) at a slightly higher concentration than PADEP’s soil-to-groundwater MSC of 650 mg/kg). 

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    Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    The need for Institutional Controls has yet to be determined.

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

     The facility is in continued use.

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    Site Responsibility at this Facility

    Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 3.

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