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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Worthington Steelpac (Formerly: Cresticon) in York, Pennsylvania

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EPA sets national goals to measure progress toward meeting the nation’s major environmental goals.  For Corrective Action, EPA evaluates two key environmental indicators for each facility: (1) current human exposures under control and (2) migration of contaminated groundwater under control.  On January 22, 2009, Michael Jr. Baker, Inc. (Baker) conducted an Environmental Indicator (EI) Inspection of the former Pfaltzgraff/Cole Office Environments facility (Former Cole Office Environments or Facility), on behalf of EPA.  The findings of the EI Inspection are documented in a March 2010, EI Inspection Report for Pfaltzgraff Co. prepared by Baker.  Also presented in the EI Inspection Report is a summary of the information reviewed by Baker in preparation for the EI Inspection, including records maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) and EPA.  Based on a review of the information presented in the EI Inspection Report, EPA determined that the Facility met both of the EI indicators on August 13, 2010.  

EPA’s review of available information indicates that there are no unaddressed releases of hazardous waste or hazardous constituents from the Facility.  On November 1, 2011, EPA announced its proposed decision of Corrective Action Complete with Controls under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended, for the Former Cole Office Environments facility.  Consistent with public participation provisions under RCRA, EPA requested comments from the public on the proposed remedy as described in the September 28, 2011 Statement of Basis (SB).  The commencement of a thirty (30) day public comment period was announced in the York Newspaper on November 1, 2011 and on the EPA Region III website.  The public comment period ended on November 30, 2011.  EPA received no comments on the proposed decision.

On December 15, 2011, EPA approved its final remedy decision for the Former Cole Office Environments facility in a document entitled the Final Decision and Response to Comments (FDRTC).  EPA’s final remedy for the Facility consists of a combination of engineering controls (ECs) and institutional controls (ICs) which are designed to minimize the potential for human exposure to contamination.  The final remedy will be implemented through an Environmental Covenant entered into pursuant to the Pennsylvania Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA), Act No. 68 of 2007, 27 Pa. C.S. §§ 6501, et seq.  The Environmental Covenant was recorded with the deed of the property on August 24, 2012 in Land Record Book 2189, Page 1371.   

Cleanup Background

In December 1990, chromium and nickel contamination in both soil and groundwater was first discovered at the former Cole Office Environments Facility.  Since that time, extensive soil and groundwater investigations have been completed at the site to characterize the extent of chromium and nickel soil and groundwater contamination.  The source of the chromium and nickel contamination was the former nickel-chrome plating operation that existed at the site between 1967 and 1989.  Chromium and nickel were dissolved in an acidic plating solution used during the plating process.  The former plating operation ceased and the plating equipment was decommissioned in 1989.  Chromium and nickel remain in the soils and groundwater underlying the Facility building. 

In 1991, the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) trichloroethane (TCE) and trichloroethylene (PCE) were detected in groundwater at the Facility.  Since that time, it has been determined that the TCE and PCE groundwater contamination is migrating onto the former Cole Office Environments Facility property from the north and upgradient Harley-Davidson property.  TCE and PCE have not been used at the subject site and have not been detected in soils at the subject site.    
To address the soil and groundwater contamination at the site, the Facility entered Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Program, commonly referred to as Act 2, in July 1997.  Between July and December 2000, PADEP approved the technical reports prepared for the site demonstrating compliance with the various standards applied under the provisions of Act 2. 

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Worthington Steelpac, York, Pennsylvania

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The former Cole Office Environments Facility is located in Springettsbury Township in York County, near York Pennsylvania.  The property was purchased by Cole Division, Litton Corporation in the early 1960s and, at that time, the site was undeveloped.  Construction of the Facility building began in 1965 with additions in 1967-1968.  From the late 1960s up until 1989, the property was used for the fabrication of parts and the assembly of office furniture which included zinc, nickel and chromium electroplating, iron phosphatizing and painting operations.  Between 1989 and 1991, the building was vacant and the property was not used. 

From 1991 to 1993, a skid repair business operated in the western-most extension of the Facility, and from 1990 to 1998, approximately 40,000 square feet of the Facility was rented to Pfaltzgraff Company for use as a warehouse.  Currently, the property is owned by Kinsley Properties (under K/G Whiteford Limited Partnership) and leased to Worthington Industries, Inc. who manufactures steel pallets and custom steel packaging materials.  The site, which is located in an industrial area, is occupied by one building, paved parking lots, grass areas, trees, and small brush areas.     

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Contaminants at this Facility

Primary contaminants at the Facility include nickel and chromium in soil and groundwater, in addition to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including trichloroethene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE), in groundwater.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional Controls were codified in an Environmental Covenant entered into pursuant to the Pennsylvania Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA), Act No. 68 of 2007, 27 Pa. C.S. §§ 6501, et seq. was recorded with the deed of the property on August 24, 2012 in Land Record Book 2189, Page 1371. The Environmental Covenant prohibits the use of groundwater at the property and restricts the property to non-residential uses.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

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.

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