Cherokee Pharmaceuticals, LLC
(Formerly Merck and Co.)
Update: After January 6, 2017, information about this RCRA Corrective Action site
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On This Page
EPA Project Manager
Mr. Khai M. Dao
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region III
1650 Arch Street
Mail code: 3LC30
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Phone: (215) 814-5467
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Ms. Jessica Ritenour
208 West Third Street, Suite 101
Williamsport, PA 17701
Phone: (570) 327-3569
- In 1983 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) issued a Consent Order and Agreement to Merck to investigate and remediate groundwater contamination caused by the releases of various organic compounds from the former east end tank farm. The groundwater is contaminated with various organic compounds such as chloroform, benzene, methylene chloride, tetrahydrofuran, chlorobenzene, and 1,2-dichloroethane. The investigation concluded that the groundwater contamination migrated offsite and impacted some nearby residential wells. As a result, Merck connected the impacted residences to municipal water and installed a groundwater pump and treat system to control the migration of the groundwater contamination.
- In conjunction with the PADEP Order and under the EPA RCRA Correction Action Permit, Merck completed a comprehensive site-wide RCRA Facility Investigation in 1994 to further evaluate and identify areas of concerns that may have been impacted by the Facility's operations. The investigation identified three principal areas of concerns. These areas included the former east end tank farm area, the solvent recovery area, and Zone 5 of the old landfill. Subsequently and in 1998, Merck submitted the Corrective Measures Study that proposed a Final Remedy to address these areas. Merck completed the Final Remedy in 2008. The Facility will continue to monitor groundwater and maintain the remediation system.
- As a matter of efficiency and practicality, in 2007, EPA issued a Corrective Action Permit Modification that combined the requirements of the PADEP Order and the original EPA Corrective Action Permit under one regulatory mechanism. As a result, the PADEP Consent Order was terminated.
- In January 2008, Merck transferred ownership of the site and the RCRA HSWA Permit PAD003043353 to Cherokee Pharmaceuticals, LLC (Cherokee). Merck & Co., Inc. submitted a revised Part A Submission and the RCRA Part B Operating Permit PAD003043353 with the PADEP to reflect the change. The change in ownership does not require modifications to the existing hazardous waste activities or new hazardous waste activities. Cherokee is responsible for maintaining the corrective action implementation.
- The facility consists of 175 acres and is located along the south bank of the North Branch of the Susquehanna River in Riverside, Northumberland County, PA. From 1942 to 1945, Heyden Chemical Company leased the site from the US Government to produce hexane for munitions during World War II. The site was unused from the end of World War II until 1950. From 1950 to 2008, Merck occupied the site. In 2008, Merck transferred ownership of the site and the RCRA HSWA Permit PAD003043353 to Cherokee. Currently, Cherokee produces various human-health and animal-health products that include antibiotics.
- The main contaminants in the groundwater are 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, cis-1,2-dichloroethene, Trichloroethene, and Tetrachloroethene.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Corrective Action Statement of Basis [PDF, 18 pages, 204 KB, About ]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Human Exposures [PDF, 10 pages, 24 KB, About ]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Groundwater Migration [PDF, 8 pages, 24 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.
|Cherokee Pharamaceuticals||Cherokee Pharamaceuticals GeoSpatial PDF Map [PDF, 1242 KB, 1 page, About PDF]|
Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the photo or GeoSpatial PDF Map )
- The facility is under continued use.
- 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: Mr. Khai M. Dao (215) 814-5467.