[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 99 (Tuesday, May 22, 2001)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 28099-28102]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-12707]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 300

[FRL-6957-8]


National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; 
National Priorities List

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Direct Final Deletion of the Brodhead Creek Superfund Site from 
the National Priorities List.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region III is 
publishing a direct final deletion of the Brodhead Creek Superfund Site 
(Site) located in the Borough of Stroudsburg, Monroe County, 
Pennsylvania, from the National Priorities List (NPL).
    The NPL, promulgated pursuant to section 105 of the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 
1980, as amended, is Appendix B of 40 CFR Part 300, which is the 
National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP). 
This direct final deletion is being published by EPA with the 
concurrence of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through the 
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) because EPA 
has determined that all appropriate response actions under CERCLA have 
been completed and, therefore, further remedial action pursuant to 
CERCLA is not appropriate.

DATES: This direct final deletion will be effective July 23, 2001, 
unless EPA receives adverse comments by June 21, 2001. If adverse 
comments are received, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of the 
direct final deletion in the Federal Register informing the public that 
the deletion will not take effect.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be mailed to: William Hudson, Community 
Involvement Coordinator, (3HS43), U.S. EPA Region III, 1650 Arch 
Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, (215) 814-5532.
    Information Repositories: Comprehensive information about the Site 
is available for viewing and copying at the Site Information 
Repositories at the following locations: U.S. EPA Region III, Regional 
Center for Environmental Information (RCEI), 1650 Arch Street, 
Philadelphia, PA 19103, (215) 814-5364, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. 
to 4:30 p.m.; the Stroudsburg Borough Building, Seventh and Sarah 
Streets, Stroudsburg, PA 18360, (570) 421-5444, Monday through Friday 
8:00 to 5:00 p.m.; and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental 
Protection, Northeast Regional Office, 2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, 
PA 18711-0790, (570) 826-2511, Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 
p.m.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Banks, Remedial Project Manager 
(3HS22), U.S. EPA Region III, 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, 
(215) 814-3214, Fax (215) 814-3002, e-mail banks.john-d@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. NPL Deletion Criteria
III. Deletion Procedures
IV. Basis for Site Deletion
I. Deletion Action

I. Introduction

    EPA Region III is publishing this direct final deletion of the 
Brodhead Creek Superfund Site from the NPL.
    The EPA identifies sites that appear to present a significant risk 
to public health or the environment and maintains the NPL as the list 
of those sites. As described in Sec. 300.425(e)(3) of the NCP, sites 
deleted from the NPL remain eligible for remedial actions if conditions 
at a deleted site warrant such action.
    Because EPA considers this action to be noncontroversial and 
routine, EPA is taking it without prior publication of a notice of 
intent to delete. This action will be effective July 23, 2001 unless 
EPA receives adverse comments by June 21, 2001. If adverse comments are 
received within the 30-day public comment period on this document, EPA 
will publish a timely withdrawal of this direct final deletion before 
the effective date of the deletion and the deletion will not take 
effect. EPA will, as appropriate, prepare a response to comments and 
continue with the deletion process on the basis of the notice of intent 
to delete and the comments already received. There will be no 
additional opportunity to comment.
    Section II of this document explains the criteria for deleting 
sites from the NPL. Section III discusses procedures that EPA is using 
for this action. Section IV discusses the Brodhead Creek Superfund Site 
and demonstrates how it meets the deletion criteria. Section V

[[Page 28100]]

discusses EPA's action to delete the Site from the NPL unless adverse 
comments are received during the public comment period.

II. NPL Deletion Criteria

    Section 300.425(e) of the NCP provides that releases may be deleted 
from the NPL where no further response is appropriate. In making a 
determination to delete a release from the NPL, EPA shall consider, in 
consultation with the State, whether any of the following criteria have 
been met:
    i. Responsible parties or other persons have implemented all 
appropriate response actions required;
    ii. All appropriate Fund-financed (Hazardous Substance Superfund 
Response Trust Fund) response under CERCLA has been implemented, and no 
further response action by responsible parties is appropriate; or
    iii. The remedial investigation has shown that the release poses no 
significant threat to public health or the environment and, therefore, 
the taking of remedial measures is not appropriate.
    Even if a site is deleted from the NPL, where hazardous substances, 
pollutants, or contaminants remain at the deleted site above levels 
that allow for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure, CERCLA Section 
121(c), 42 U.S.C. 9621(c) requires that a subsequent review of the site 
be conducted at least every five years after the initiation of the 
remedial action at the deleted site to ensure that the action remains 
protective of public health and the environment. If new information 
becomes available which indicates a need for further action, EPA may 
initiate remedial actions. Whenever there is a significant release from 
a site deleted from the NPL, the deleted site may be restored to the 
NPL without application of the hazard ranking system.

III. Deletion Procedures

    The following procedures apply to deletion of the Site:
    (1) The EPA consulted with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on the 
deletion of the Site from the NPL prior to developing this direct final 
deletion.
    (2) The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania concurred with the deletion of 
the Site from the NPL.
    (3) Concurrently with the publication of this direct final 
deletion, a notice of the availability of the parallel notice of intent 
to delete published today in the ``Proposed Rules'' section of the 
Federal Register is being published in a major local newspaper of 
general circulation at or near the Site and is being distributed to the 
appropriate federal, state, and local government officials and other 
interested parties; the newspaper notice announces the 30-day public 
comment period concerning the notice of intent to delete the Site from 
the NPL.
    (4) The EPA placed copies of documents supporting the deletion in 
the Site information repositories identified above.
    (5) If adverse comments are received within the 30-day public 
comment period on this document, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal 
of this direct final deletion before its effective date and will 
prepare a response to comments and continue with the deletion process 
on the basis of the notice of intent to delete and the comments already 
received.
    Deletion of a Site from the NPL does not itself create, alter, or 
revoke any individual's rights or obligations. Deletion of a site from 
the NPL does not in any way alter EPA's right to take enforcement 
actions, as appropriate. The NPL is designed primarily for 
informational purposes and to assist EPA management. Section 
300.425(e)(3) of the NCP states that the deletion of a site from the 
NPL does not preclude eligibility for future response actions, should 
future conditions warrant such action.

IV. Basis for Site Deletion

    The following information provides EPA's rationale for deleting the 
Site from the NPL:

A. Site Location

    The Brodhead Creek Site occupies approximately 12 acres of a flood 
plain area on the western bank of Brodhead Creek at the confluence of 
Brodhead Creek and McMichael Creek in the Borough of Stroudsburg in 
Monroe County, Pennsylvania.

B. Site History

    The Site is the former location of a coal gasification plant which 
operated from approximately 1888 to 1944. A waste product from these 
operations was a black tar-like liquid (``coal tar'') which has a 
density greater than water and which is principally composed of 
polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (``PAHs''). The coal tar was placed 
in an open pit located on the Site. This practice continued to the mid-
1940s when the plant was abandoned.
    On October 7, 1980, during construction repairs to the flood 
control levee at the Site, materials identified as coal tar were 
observed seeping into Brodhead Creek. As a result, several 
investigations and emergency response measures were initiated by EPA, 
PADEP, and Pennsylvania Power and Light Company (PP&L) from 1981 
through 1984, including: (1) Installation of temporary filter fences 
and underflow dams to intercept coal tar seepage; (2) installation of a 
temporary coal tar recovery pit on the west bank of Brodhead Creek; (3) 
construction of a slurry wall by EPA to mitigate coal tar migration 
from the Site toward Brodhead Creek; (4) excavation of a backwater 
channel area where coal tar seepage appeared to be particularly 
significant; and (5) installation of recovery wells in the main coal 
tar pool by PP&L, with the subsequent recovery of approximately 8,000 
gallons of coal tar.
    The Site was placed on the NPL in December 1982, with a Hazard 
Ranking Score of 31.09.
Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS)
    On August 20, 1987, PP&L and Union Gas Company (UGC) entered into a 
Consent Order and Agreement with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to 
conduct the original remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/
FS) for the Brodhead Creek Site. The original RI/FS was completed in 
1991.
    The results of the original RI indicated that coal tar from the 
former coal gasification operations had migrated vertically through the 
unsaturated and saturated portions of the stream gravel unit underlying 
the Site to the interface with the silty sand. The silty sand prevents 
further downward movement of the coal tar because of the higher 
capillary pressures within that unit. Approximately 4.28 acres of the 
gravel unit at the Site were contaminated with free and residual coal 
tar. The free coal tar (i.e., coal tar at 100% pore volume saturation) 
is limited to a small area of a stratigraphic depression east of the 
slurry wall near monitoring well MW-2 (the MW-2 Area) and to the lowest 
portion of the stratigraphic depression located west of the slurry wall 
(the RCC Area). Both of these free coal tar accumulations are confined 
from further downward migration by the top of the silty sand unit. 
Residual coal tar (i.e., coal tar at less than 100% pore volume 
saturation) can be found throughout the remainder of the 4.28 acres.
    The total volume of free coal tar at the Site was estimated to be 
9,000 gallons, 8,715 gallons at the RCC Area and 338 gallons at the MW-
2 Area. The extent of residual coal tar contamination at the Site was 
estimated to be from 303,000 gallons to 409,000 gallons.
Characterization of Risk
    The risk assessment in the original RI identified PAHs, benzene, 
and arsenic

[[Page 28101]]

as the primary contaminants of concern at the Site. Federal Maximum 
Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for drinking water established pursuant to 
the Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq., were exceeded for 
arsenic, benzene, and benzo(a)pyrene in the subsurface gravel unit. 
Proposed MCLs were exceeded in the ground water in the gravel unit for 
the following PAHs: benzo(a)anthracene; benzo(b)fluoranthene; 
benzo(k)fluoranthene; chrysene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene; and 
indenopyrene. These PAHs, as well as arsenic and benzene, are 
``hazardous substances'' as defined in Section 101(14) of CERCLA.
    After reviewing the results of the original RI/FS, EPA divided the 
remedial work to be undertaken at the Site into two operable units 
(``OUs''). These were as follows:

OU-1: Contaminated subsurface soils containing free coal tar in the 
stream gravel unit
OU-2: Ground water in the stream gravel unit to and including bedrock

    EPA determined that an interim remedial action should be taken for 
OU-1 to initiate reduction of the toxicity, mobility, and volume of 
contaminants in the stream gravel unit at the Site. The interim 
remedial action would entail the removal of the free coal tar from the 
stream gravel unit. The free coal tar was a principal threat to human 
health and the environment since it imparted high levels of 
contaminants to the ground water in the stream gravel unit and could 
serve as a potential source of release of contamination to the ground 
water in bedrock. Implementation of an interim remedial action would 
remove the source of the highest level of contamination and would 
reduce further leaching of contaminants into the ground water. Data 
generated during the implementation of the interim action and further 
investigations for OU-2 would provide the information necessary to 
assist EPA in determining whether (and where) restoration of ground 
water to beneficial use was feasible. This in turn would enable EPA to 
issue a final Record of Decision for the Brodhead Creek Site.
Record of Decision Findings for OU-1
    In a Record of Decision (ROD) issued on March 29, 1991, EPA 
selected an interim remedial action for OU-1 which included the 
following major components:

--Recovery of free coal tar from the subsurface soils utilizing the 
innovative technology of enhanced recovery (referred to as the 
Contained Recovery of Oily Waste (CROW) process);
--Disposal of the recovered coal tar at an off-site permitted facility;
--Imposition of institutional controls to limit future use of the Site; 
and
--Monitoring of ground water and biota in Brodhead Creek to ensure 
protection of human health and the environment.
Response Actions for OU-1
    On September 2, 1992, EPA, PP&L and UGC entered into a Consent 
Decree under which the companies agreed to implement the remedial 
design/remedial action (RD/RA) for OU-1 at the Site. The original 
performance standard in the ROD required that at least 60% of the free 
coal tar in the subsurface soils be removed. On July 14, 1994, EPA 
issued an Explanation of Significant Differences (ESD) which revised 
the performance standard in the ROD by requiring the operation of the 
CROW process until the increase in cumulative recovery of the coal tar 
dropped to 0.5% or less per pore volume flushed through the formation. 
This revision of the performance standard was based on EPA's 
determination that accurate measurement of the removal of 60% of the 
free coal tar would not be possible because of the geology of the Site 
and the nature of the subsurface coal tar contamination. By June of 
1996, approximately 1,500 total gallons of coal tar had been removed 
from the RCC Area and the performance standard had been met.
    EPA determined during the CROW operational period that it would not 
be practical to implement CROW at the MW-2 Area (the area located at 
monitoring well MW-2) since the MW-2 Area contained only a small amount 
of free coal tar. Instead, EPA determined that the relatively minor 
amount of coal tar in the MW-2 Area wells should be removed via 
intermittent pumping. Approximately 100.5 gallons of coal tar were 
recovered from the MW-2 Area between February 1996 and March 1997.
    Because of the variable nature of the coal tar recovery effort at 
the MW-2 wells, EPA determined that continued active intermittent 
pumping of the MW-2 wells could be suspended. However, as part of 
operation and maintenance of the Site, EPA has required that the MW-2 
wells, and any wells in the RCC Area that have historically contained 
coal tar, be monitored for a free coal tar surface as part of the long-
term ground water monitoring requirement at the Site. If a coal tar 
layer greater than six inches is discovered, it will be removed by 
pumping at that time.
    These changes for the MW-2 Area were documented in a second 
Explanation of Significant Differences dated September 30, 1997. This 
second ESD also converted the interim remedy in the ROD for OU-1 into 
the final remedy for the Site and described the long-term monitoring 
strategy for the Site.
Record of Decision Findings for OU-2
    On June 3, 1992, EPA, PP&L and UGC entered into a Consent Order 
under which the companies agreed to conduct a Focused RI/FS for OU-2 to 
further investigate ground water contamination at the Site. On June 30, 
1995, EPA issued a ROD for OU-2 at the Brodhead Creek Site. This ROD 
addressed ground water contamination and residual coal tar 
contamination in the subsurface soils. In the ROD for OU-2, EPA 
selected a No Further Action alternative and established a technical 
impracticability (``TI'') zone within which the Agency determined it 
would be impracticable to remediate ground water and residual coal tar 
contamination. EPA waived federal MCLs and Pennsylvania's Applicable or 
Relevant and Appropriate Requirement (ARAR) for cleanup to 
``background'' levels of contamination on the basis of ``Technical 
Impracticability.'' Several Site-specific constraints made the 
implementation of engineering solutions to the residual coal tar 
contamination impracticable. As stated in the OU-2 ROD, these included: 
(1) the need to temporarily reroute Brodhead Creek to access coal tar-
impacted soils beneath the creek bed; (2) the need to reinforce the 
existing interstate I-80 bridge abutments in order to protect them from 
the increased velocity and height of the creek which would result from 
rerouting the creek; and (3) the need to restore wetlands which would 
be impacted by any remediation alternative. In addition, the existing 
earthen levee which currently bisects the Site, and which protects the 
Borough of Stroudsburg and the slurry wall installed by EPA as an 
emergency action in the early 1980s, would probably sustain damage from 
the implementation of any engineering alternative, and require repair.
    In the ROD for OU-2, EPA determined that the No Further Action 
alternative, in conjunction with the OU-1 selected remedy, is 
protective of human health and the environment. Implementation of the 
OU-1 enhanced recovery program for the free coal tar areas on-site 
reduced the areas of highest subsurface soil contamination. The OU-1 
monitoring program will provide the data required to evaluate the fate 
of the coal tar-related constituents,

[[Page 28102]]

the integrity of the slurry wall and the ``health'' of the biological 
community in Brodhead Creek. This will provide long term protection 
against the unlikely event that Site conditions might change and 
potential exposures increase. In addition, the slurry wall installed at 
the Site will continue to prevent free coal tar from discharging to 
Brodhead Creek.

C. Future Activity

Operation and Maintenance
    Operation and Maintenance (O&M) activities, which are performed by 
PP&L(now known as PPL Electric Utilities Corporation (PPL)) with EPA 
oversight, include periodic inspections, ground water monitoring, 
stream sediment and biota monitoring, and the removal of relatively 
minor amounts of free coal tar from the two stratigraphically isolated 
areas of the Site, as necessary, but no less often than annually, and 
any other activities necessary to ensure continued protection of public 
health and the environment. The free coal tar removal, in conjunction 
with long-term ground water monitoring, will continue to ensure the 
effectiveness of the completed remedy at the Brodhead Creek Site.
Five-Year Review
    CERCLA requires a five-year review of all sites with hazardous 
substances remaining above the health based levels for unrestricted use 
of the Site. Since residual coal tar contamination and ground water 
contamination remain at the Site, the five-year review process will be 
used to ensure that the selected remedy continues to be protective of 
human health and the environment. EPA completed the first five-year 
review of the Brodhead Creek Site on May 28, 1999. In that five-year 
review, EPA determined that the remedy was not completely protective of 
human health and the environment because institutional controls on 
future land use at the Site had not yet been implemented. On September 
22, 2000, institutional controls which limit future land use at the 
Brodhead Creek Site were implemented by PPL and UGC (now known as PFG 
Gas, Inc.), and recorded at the Monroe County Courthouse, Recorder of 
Deeds Office, in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. These controls include 
restricting use of ground water at the Site and prohibiting excavation 
at the Site unless prior written approval is provided by the property 
owner, EPA, and PADEP. These institutional controls will reinforce the 
protectiveness of the selected remedy. EPA has determined that all 
requirements of the ROD for OU-1, as modified by the ESDs dated July 
14, 1994 and September 30, 1997, have been achieved at the Site and the 
Site is protective of human health and the environment. EPA plans to 
complete the next five year review prior to May 28, 2004.

D. Community Involvement

    Public participation activities have been satisfied as required in 
CERCLA Section 113(k), 42 U.S.C. 9613(k), and CERCLA Section 117, 42 
U.S.C 9617. Documents in the deletion docket which EPA relied on for 
recommendation of the deletion from the NPL are available to the public 
in the information repositories.

V. Deletion Action

    The EPA, with the concurrence of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 
has determined that all appropriate responses under CERCLA have been 
completed, and that no further response actions, under CERCLA, other 
than O&M and five-year reviews, are necessary. Therefore, EPA is 
deleting the Site from the NPL.
    Because EPA considers this action to be noncontroversial and 
routine, EPA is taking it without prior publication of a notice of 
intent to delete. This action will be effective July 23, 2001 unless 
EPA receives adverse comments by June 21, 2001 on this document. If 
adverse comments are received within the 30-day public comment period 
on this document to delete, EPA will publish a timely withdrawal of 
this direct final deletion before the effective date of the deletion 
and the deletion will not take effect. EPA will prepare a response to 
comments and continue with the deletion process on the basis of the 
notice of intent to delete and the comments already received. There 
will be no additional opportunity to comment.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 300

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, 
Hazardous Substances, Hazardous waste, Intergovernmental relations, 
Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Superfund, Water 
pollution control, Water supply.

    Dated: March 8, 2001.
Thomas C. Voltaggio,
Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA Region III.

    For the reasons set out in this document, 40 CFR Part 300 is 
amended as follows:

PART 300--[AMENDED]

    1. The authority citation for Part 300 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(c)(2); 42 U.S.C. 9601-9657; E.O. 
12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR., 1991 Comp., p.351; E.O. 12580, 52 FR 
2923, 3 CFR., 1987 Comp., p. 193.

Appendix B--[Amended]

    2. Table 1 of Appendix B to Part 300 is amended by removing the 
site for ``Brodhead Creek, Stroudsburg, PA.''

[FR Doc. 01-12707 Filed 5-21-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P