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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Cabot Supermetals in Revere, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

The final remedy for the facility is complete and consists of an institutional control to prohibit residential use of the property. This institutional control is codified in an environmental covenant, which can be accessed below. The Final Decision for the facility was issued by EPA on July 12, 2011.

In response to concerns raised by Nockamixon Township in correspondence to EPA from March 2012, to June 2014, including inadequate restoration and characterization following closure of the Facility, EPA ensured that the Facility removed remaining debris from a small area of the Facility and completed restoration activities to the satisfaction of the Bucks County Conservation District. EPA also directed and oversaw sampling of the former quenching pond performed by the Facility’s consultant in December 2014 and August 2015. Results from this sampling revealed slight exceedances of arsenic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in most sediment samples but higher concentrations of these contaminants in background samples taken upgradient of the Facility, suggesting that the former quenching pond was not impacted by industrial activity above background levels. As a result, in October 2015, EPA determined that the additional activities performed at the Facility were complete and no further investigation was warranted.

Several environmental investigations occurred at the facility in the 1980s, among which were a preliminary assessment and a site investigation that characterized soil, sediment, surface water, and groundwater. Further investigations in the 1990s focused on low-level radioactive slag that was characterized and deemed safe for unrestricted use in 2001 (this material was subsequently removed from the facility in 2006). Site decommissioning activities, buried drum and underground storage tank removals, and fire pond characterization activities occurred in the 2000s.  More information on the investigation and remediation of the facility can be found in the Statement of Basis.

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Site Description

Interactive map of Cabot Supermetals, Revere, PA

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The former Cabot Performance Materials facility is approximately 102 acres in size and is bordered by Rapp Creek to the north, wooded areas to the east and west, and farmland and private residences to the northwest and south. The property is currently owned by the Cabot Corporation.

The facility began operations in 1959 as Penn Rare Metals. Penn Rare Metals primarily extracted beryllium from beryl ore. The Kawecki Division of Cabot Corporation began purchasing interests in Penn Rare Metals in 1960, and by 1963 obtained full ownership. Cabot Corporation continued to operate the facility for the production of cesium, rubidium, and niobium alloys and high-purity germanium and tellurium until 2002, when all operations ceased. All but two buildings (an office building and a warehouse/garage) have been demolished, and the facility is currently vacant.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Primary contaminants at the facility included heavy metals and low-level radioactive slag material that was determined not to be of concern to human health or the environment (the slag was nevertheless removed from the facility in 2006). The 2004 Summary Environmental Report included a risk assessment that determined that the levels of heavy metals (primarily arsenic and vanadium) remaining in facility soils fall within acceptable risk levels protective of human health and the environment. However, since the concentrations of these heavy metals exceed Residential Soil Risk-Based Concentrations, an institutional control preventing residential use of the facility property is required.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

An environmental covenant between EPA and the facility was recorded in 2011 and includes an institutional control restricting land use of the property to non-residential purposes.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The site is unused.

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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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