Global Advanced Metals USA Inc.
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EPA Project Manager
Mr. Griff Miller
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region III
1650 Arch Street
Mail code: 3LC30
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
PA Department of Environmental Protection
Southeast Regional Office
PADEP Project Manager
Mr. Walter Payne
2 East Main Street
Norristown, PA 19401
Phone: (484) 250-5792
The 2014 groundwater sampling report concluded that contaminants are either within their historical ranges site-wide or have been dramatically reduced as a result of the active bioremediation program in specific areas of the facility.
An updated vapor intrusion assessment of the facility submitted in 2014 concluded that there are no unacceptable risks to facility workers as a result of chlorinated VOC contamination beneath the southern portion of the facility.
The facility entered into Pennsylvania’s Act 2 program in September 2014. As a result, EPA anticipates that remediation of the facility will continue under the One Cleanup Program.
The in-situ bioremediation program to enhance degradation of chlorinated solvents beneath the facility continues to effectively reduce contaminant concentrations and is being expanded to target a larger and more highly contaminated area. This bioremediation program should allow expedited cleanup of the groundwater beneath the facility.
Both Environmental Indicators have been met for the facility; several investigations have revealed that there are no realistic receptors for facility groundwater and that geologic features control its migration. The facility will continue annual groundwater monitoring for natural attenuation indicators and trichloroethene (TCE) and its primary degradation products. The facility also will continue to monitor Swamp Creek to ensure that contamination from the facility is not impacting surface waters and sediments.
The facility began operations in 1950. The facility manufactures tantalum (Ta) and niobium (Nb) metals through the processing of raw ore. The final products are metal powder, wire, or sheet products used in the electronics and medical fields.
Environmental investigations in the vicinity of the facility began in the late 1970s and continued into the early 1990s due to concerns of potential contamination (particularly fluoride) of vegetation and livestock of farms in the surrounding area. More detailed investigations of soil and groundwater at the facility occurred from 1999 to 2000 as part of EPA’s Removal Assessment, which concluded that soil analytical data did not indicate that soil affected by industrial contaminants rose to a level of concern for human health or the environment, and that groundwater was impacted by both specific natural conditions and the facility, but that groundwater at residential locations were not obviously affected by facility contaminants.
Natural attenuation and degradation processes continue to slowly reduce contaminant concentrations in groundwater beneath the facility. In 2008, a pilot-scale bioremediation study undertaken by the facility suggested that enhancement of these natural attenuation processes via bioremediation would speed up remediation of groundwater beneath the facility.
In addition to being impacted by the facility, groundwater in the area is impacted by natural conditions and agricultural activities. The main contaminants in the groundwater at the southern portion of the site are fluoride and TCE and its degradation products.
Residential locations are not affected by contaminants from the facility; the potential concern for human health in the residential wells is due to natural sources. The majority (about 70%) of residential drinking water wells exhibit an increased boron concentration. A number of these wells contain concentrations of other metals above levels of potential concern for human health due to natural sources.
Several Streams - Swamp Creek, Middle Creek and the tributaries in the area of the facility - were sampled by EPA in 1999-2000. An Aquatic Biology Investigation of Swamp Creek indicated good overall stream quality. Furthermore, groundwater beneath the facility was found to have no measurable impact on Swamp Creek surface water quality. Sediment sampling from Swamp Creek showed that the controlled discharge from the facility does not pose a threat to the aquatic environment.Soil in the southern part of the facility is contaminated with niobium, tantalum, lead, selenium and zinc. A few soil samples registered elevated levels of uranium, manganese, aluminum, magnesium, cobalt, barium and copper. In the EPA Region III November 2000 Removal Assessment Report, EPA concluded that no soil cleanup is necessary to protect human health
It is anticipated that institutional controls will be required as part of the remedy to ensure that groundwater is not used for potable purposes at the facility and that facility property remains non-residential.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Human Exposures [7pp, 26 KB, About PDF]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Groundwater Migration [8pp, 34 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.
|Global Advanced Metals USA Inc.|
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the photo)
Global Advanced Metals continues to use the facility to process rare metals.