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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: PennEngineering in Danboro, Pennsylvania

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On March 31, 2014, the facility entered into EPA’s One Cleanup Program which provides Pennsylvania facilities with corrective action obligations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to complete federal corrective action and, concurrently, receive a liability release from Pennsylvania under Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Program.

Cleanup Status

An Environmental Indicator (EI) inspection was conducted in 2011 to determine whether human exposures to contamination and the migration of contaminated groundwater are under control. Based on this inspection and additional investigations conducted at the facility through 2015, EPA determined that the facility met the human exposures EI in September 2015; and in September 2019, EPA determined that the  facility met the migration of contaminated groundwater EI.  

After a July 2013, EPA evaluation of off-site groundwater wells near the facility showed contamination of chlorinated volatile organic compounds and 1,4-dioxane in one non-operational well in the mobile home park immediately south of the facility, phased site-wide investigations of the facility were undertaken to determine the source, nature, and extent of contamination. Each phase of the investigation builds upon previous phases and is reviewed by EPA and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and modified as necessary. Once an adequate conceptual site model can be developed based on results of the phased investigations, they will serve as the basis of a comprehensive remedial investigation of the facility.

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Site Description

Interactive map of PennEngineering, Danboro, PA

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PennEngineering has owned and operated the Facility since 1950, when it purchased the 120-acre property which was farmland at that time.  The developed portion of the property only utilizes 13 acres.  From 1950 through 2000, the Facility operated as Penn Engineering and Manufacturing Corporation, changing its name to PennEngineering in 2000.

PennEngineering is an active manufacturer of self-cinching fasteners for a variety of industries, including electronics, computers, data/telecommunications, medical, automotive, marine, and aircraft.  Manufacturing operations include machining operations, passivation of stainless steel, and heat treatment of parts.    

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Contaminants at this Facility

Primary contaminants at the facility include 1,1,1-trichloroethane and its degradation products (1,1-dichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethene, and vinyl chloride), and 1,4-dioxane. Groundwater and, to a lesser extent, soil have been impacted by the contaminants. Potential exposure to this contamination could occur via ingestion since groundwater is used as a potable water source in the vicinity of the facility; however, sampling of all known wells in the vicinity of the facility showed contamination above Maximum Contaminant Levels in only one well, which is non-operational and will not be used for potable purposes. No other potential routes of exposure to contamination from the facility are expected to be significant.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

It is likely that an institutional control prohibiting groundwater use beneath the facility will be required as part of the final remedy.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The site is under 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 EPA Region 3 with assistance from PADEP.

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