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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Safety-Kleen Systems Incorporated in Erie, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

EPA issued a Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (HSWA) portion of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action permit to the Safety-Kleen Corporation, Erie, Pennsylvania facility on December 14, 1992. Based on the clean-up activities and subsequent facility investigation the Corrective Action portion of the RCRA permit was terminated on May 3, 1998. At that time the HSWA permit was no longer necessary to protect human health and the environment. The operational permit was issued to the Safety-Kleen Corporation by Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) on November 6, 1992; its expiration date was November 6, 2002.

The Environmental Indicators (EIs) were completed on August 22,2002.  The two EIs are called "Current Human Exposures Under Control" and "Migration of Contaminated Groundwater Under Control." The EIs completed reflect the decision of Corrective Action Complete without Controls and have status codes of “Yes, Under Control” for both.

Cleanup Background

The portion of the EPA Corrective Action permit issued to the Safety-Kleen facility on December 14, 1992 required a RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) for the soils and groundwater. In September 1993, underground storage tanks were removed. According to soil sampling analytical results dated August of 1993, the concentration of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) as diesel fuel in the soil borings ranged from less than 10 mg/kg to 350 mg/kg. TPH as lubricating oil was detected in all samples at concentrations between 44 mg/kg and 310 mg/kg. Discrete soil samples did not contain detectable concentrations of leachable metals. Composite samples from borings did contain detectable concentrations of leachable lead from 5.8 mg/L to 13 mg/L. However, lead and cadmium wastes were never handled at the facility.

Groundwater at the Safety-Kleen facility is very shallow: from 2.33 to 5.23 feet in depth. The groundwater flows to the northwest. Groundwater monitoring wells at the facility have been sampled on five separate occasions. EPA contractors and a facility representative sampled the groundwater in March 1997. Samples from the five on-site groundwater monitoring wells were analyzed for cadmium and lead (total), cadmium and lead (dissolved), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), TPH, lube oil, mineral spirits, and diesel oil. Groundwater monitoring results indicate no detectable levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Low levels, below 5 parts per million (ppm), of mineral spirits, diesel fuel, and lube oil have been found in three monitoring wells. Groundwater was also sampled for dissolved lead and cadmium. Low levels of dissolved lead were discovered in 3 out of 20 samples. According to the EPA's contractor's sampling, "no samples exceeded drinking water standards." Groundwater samples were tested for total lead and cadmium; and levels were noticeably higher, particularly in one up-gradient well. This test measures lead and cadmium contributed by soil particles as well as the metal "dissolved" into the water. EPA believes these results are due to the industrial nature of the plant vicinity and the likelihood that foundry sands were used as fill throughout the area. These results were also consistent with other investigations completed by EPA's CERCLA program and PADEP for eight neighboring parcels: Baldwin/Pontillo Landfill, Lakeview Forge Landfill, Zurn Industries Incorporation, Steris Corporation (formerly AMSCO or American Sterilizer Co.), Currie Site, Kimmel Site, Lincoln Site, Filmore Site, and Millcreek Dump (these sites also have the status of no further action as designated by the Superfund program).

On September 24, 1996, EPA issued a memorandum addressing "Coordination between RCRA Corrective Action and Closure and CERCLA Site Activities." In this document, EPA outlined its policy to avoid occurrences of redundant remediation projects between the RCRA and Superfund programs. In this case, "cleanup under RCRA corrective action or CERCLA will substantively satisfy the requirements of both programs. In most situations, the expectation is that no further cleanup will be required under the deferring program. Similarly, a remedy that is acceptable under one program should be presumed to meet the standards of the other."

EPA believes the contamination resulting from the former underground storage tanks has been cleaned up and the Safety-Kleen facility has completed corrective action. No further action was recommended for the Safety-Kleen Service Center, Erie facility as of September 27, 1996.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Safety-Kleen Systems Incorporated, Erie, Pennsylvania

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Safety-Kleen operates a hazardous waste management facility on 3.83 acres located at 1606 Pittsburgh Avenue, Erie, Pennsylvania. The facility is located in an industrial area of Erie and has been operating since 1968. The Facility is an accumulation point for spent solvents generated by Safety-Kleen customers. The company's customers are primarily engaged in automotive repair, industrial maintenance, and dry cleaning. Wastes accepted on the site are spent mineral spirits and solvents, immersion cleaner, waste resulting from dry cleaners, and paint wastes. All wastes are shipped to a Safety-Kleen recycling facility or a contract reclaimer and then may be returned to the company's customers as a product.

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Contaminants at this Facility

No contaminants above levels of concern exist at the facility.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional Controls were not required at the facility. 

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The facility 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.

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