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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Imperial Metal and Chemical Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

EPA released a  Corrective  Action Statement of Basis for the Imperial Metal and Chemical Company on August 15, 2013. The public was invited to comment on the proposal that corrective action remedy with controls at the  facility during a public comment period which lasted thiry calendar days from the date this matter was publicly noticed in a local newspaper . On September 16 , EPA completed the public comment period, during which time EPA did not receive any comments on its proposal so the Corrective Action Remedy at the site included Institutional Controls restricting land use and groundwater use.

Cleanup Background

A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) was conducted by contractor GZA Environmental Inc. in 2005 at the property. During the site reconnaissance, petroleum staining was observed on the basement floor of the IHOP, and LNAPL was observed in the basement sumps. GZA initiated Phase 2 intrusive investigation activities in 2005/2006 during which six soil samples (including a duplicate sample collected at SB-2) were collected from the boreholes of the monitoring wells installed onsite. The soil samples were collected from intervals exhibiting elevated photo ionization detector (PID) readings, and/or visible/olfactory evidence of fuel oil impact and were analyzed for Semi volatile Organic Compounds (SVOCs) and diesel range organic (DRO). GZA initially compared the results to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) non-residential used aquifer soil MSCs, and then later compared them to the residential used aquifer soil MSCs. None of the detected SVOCs were above either the residential or non-residential MSCs. GZA had demonstrated attainment of the residential statewide health standard for soils containing SVOCs, and PADEP granted liability relief to Imperial/Aramingo for SVOCs in soils in January 2011.

Groundwater investigations were completed by facility/owners between 2006 and 2010. Phase 2 subsurface investigation activities at the facility property included:

  • Sampling of apparent petroleum product contained in two sumps in the IHOP basement
  • Installation of nine well points (corings through the basement floor) to evaluate assess the possible occurrence of free product beneath the IHOP basement floor (Note: the well points were used to measure the thickness of any free product floating on the groundwater beneath the floor – no soil, groundwater, or product samples were collected from the well points)
  • Collection of soil samples from the boreholes of four groundwater monitoring wells installed along the East Tioga Street portion of the property
  • Collection of groundwater samples from the monitoring wells and beneath the petroleum product in one of the basement sumps

Groundwater samples collected from the four groundwater monitoring wells and the from beneath the petroleum product in the front sump were analyzed for target compound list (TCL) SVOCs, DRO, total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), and iron (sump only), as well as oil and grease, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and total suspended solids (TSS). The results were compared to the PADEP non-residential, TDS less than or equal to 2,500 mg/L, used-aquifer MSCs. For the monitoring well groundwater samples, the following SVOCs, DRO, and TPH concentrations were detected. The concentrations were below the MSCs, with the exception of bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate which was detected at above the MSC in sample MW-4. The highest detected concentrations were reported in sample MW-4, which was the closest monitoring well to Tioga Fuel.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Imperial Metal and Chemical Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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The facility is located at 3400 Aramingo Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The facility was situated on approximately 3.5 acres of land.

Imperial operated as a large quantity generator of hazardous waste under USEPA ID number PAD070283023.  The facility manufactured type metal, and zinc and magnesium plates for the graphic arts industry.  It later began manufacturing lithographic plates (flat, thin-gauge aluminum sheets with specially prepared surfaces and photosensitive coatings) when the use of type metal was phased out.  The facility also reclaimed quantities of tin from type metal dross accepted from its customers. 

The Aramingo Avenue facility was operational from at least 1930 until 1986.  In 1986, the facility phased out its type metal manufacturing operation and moved its lithographic plates manufacturing operation to 2050 Byberry Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The Aramingo Avenue facility was closed in 1986.  The Byberry Road facility was operated under a separate USEPA ID number.  Imperial no longer operates at either location.  The former Aramingo Avenue facility was demolished in 1987, and Imperial Plaza Shopping Center (Plaza) now operates at this address.

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    Contaminants at this Facility

    The concentrations were below the compounds in groundwater with the exception of bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate.

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    Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

    Institutional Controls restrict the use of land and groundwater and are enforced via environmental covenant (deed restriction).

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    The site is being reused.

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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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