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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Emsource Electroplating Impoundment and Landfill in Saint Marys, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

The Stackpole facility achieved a “Yes” determination for the Current Human Exposures Under Control Environmental Indicator (EI) in September 2005.  Information from a draft Risk Assessment for the Southwest Area provided by EMSOURCE was utilized to support EPA’s evaluation.   On July 9, 2019,  EPA determined  the  Environmental Indicator Migration of Contaminated Groundwater  was Under Control .


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Site Description

Interactive Map of Emsource Electroplating Impoundment and Landfill in Saint Marys, Pennsylvania

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Stackpole conducted manufacturing activities from 1906 to 1992 at its St. Marys, Pennsylvania facility.  The company produced carbon and graphite products, organic bonded and ceramic resistors for electric operations, and soft ferrite magnetic cores for various electronic devices. EMSOURCE is seeking a release from liability under Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP’s) Act II Program.  The property has been divided into a Northeast Area and a Southwest Area.  A PADEP Act II Final Report for the Northeast Area was submitted to PADEP in February 2005.  The Southwest Area is not quite as far along in the Act II process as the remedial investigation/risk assessment reports have not been submitted as of yet.

Three ferrite lagoons, two electroplating wastewater surface impoundments and the Old Tannery Landfill have been Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) closed under Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) supervision.  Groundwater from these areas is monitored quarterly.

Stackpole is currently recovering groundwater contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from beneath Building 54 to prevent the migration of contaminants into the adjacent Elk Creek.  The recovered water is treated prior to discharge to the St. Marys Sewer Authority.

Another area of concern is the VOC contamination in the subsurface soils and groundwater at the former location of the Specialty Purpose Resistor (SPR) Building.  The groundwater plume in the lower aquifer system emanating from this former building location is directed to the west toward residential properties.  However, samples collected from the upper aquifer in the vicinity of the residential properties have revealed very little to no contamination.  Stackpole began monitoring the wells associated with the SPR Building plume on a quarterly basis in the summer of 2003.

As part of the investigation into the SPR building, survey letters were sent to about 80 property owners and/or tenants regarding whether wells were located at the properties.  Between 80-90 properties were surveyed and no active wells were identified.  Four properties reported to have continuously wet basements.  VOCs were not detected in water samples collected from those basements. 

There is a 1995 Buyer-Seller Agreement between PADEP, Stackpole, and North Central (current property owner) that states that groundwater beneath Stackpole Center is not potable and prohibits its use for drinking water without authorization by PADEP. 

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Contaminants at this Facility

 The primary contaminants of concern are volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

While there are no Institutional Controls, there is a buyer agreement that the groundwater on site will not be used for potable uses.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The site's future use is yet to be determined.

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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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