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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Continental Can Company USA Plant 479 in Temple, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

EPA released a "Statement of Basis" for the Continental Can in December 2008. The public was invited to comment on the proposal that no further action be required at the Facility a public comment period which lasted thirty calendar days from the date this matter was publicly noticed in the local newspaper   On January 23, 2009 EPA completed the public comment period, during which time EPA did not receive any comments on its proposal that no further corrective action is necessary at this time. Therefore EPA has adopted the proposed decision as the final decision.



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Site Description

Interactive map of Continental Can Company USA Plant 479, Temple, PA

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The Facility is located in a moderately industrial region of Temple, Muhlenberg Township (population 16,305, 2000 Census), Pennsylvania. There are occasional residences within one mile of the site. Temple is part of Berks County, located in southeastern Pennsylvania. The actual town of Temple is situated one mile northeast of the site. The large metropolis of Reading, Pennsylvania (population 81,207, 2000 Census) lies three miles south of the site. A large reservoir, Lake Ontelaunee, is located three miles north of the site, and the Schuylkill River is one mile to the northwest of it. The rest of the area consists mostly of rural residences.

Continental Can Company, Plant No. 479 operated between 1975 and December 1989 under USEPA ID No. PAD 000 800 193.

The site is a 16,000 square-foot annex that was added to the southern end of the Myers Canning Company facility in 1975. The Continental Can Company rented the annex from Myers Canning Company from the time that the annex was built. Continental Can Company used the facility as a production plant for steel food-packaging cans. The cans were primarily used for packaging mushrooms.

Myers Canning Company sold its entire facility to Giorgio Foods, Inc., which asked Continental Can Company Plant No. 479 to vacate the premises by January 1990. Production at Continental Can Company continued until November 17, 1989, when evacuation of the premises began. The equipment and property of Continental Can Company were removed by the end of December 1989. The evacuation was not considered a closure, and no authorities were present to regulate the eviction of the Continental Can Company from the premises. The facility is now owned by Giorgio Foods, Inc., and the annex is occupied by Berks Can Corporation. Giorgio Foods uses the rest of the building as a warehouse. Continental Can Company is no longer in existence.

The facility is surrounded by a fence. A service road accesses the property from Pottsville Pike, and continues around the property, accessing the annex from the southeast. Pottsville Pike borders the facility approximately 100 feet to the west and ConRail railroad tracks border the site to the southwest. The slope of the terrain at the site is not more than three percent.

The annex is approximately 125 by 125 feet in size and is separated into distinct sections. The entrance door is on the south wall near the southeastern corner of the building. Immediately inside the door and to the east is the office area. The southern area of the annex was used by Continental Can Company to store raw materials and finished products, such as sheet metal and the actual cans. This area is currently used by Berks Can for similar purposes. The former and current production areas are located in the northern part of the annex. The area used by Continental Can Company for drum and chemical storage is now the location of Berks Can's air compressors.

The northwestern corner of the annex was the location of Continental Can Company's chemical storage and hazardous waste drum storage area. The hazardous waste drum storage area was fenced and secured and was clearly defined by signs and floor markings. The area formed the outline of an "L" in the corner of the annex. The area was located on a concrete floor along the interior wall of the building. During the Preliminary Assessment site visit in 1990, there was no noticeable diking or floor drain near the area, but a small access door, for removal of the drums directly to the outside, was adjacent to the area. A spill wagon, to aid in quick response to possible spills, was located next to the hazardous waste drum storage area.

Currently, all operations and storage areas of Berks Can Corporation are located inside the building.

The wastes generated at Continental Can Company during its operations included D001 (solid waste exhibiting ignitability characteristic), F002 (spent halogenated solvents), and F005 (spent nonhalogenated solvents). The waste included paints, thinners, solvents, and oils from the machines of the plant and the application of an internal paint stripe along a welding seam inside the cans. Approximately 80 percent of the hazardous waste generated by the plant was from the application of the internal paint stripe along a welding seal. The paint stripe aided in the preservation process after the cans were packed and sealed. This F005 waste stream included toluene, xylene, methyl ethyl ketone, and methyl isobutyl ketone. This waste stream was collected in a small bin on the production line, where the welding seam and paint stripe were applied to the cans. The bin was periodically emptied into 55-gallon drums in the hazardous waste drum storage area. The facility used precut metal sheets for the production of the cans and did not generate any scrap metal wastes.

Three to four 55-gallon drums of liquid hazardous waste were generated every 90 days and were removed from the site by contractors.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Based on information obtained during the file reviews and gathered during the site visit, it appears that there have been no spills, releases, or enforcement actions at the facility.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    Institutional Controls were not required at the site.

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    The facility 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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