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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Keystone Chemical Company in Girardville, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

The final remedy for the former facility is complete and consists of institutional controls to restrict land use and groundwater use on a portion of the facility property.  These institutional controls were codified in an environmental covenant recorded with the Schuylkill County Recorder of Deeds on March 21, 2014.  The Final Decision for the facility was issued by EPA on September 28, 2012.

An Environmental Indicator (EI) inspection was performed in February 2009, to determine if human exposures to contamination and migration of contaminated groundwater are under control at the former Keystone Chemical facility.  Remedial efforts since the facility’s closure in 1986 have focused on proper closure of Impoundment A and groundwater monitoring primarily for hazardous inorganic contaminants leaching from the impoundment.  In March 1993, the facility obtained clean closure certification from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP).  EPA determined that both EIs were under control at the facility after a May 2011, site visit.  More information on the investigation and remediation of the facility can be found in the Statement of Basis.

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Site Description

Interactive map of Keystone Chemical Company, Girardville PA

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The former Keystone Chemical facility was originally used for the disposal of coal refuse and was also mined for coal in the 1970s.  In 1978 the facility was leased to Keystone Chemical, who operated a waste oil recovery operation and a landfill (Impoundment A) for the disposal of stabilized sludge.  The facility was sold to Van Dexter Manufacturing in 1982, who continued to operate the facility under the Keystone Chemical name.  All operations ceased at the facility in 1986.  All operational structures were demolished, wastes deposited in impoundment A were removed, and the impoundment was closed.  The facility is currently vacant and owned by the Trustees of the Estate of Stephen Girard.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Primary contaminants at the facility included heavy metals from the stabilized sludge deposited in Impoundment A and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the waste oil recovery operation.  Sludges and waste material were subsequently removed from Impoundment A during closure of the facility, and VOCs were not detected above protective levels in groundwater samples taken by PADEP in 1992.  PADEP determined that elevated concentrations of iron, manganese, and sulfate detected in groundwater beneath a portion of the facility were likely a result of acid mine drainage from surrounding areas; however, an institutional control prohibiting groundwater use is required to prevent exposure to contamination.  An institutional control prohibiting residential use of a portion of the property is also required unless or until a residential cleanup standard is demonstrated throughout the facility property.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional controls prohibiting both residential use and groundwater use beneath a portion of the facility (defined in the covenant as the Environmental Covenant Area) are required as part of the final remedy.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

Although some areas of the facility near the railway are presently used as loading and transfer areas for nearby mining operations, the facility is largely 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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