An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

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

On this page:

Cleanup Status

This site has been performing soil and groundwater sampling under the One Cleanup Program Memorandum of Agreement between the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) Act 2 Program and the EPA RCRA Corrective Action Program since 2011. This allows Safety-Kleen to satisfy state and federal regulations under one program. Prior to that remedial efforts were performed after soil impacts were identified during the closure of underground waste storage tanks.

Safety Kleen has been sampling groundwater quarterly in support of an Act 2 closure for thirteen quarters. The most recent groundwater sampling results indicate no exceedances of the applicable Statewide Health Standard Medium Specific Concentrations (MSCs), which in this case, are equivalent to EPA’s Drinking Water Standards Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs).

Currently, Safety Kleen is preparing a Final Report expected to be submitted to PADEP by August 2016. This report will address groundwater only because, as described below in the Background section, soils have previously been approved for closure under Act 2.

Cleanup History

Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) were removed and closed pursuant to a PADEP approved closure plan in September 1992. The Closure Report associated with the UST removal was submitted in April 1993. The report discussed residual soil and groundwater impacts identified in the tank pit. As a result, a soil vapor extractions (SVE) system was designed and installed to address the impacts. The SVE system operated from May 1996 until January 1998 when operational and sampling data showed the system successfully treated the observed UST impacts.

Two other Areas of Concern (AOCs) were identified during PADEP routine inspections. Area 1, a 10 x 10 foot area was suspected of being impacted by leaking trucks parked adjacent to the return and fill docks. Area 2, an approximately 15 x 30 foot area was the location of a documented spill in August 1996. A Summary Closure Report was submitted to PADEP in February 2000 documenting the excavation, backfilling, and asphalt covers placed over both areas. Included analytical results indicated successful remediation of Areas 1 and 2. On April 11, 2006, approximately 230 gallons of used solvents were spilled from a tote onto the asphalt parking lot. The spill was initially contained by a curbed area and absorbent booms. Subsequently, the spilled material was mitigated using standard Safety Kleen procedures and a total of 750 gallons (in 18 drums) of absorbent materials and spilled waste were disposed of off-site.

Soil sampling to confirm closure and remediation efforts of the USTs and the two AOCs were presented in the Final Act 2 Soil Closure Assessment submitted in December 2012. All Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and Semi-Volatile Organic Compound (SVOC) sampling results were below the EPA industrial Regional Screening Levels (RSLs) and PADEP direct contact non-residential or soil-to-groundwater Act 2 MSCs. These standards are within the EPA’s Regional Screening Level risk range and satisfactorily demonstrate the soil is not contaminated above appropriately protective risk-based levels. Some metals were identified at concentrations (Arsenic, Lead, Barium, Chromium) consistently across the facility. Only 1 sample had an Arsenic concentration above the PADEP soil-to-groundwater Act 2 MSC. All were below the PADEP direct contact non-residential Act 2 MSC. Considering the consistency and the fact that Safety-Kleen only handles solvents, EPA believes these metals are naturally occurring. PADEP approved the Final Act 2 Soil Closure Assessment on December 14, 2102.

Top of Page

Site Description

Interactive map of Safety-Kleen Systems Incorporated, New Kingston, PA

View larger map

The Facility is a 1.5-acre active RCRA permitted treatment, storage, disposal (TSD) facility in operation since 1977. The main operations include storage of spent solvent wastes. Prior to construction of the current building, the land was agricultural. Currently, it is located in a mixed residential/industrial use setting.

Top of Page

Contaminants at this Facility

Soil: Some VOCS and SVOCs are present in soils above EPA’s residential RSLs, but below EPA’s industrial RSLs and the PADEP non-residential, applicable Statewide Health Standard MSCs. Risks associated with these contaminants are limited to construction workers or site workers performing intrusive soil activities. A land use restriction is expected to be implemented to reduce or eliminate these risks. Currently the potential for exposure is minimal as facility environmental personnel are aware of these risks and the areas are covered with asphalt.

Groundwater: There are no current groundwater contaminants in excess of EPA maximum contaminant levels, and therefore, no current risks. Historically, groundwater displayed elevated levels of VOCs, SVOCs, and metals.

Top of Page

Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

 The need for Institutional Controls is yet to be determined.

Top of Page

Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The facility is under continued use.

Top of Page

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.

Top of Page