Copperhead Chemical Co Inc
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EPA Project Manager
Mr Paul Gotthold
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region III
1650 Arch Street
Mail code: 3LC30
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Phone: (215) 814-3410
EPA/state will visit the facility and meet with company representatives on an upcoming date. EPA/state is reviewing existing environmental information to determine if further investigation is required. EPA/State will focus first on the health and groundwater impacts, if any, presented by the facility. Once EPA/state completes this review process, an environmental indicator determination will be prepared and posted to this website
The Tamaqua plant was originally built in 1906 by the Potts Powder Company to produce dynamite and blasting powders. Atlas Powder ("Atlas") was formed in 1912 as a result of an antitrust suit by the United States against E. I. du Pont de Nemours Powder Company that forced the breakup of du Pont's explosive business into three companies: DuPont, Hercules Powder and Atlas. Atlas bought the Potts Powder Company in 1912 and expanded the Tamaqua plant to make all grades of dynamite and detonators. The Tamaqua facility is sometimes called the Reynolds facility.
Atlas Powder changed its name to Atlas Chemical Industries Inc. in 1961. In 1971, Atlas was merged into Imperial Chemical Industries and became ICI America. However, due to antitrust objections to the merger raised by the United States, ICI America sold part of the Tamaqua facility in 1973, approximately 2620 acres, consisting of the dynamite, nitroglycerin, and blasting supplies businesses, to Tyler Industries, which formed a “new” Atlas Powder Company. The remaining assets at Tamaqua, approximately 103 acres, comprised a portion of the Aerospace Components Division, a subsidiary of Imperial Chemical Industries, and did business as ICI America (the name change to ICI Americas occurred in 1977) or ICIA herein.
Imperial Chemical Industries PLC Group repurchased the explosives business from Tyler in 1990 and established it as a wholly owned subsidiary, ICI Explosives USA, Inc. or EUSA herein. In 2001, ICI Explosives USA Inc. changed its name to E-One Holdings and transferred its assets, including the Tamaqua property, into a newly created subsidiary known as Expert Management, Inc. (EMI). In 2003, ICIA was also consolidated under EMI. The total plant property for Tamaqua was about 2,741 acres.
The ICIA and EUSA operations at Tamaqua ceased between 1996 and 1998. In order to expedite investigation, clean-up and potential resale of the property, EUSA was divided into four parcels: Corona, Wakefield, Project Riverdale and an unnamed clean parcel that had not been impacted by industrial activity. The ICIA property is known as Project Woodlawn throughout the document submissions. All of the property has been sold or transferred to other parties as follows:
About 227 acres, the “Wakefield” area (formerly EUSA), was sold to Copperhead Chemical on January 4, 1999.
The objectives of the Remedial Investigation activities were to evaluate environmental conditions at the Facilities, to demonstrate attainment of Remediation Standards, to support a petition for a Release of Liability from PADEP for Corona and Wakefield parcels, to receive a Final Decision from EPA, and to achieve site closure. To achieve these objectives, ICIA and EUSA completed a series of soil, groundwater, and surface water investigations which included sampling of monitoring wells, surface water sampling and sampling of soils in order to demonstrate attainment of State Health Standards, MCLs, site specific standards and pathway elimination for all media.
The risk assessment for Wakefield showed that none of the Constituents of Interest were at a level of concern for non-residential uses of the property.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Human Exposures [PDF, 6 pages, 25 KB, About PDF]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Groundwater Migration [PDF, 8 pages, 32 KB, About PDF]
- Documents and reports regarding this facility also can be reviewed in person at these locations:
U.S. EPA Region III
Land & Chemicals Division
1650 Arch Street-11th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Call for an appointment.
- Submit a FOIA Request
Get instructions on how to submit a FOIA request. Additional fee for requests over 100 pages.
|Copperhead Chemical Co Inc||Copperhead Chemical GeoSpatial PDF Map [PDF, 1119 KB, 1 page, About PDF]|
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the photo or GeoSpatial PDF Map )
- To be determined
- The EPA is dedicated to providing you with timely and accurate information about our work at this site. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact EPA Project Manager: Paul Gotthold (215) 814-3410.