EPA reaches agreement over factory cleanup site

By Michael P. Tremoglie | Jun 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) - Precision National Plating Services reached a settlement Thursday with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on a plan to clean up groundwater and surface water contamination at a site in Clarks Summit, Pa.

The company operated a chrome plating facility there from 1958 to 1999. The EPA has been monitoring Precision's cleanup activities at the site since 1991.

The cleanup work was being performed pursuant to a prior EPA order, which addressed soil contamination. This order has been replaced by the current settlement agreement, which also addresses groundwater and surface water contamination.

Precision will continue to implement the EPA-selected cleanup plan for the site. The plan includes using a process known as "in situ chemical remediation" that involves injecting a chemical reducing agent into the ground to treat groundwater that is contaminated with hexavalent chromium, a chemical compound that had been used at the facility.

The final cleanup plan is expected to take several years. It will include extensive monitoring of groundwater wells on the site and around the perimeter of the site.

Located about 10 miles north of Scranton, the factory site includes 46 acres overall and about five acres that were used for site operations. The rest of the property is undeveloped and largely wooded.

The factory was a chromium electroplating facility for locomotive crankshafts. The April 1998 EPA Administrative Order required the company to investigate the ground water impact of hexavalent chromium contamination. An ecological risk assessment was also conducted. Precision agreed to pay in 2008 for EPA's costs in overseeing the site cleanup.

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