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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: International Steel Group (ISG) Tecumseh Redevelopment Incorporated (Formerly: Bethlehem Steel) in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

In January 2004,  EPA determined that the Human Health Exposures Under Control Environmental Indicator had been met, and in September 2016, the Migration of Contaminated Groundwater Under Control Environmental Indicator was met.   Since then Institutional Controls have been developed for various parcels under redevelopment.

Environmental Investigation and clean-up are proceeding in concert with the redevelopment and sales of individual parcels of the property.  Investigation and remediation, approved by both EPA and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) occurs before re-sale. As each of the parcels is sold, an environmental covenant is signed by the new and former owners, detailing the type of land-use and groundwater use controls appropriate for the parcel. This covenant runs with the land and binds each new owner to its restrictions.


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Site Description

Interactive Map of International Steel Group (ISG) Tecumseh Redevelopment Incorporated, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

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Located on the south side of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), Bethlehem Steel’s Bethlehem Plant has been in operation since the 1880s. Bethlehem Steel Corporation (BSC) closed its last operations in March, 1998. The site, part of which borders then Lehigh River, consists of approximately 1650 acres, on which are a coke production plant, steel iron making operations, finishing and forging operations, and a chemical plant. In May 2003, Bethlehem Steel Corporation went into bankruptcy and this Bethlehem Steel site was sold to an International Steel Group subsidiary, Tecumseh Redevelopment Corp. In May 2004, the Coke Works, Saucon, East Lehigh, and Greenway parcels were sold to Lehigh Valley Industrial Park, Inc, a local redevelopment firm and owners of several industrial parks. In 2004, Tecumseh Redevelopment sold Bethlehem Works to BethWorks Now. Tecumseh continued to own the 450 -Acre area. In 2004, a Dutch steelmaker, Mittal Steel, purchased ISG, including Tecumseh and the 450-Acre area. In December 2007, Majestic Realty Co. and Bethlehem Commerce Center Corp. purchased the 450-Acre area for warehousing.

EPA, PADEP and Bethlehem Steel Corporation-Bethlehem Plant (BSC) formed a team in 1998 to proceed with the clean-up of the facility. The facility is subject to Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action, however, BSC’s redevelopment plans hinged on obtaining a release from liability which is available for remediation performed under the Pennsylvania Act 2 Land Recycling Program. The redevelopment plan is designed to revitalize South Bethlehem, which has been in an economic slump since BSC started downsizing in the 1970's.

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Contaminants at this Facility

The primary location of soil contamination was the sintering plant, where lead and arsenic were found above healthbased levels. Also contaminants include Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional Controls on various parcel state that : the land many not be used for residential purposes, including homes, unpaved parks, day care centers, schools, cemeteries, agriculture, etc. Also, there is a "no dig" area at an elevated VOC area which restricts earth disturbance to address soil vapor concerns. Groundwater use is restricted to environmental monitoring and treatment.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The Site has an unused parcels and also reused parcels.

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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 with assistance from PADEP.

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