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 and EPA signed an Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent on May 3, 2012. Precision contractor, Arcadis U.S. Inc, submitted a new Response Action Plan, detailing ongoing activities on July 30, 2012.
The current round of injections began on September 6th, 2012. During the week of October 29, 2012, no injection activities occurred due to Hurricane Sandy moving through the area. Injections were reinitiated on November 5th, 2012, and were completed this week on November 20th, 2012.
A total of 3,859 gallons of 2% calcium polysulfide solution was injected on November 19th and 20th. Injection occurred in fifteen points, within the overburden, shallow bedrock, and intermediate bedrock zones. Injection points included areas within the fenced site, in the area of the lagoon, and in the area of the trolley tracks. A total of 100,885 gallons of 1% calcium polysulfide and 24,634 gallons of 2% calcium polysulfide has been injected during this round of activities.
Prior to, and during injection activities, hourly air monitoring readings were taken with a Jerome hydrogen sulfide meter along the perimeter of the site fence and along Arch Avenue. Concentrations of hydrogen sulfide were documented along the perimeter of the site as high as 5 ug/m3, however, most readings were at or below the detection level of the instrument. The hydrogen sulfide site specific action level for nuisance odors is 30 ug/m3, and the NIOSH recommended exposure limit is 10,000 ug/m3.
Twenty-two totes of 29% calcium polysulfide solution have been used onsite (approximately 4,950 gallons). No additional chemical is planned to be delivered during this round of injections.
On November 20th, 2012, EPA conducted a public availability session at the Glenburn Township Administration Building to present the web based data viewer to the public, and provide hands on assistance with using it.
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 for one additional week following the completion of injection activities.
Additional details regarding the injection activities are documented in the Response Action Plan.
Semi-annual sampling activities will be conducted in January 2013. Based on results of the sampling activities, additional steps will be determined.