The Precision National Plating Site is located at 198 Ackerly Road, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, which is approximately 10 miles north of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The property measures 46 acres, approximately five acres of which were used for site operations and the remainder of which are undeveloped and largely wooded. A 45,000 square foot operations building was the principal structure on the site.
The site began operation as a chromium electroplating facility for locomotive crankshafts in 1956. This operation continued when Precision bought the facility in 1971. Precision operated an industrial component reconditioning facility on site from 1971 until 1999.
Site operations ceased in April 1999. With PADEP and USEPA oversight, the former plating building was demolished in the Fall of 2000.
EPA approved a Remedial Action Plan, submitted on behalf of Precision National Plating by the Retec Group in September of 2005. The Plan details procedures for use of calcium polysulfide to reduce the hexavalent chromium in the soils and groundwater to trivalent chromium, a less toxic form of chromium, which will precipitate and remain in the soil/bedrock matrix.
In July 2006, Precision injected calcium polysulfide into source areas at the site. The goal of the treatment was to reduce hexavalent chromium levels in soil to below 60 mg/Kg, and hexavalent chromium levels in Ackerly Creek to below 11 ug/L.
In March 2007, Precision began excavation of the basement of the former facility. The purpose of the removal was to mitigate impacts by potentially contaminated soils beneath the basement. Any visually contaminated soil and concrete unearthed during the excavation was taken to an appropriate disposal facility.
Further site investigation activities were performed in the Fall of 2007 and February/March 2008. The soil boring, rock coring and groundwater sampling activities completed in October 2007 and March 2008 confirmed that residual contaminant sources remain at the Site in the weathered rock and shallow competent bedrock (18 - 30 feet below the ground surface).
In August 2008, Precision began using calcium polysulfide in-situ chemical injections to treat these residual areas of contamination in the shallow bedrock. Hexavalent chromium levels have dropped in Ackerly Creek due to chemical injection treatments in July 2006 and the basement excavation in March 2007, and subsequent injection activities beginning in August 2008 and continuing through December 2011, however they still remain above the target ecological goal of 11 ug/L.
Precision has conducted monthly sampling and maintenance activities of the lagoon and seep treatment systems over the past year. Monthly status reports available in the documents section of the EPA website detail these activities. Groundwater and surface water sampling events were conducted in January 2012 and April 2012. Sample results from the January event are reported in the February Monthly Status Report. April sampling results will be reported in the next Quarterly Progress Report.
In May 2012, Precision and EPA signed an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent in regards to future activities at the site. In July, Precision provided a Response Action Plan detailing future work activities. Both documents are available in the documents section on the EPA website.
On August 20, 2012, Precision contractors mobilized to the site to begin installation of 16 additional monitoring wells on the site. The wells include six overburden wells, six shallow bedrock wells, and four intermediate bedrock wells. Well installation activities are expected to be completed on August 31st. Additional details on well installation activities are available in the Response Action Plan.
Precision contractors began preparation of the site for an additional round of calcium polysulfide injection activities. Activities included delivery of calcium polysulfide solution, maintenance of the injection system, air compressors, and tools for activities, and clearing of the site of brush. Jerome remote monitoring systems were also updated and are now providing data 24 hours a day for hydrogen sulfide concentrations in air.
PA DEP, EPA and Precision met with Glenburn Township Supervisors on August 29th to discuss current and upcoming activities at the site. Well installation, and upcoming packer testing and injection activities were discussed. In addition, EPA shared the updated web based data viewing tool which is planned on being released for public viewing later this Fall.
Precision contractors will conduct packer testing on six monitoring wells. Packer testing consists of isolating specific fractures within a well identified during a geophysical investigation. Each fracture within these wells will be sampled for total and hexavalent chromium concentrations, and be tested to determine the amount of groundwater flow the fracture is capable of. Packer testing is expected to begin on September 6th, and continue through the week of September 10th.
An additional round of injection activities at the site are scheduled to begin the week of September 3rd and continue through the end of Fall 2012. Injection of calcium polysulfide solution will be conducted in both bedrock and overburden wells. During injection activities air monitoring will be conducted for concentrations of hydrogen sulfide by two fixed point monitoring stations 24 hours a day at the lagoon and on Arch Avenue. In addition, during working hours, Precision contractor personnel will conduct hourly air monitoring using hand held instruments at predesignated locations.
During injection activities, Precision contractors will sample potable wells, currently in-use and directly adjacent to the site, once every two weeks for hexavalent chromium, total chromium, sulfides, sulfates, and pH. Additional groundwater and surface water locations will be monitored for pH, dissolved oxygen, oxidation-reduction potential, specific conductance, and concentrations of sulfide and sulfates on varying schedules. Additional details regarding the injection activities are documented in the Response Action Plan. EPA will have personnel onsite to document monitoring and progress throughout the injection activities.
Semi-annual groundwater monitoring activities will be conducted in October 2012. Select wells from the overburden, shallow, intermediate, and deep bedrock zones will be sampled by Precision contractors for hexavalent and total chromium analysis. Surface water samples from Ackerly Creek and the drainage swale along Ackerly Road will be collected and split by EPA and Precision contractors.
EPA is currently finalizing a web based data viewing tool to better provide access and easier understanding to the public of sampling activities and progress at the site. This is expected to be released to the public this Fall. EPA is currently scheduling a time with Glenburn Township to release the data viewer and provide a demonstration session to the public.