INDSPEC Chemical Corporation
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On This Page
EPA Project Manager
Mr. Griff Miller
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region III
1650 Arch Street
Mail code: 3LC30
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Phone: (215) 814-3407
A revised Remedial Investigation Report was submitted in June 2013 under Pennsylvania’s Act 2 Program. This report was deemed incomplete and a meeting was held in January 2014 to discuss the deficiencies, which are presently being addressed by the facility.An interim measure consisting of a sediment cap along a 430-foot stretch of the South Branch of Bear Creek was constructed in 2011. This cap, primarily composed of bentonite and other low-permeability materials, inhibited the migration of a free-phase material consisting primarily of site-specific contaminants (resorcinol and sulfonic acids) from groundwater beneath the facility to the creek. This cap was damaged in August 2013 due to excessive flooding from a major storm event. As a result, an improved cap (including a flexible membrane liner, woven geotextile protective fabric, and significant armoring) has been proposed and is expected to be installed over the same 430-foot stretch of the creek in August 2016
The facility is located in Petrolia Borough, Butler County, Pennsylvania. The facility is comprised of two attached tracts of land, Tract 1 and Tract 2. Tract 1 is an unimproved parcel of approximately 56 acres owned by Beazer. Tract 2, owned by INDSPEC, occupies approximately 263 acres. Due to this ownership status, the facility has also been referred to as the “Beazer/INDSPEC Properties”. Tract 2 includes the INDSPEC Chemical Corporation plant, the site of a resorcinol manufacturing operation. Resorcinol is a chemical used primarily as an adhesive to bond rubber to steel belts/cords in the manufacturing of tires and is also used in the pharmaceutical industry. The previous owner/operator of the facility was the Koppers Company, Inc., which was subsequently purchased by Beazer East, Inc. Manufacturing operations started on the property in approximately 1929.
Environmental investigations of the facility began in 1980 and were continued in accordance with consent orders with PADEP in 1987 and 2003. The 2003 consent order established, among other things, the sixty-square-mile Bear Creek Area Chemical Site (BCACS), which includes the facility, and required the construction of a public water supply for the area due to concerns of contamination in private drinking water wells in the area. The public water supply was completed in 2007 and provides potable water to residents and others who may be potentially affected by groundwater contamination from the facility and other facilities and disposal sites in the BCACS.
Primary contaminants at the facility include resorcinol, sulfonic acids, benzene, and lead. Soil, groundwater, and surface water are the primary media impacted by the contaminants. Elevated levels of volatile contaminants in soil gas beneath an active area of the facility to the west of the creek suggest that vapor intrusion into the indoor air of buildings in the vicinity could be a complete exposure pathway; therefore, vapor mitigation systems are planned for installation in each of the occupied buildings in this area. The only other potential exposure pathway to facility contamination is through surface water since groundwater is not used as a potable water source in the area and areas of soil contamination are covered by pavement or other physical barriers. Several ecological studies of the south branch of Bear Creek spanning the facility have suggested that contaminants from the facility do not appear to have a significant impact on aquatic health.
Institutional controls restricting groundwater and land use will likely be required as components of the final remedy for the facility. Engineering controls to provide continual operation and maintenance of the capped lagoon and the area of capped sediment within the South Branch of Bear Creek are also anticipated.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below:
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Human Exposures [PDF, 11 pages, 158 KB, About ]
- Environmental Indicator Determination - Groundwater Migration [PDF, 12 pages, 46 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.
|INDSPEC Chemical Corporation|
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INDSPEC continues to use the facility to manufacture resorcinol and resorcinol-based derivatives .
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. Griff Miller (215) 814-3407.