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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Hercules Resin Disposal Site (Formerly: Eastman Chemical Resins Incorporated) in West Elizabeth, Pennsylvania

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EPA RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility are being conducted jointly with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act (Act 2) program under the DEP/EPA Memorandum of Agreement. The PADEP Project Manager has the overall lead, while the EPA Project Manager provides support to address RCRA issues.

Cleanup Status

In November 1989, Hercules entered into a Consent Order and Agreement (COA) with PADEP to address areas of groundwater contamination.  Due to subsequent studies, an interceptor trench was constructed at the lower plant to prevent contaminated groundwater from seeping into the Monongahela River.  This trench is called the Lower Plant Interceptor Trench (LPIT) and has been in operation since 1990 with an extension performed in 1997.  A second interceptor trench was installed under the unnamed tributary running through the site to abate groundwater contamination and seeps entering the tributary.  This trench is called the Under Creek Interceptor Trench (UCIT) and was installed in 1995.


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Site Description

Interactive map of Eastman Chemical Resins Incorporated, West Elizabeth, PA

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The Eastman Plant is located on Route 837 between the intersections with Madison Avenue and Jones Street in West Elizabeth, Jefferson Borough, Pennsylvania.  It is situated along the west bank of the Monongahela River adjacent to Lock and Dam Number 3.  The majority of the site is developed with paved roadways, buildings, process equipment, and above ground storage tanks.

The plant was constructed in 1950 by the former Pennsylvania Industrial Chemical Corporation (PICCO) as an extension of the PICCO Resins Plant.  In 1973, Hercules acquired all facilities, assets, and liabilities of PICCO.  Hercules expanded operations in the early 1980’s with the purchase of a neighboring property including the current warehouse that was constructed in 1952.  After a joint venture with Sanyo, Hercules sold the Jefferson Plant to Eastman Chemical resins, a subsidiary of Eastman Chemical Company on May 1, 2001.

Hydrocarbon resin production began in 1954.  Little is known about the operations during this time period until Hercules ownership.  The Jefferson Plant, during the period owned by Hercules and now as Eastman, converts petroleum-based raw materials into different hydrocarbon resins, intermediates, and co-products that are utilized in the adhesives, graphic arts, rubber, and photocopy industries.

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Contaminants at this Facility

The 2004 Remedial Investigation Report indicated there are no Contaminants of Concern (COCs) in excess of statewide health standards for direct contact in soils.
Identified COCs in groundwater include:
  •  Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene(TMB); 1.3.5-TMB; 1,1-dichloroethene; 1,1-dichloroethane; cis-1,2-dichloroethene; acrolein; benzene; ethylbenzene; styrene; tetrachloroethene; trichloroethene; vinyl chloride; and o-xylene.
  •   Semi-VOCs – 1,4-doixane; benzo(a)pyrene; benzo(g,h,i)perylene; bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate; dibenzo(a,h)anthracene; naphthalene; and pentachlorophenol.
  •   Inorganics – antimony; arsenic; barium; beryllium; cadmium; chromium; lead; nickel; thallium; and zinc.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    The need for Institutional Controls is 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

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

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