[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 113 (Tuesday, June 12, 2001)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 31582-31585]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-14620]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 300

[FRL-6964-5]


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

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of intent for partial deletion of the Tobyhanna Army 
Depot Site from the National Priorities List.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3 announces 
its intent to delete a portion of the Tobyhanna Army Depot Site, 
located in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, from the National Priorities 
List (NPL) and requests public comment on this action. The NPL 
constitutes Appendix B to the National Oil and Hazardous Substances 
Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), 40 CFR part 300, which EPA 
promulgated pursuant to section 105 of the Comprehensive Environmental 
Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This partial 
deletion for the Tobyhanna Army Depot Site is proposed in accordance 
with 40 CFR 300.425(e) and the Notice of Policy Change: Partial 
Deletion of Sites Listed on the National Priorities List. 60 FR 55466 
(Nov. 1, 1995).
    This proposal for partial deletion pertains to all portions of the 
Tobyhanna Army Depot Site except for contaminated groundwater plumes at 
Operable Units 1 and 5 (OU1 and OU5) [Excluded Areas], which are 
undergoing natural attention and long-term monitoring. These Excluded 
Areas will remain on the NPL until the performance standards specified 
in the Records of Decision are met. EPA bases its partial deletion 
proposal on the determination by EPA, the Army, and the Pennsylvania 
Department of Environmental Protection that all appropriate actions 
under CERCLA have been completed to protect human health, welfare and 
the environment.

DATES: EPA will accept comments concerning its proposal for partial 
deletion for thirty (30) days after publication of this document in the 
Federal Register and a local newspaper of record (the Pocono Record).

ADDRESSES: Comments may be mailed to Lorie Baker, Superfund Site 
Manager, U.S. EPA, Region 3 (3HS34), 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, 
PA, 19103; PHONE: 215-814-3355; FAX: 215-814-3001; EMAIL: 
baker.lorie@epamail.epa.gov.
    Information Repositories: Comprehensive information on the 
Tobyhanna Army Depot Site as well as the Deletion Docket is available 
for review at the following two information repository locations:
    Coolbaugh Township Municipal Building, Route 611, Tobyhanna, PA 
18466. The Coolbaugh Township office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 
Monday-Friday. The telephone number is (570) 984-8490.
    Tobyhanna Army Depot, Public Affairs Office, 11 Hap Arnold 
Boulevard, Tobyhanna, PA 18466-5076. The Public Affairs Office hours 
are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday. The telephone number is (570) 
895-6552.
    The Deletion Docket is also available for review at the U.S. EPA 
Region 3 Regional Center for Environmental Information (RCEI), 1650 
Arch Street (3PM52), Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029. The RCEI office hours 
are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. The telephone number is (215) 814-
5254.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lorie Baker, U.S. EPA, Region 3 
(3HS34), 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103; PHONE: 215-814-3355; 
FAX: 215-814-3001; EMAIL: baker.lorie@epamail.epa.gov

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

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

I. Introduction

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3 
announces its intent to delete a portion of the Tobyhanna Army Depot 
Site, located in Monroe County, Pennsylvania, from the National 
Priorities List (NPL), which constitutes Appendix B of the National Oil 
and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP), 40 CFR Part 
300, and requests comments on this proposal. This proposal for partial 
deletion pertains to all portions of the Tobyhanna Army Depot Site 
except for contaminated groundwater plumes at Operable Units 1 and 5 
(OU1 and OU5) [Excluded Areas], which are undergoing natural 
attenuation and long-term monitoring. These Excluded Areas will remain 
on the NPL until the performance standards specified in the Records of 
Decision are met. EPA proposes to delete the Tobyhanna Army Depot Site 
except for the Excluded Areas as defined above because all appropriate 
CERCLA response activities have been completed in those areas.
    The NPL is a list maintained by EPA of sites that EPA has 
determined present a significant risk to human health, welfare, or the 
environment. Pursuant to 40 CFR 300.425(e) of the NCP, any site or 
portion of a site deleted from the NPL remains eligible for remedial 
actions if conditions at the site warrant such action.
    EPA will accept comments concerning its intent for partial deletion 
for thirty (30) days after publication of this notice in the Federal 
Register and a newspaper of record.

II. NPL Deletion Criteria

    The NCP establishes the criteria that EPA uses to delete sites from 
the NPL. In accordance with 40 CFR 300.425(e), sites may be deleted 
from the NPL where no further response is appropriate to protect human 
health or the environment. In making such a determination pursuant to 
40 CFR

[[Page 31583]]

300.425(e), EPA will consider, in consultation with the State, whether 
any of the following criteria have been met: Section 300.425(e)(1)(i): 
Responsible parties or other persons have implemented all appropriate 
response actions required; or Section 300.425(e)(1)(ii): All 
appropriate Fund-financed response under CERCLA has been implemented, 
and no further response action by responsible parties is appropriate; 
or Section 300.425(e)(1)(iii): The remedial investigation has shown 
that the release poses no significant threat to human health or the 
environment and, therefore, taking of remedial measures is not 
appropriate.
    Deletion of a portion of a site from the NPL does not preclude 
eligibility for subsequent Fund-financed actions at the area deleted if 
future site conditions warrant such actions. Section 300.425(e)(3) of 
the NCP provides that Fund-financed actions may be taken at sites that 
have been deleted from the NPL. A partial deletion of a site from the 
NPL does not affect or impede EPA's ability to conduct CERCLA response 
activities at areas not deleted and remaining on the NPL. In addition, 
deletion of a portion of a site from the NPL does not affect the 
liability of responsible parties or impede agency efforts to recover 
costs associated with response efforts.

III. Deletion Procedures

    Deletion of a portion of a site from the NPL does not itself 
create, alter, or revoke any person's rights or obligations. The NPL is 
designed primarily for informational purposes and to assist Agency 
management. The following procedures were used for the proposed 
deletion of the Tobyhanna Army Depot site:
    (1) EPA has recommended the partial deletion and has prepared the 
relevant documents.
    (2) The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania 
Department of Environmental Protection concurs with this partial 
deletion.
    (3) Concurrent with this national Notice of Intent for Partial 
Deletion, a notice has been published in a newspaper of record and has 
been distributed to appropriate federal, State, and local officials, 
and other interested parties. These notices announce a thirty (30) day 
public comment period on the deletion package, which commences on the 
date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register and a 
newspaper of record.
    (4) EPA has made all relevant documents available at the 
information repositories listed previously.
    This Federal Register document, and a concurrent notice in a 
newspaper of record, announces the initiation of a thirty (30) day 
public comment period and the availability of the Notice of Intent for 
Partial Deletion. The public is asked to comment on EPA's proposal to 
delete a portion of the Tobyhanna Army Depot site from the NPL. All 
critical documents needed to evaluate EPA's decision are included in 
the Deletion Docket and are available for review at the aforementioned 
information repositories.
    Upon completion of the thirty (30) day public comment period, EPA 
will evaluate all comments received before issuing the final decision 
on the partial deletion. EPA will prepare a Responsiveness Summary for 
comments received during the public comment period and will address 
concerns presented in the comments. The Responsiveness Summary will be 
made available to the public at the information repositories listed 
previously. Members of the public are encouraged to contact EPA Region 
3 to obtain a copy of the Responsiveness Summary. If, after review of 
all public comments, EPA determines that the partial deletion from the 
NPL is appropriate, EPA will publish a final notice of partial deletion 
in the Federal Register. The partial deletion does not actually occur 
until the final Notice of Partial Deletion is published in the Federal 
Register.

IV. Basis for Intended Partial Site Deletion

    The following provides EPA's rationale for deletion of the 
Tobyhanna Army Depot (TYAD) site, except for the Excluded Areas, from 
the NPL and EPA's finding that the criteria in 40 CFR 300.425(e) are 
satisfied.

Background

    TYAD is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern 
Pennsylvania, approximately 20 miles southeast of Scranton, PA, in 
Coolbaugh Township, Monroe County. The installation covers 
approximately 2.2 square miles, measuring 1.6 miles east to west and 
2.2 miles north to south at the widest point. The area surrounding TYAD 
is rural with the village of Tobyhanna bordering the installation at 
the southeast corner. Tobyhanna State Park and Gouldsboro State Park 
are adjacent to the installation on the northeast and northwest sides, 
respectively. Tobyhanna was established when the United States 
purchased 33 square miles of land in 1909. Tobyhanna was primarily used 
for machine gun and field artillery training beginning in 1913, and as 
an ambulance and tank regiment training center and an ordnance storage 
depot during World War I. Tobyhanna was inactive until 1932, except for 
Army and National Guard Field Artillery training. From 1932 to 1938, 
Tobyhanna was a Conservation Corps camp area, and from 1938 to 1941, 
Tobyhanna, was used by West Point cadets for field artillery training. 
In 1942, Tobyhanna was reactivated and converted for storage and supply 
uses. Tobyhanna artillery ranges were deactivated in 1946. In 1949, the 
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania purchased approximately 21,000 acres from 
the United States, and in 1952, approximately 1,293 acres were deeded 
back to the United States government for the modern depot construction 
in 1953. Tobyhanna is currently a communication-electronics maintenance 
and supply depot. On August 30, 1990 (55 FR 35502), Tobyhanna was added 
to the National Priorities List due to the discovery of groundwater 
contaminated with elevated levels of volatile organic compounds. The 
contaminated groundwater was affecting one of the Tobyhanna Army Depot 
drinking water supply wells in addition to several nearby residential 
wells. The Department of the Army is considered the lead agency.
    Tobyhanna Army Depot has five Operable Units: OU1 (Areas A and B), 
OU2 (Former PCB Transformer Area), OU3 (Former Hazardous Waste Storage 
Areas), OU4 (Powder Ridge UXO Area), and OU5 (Inactive Sanitary 
Landfill). In addition to the OUs, the Army also investigated fifty-
eight (58) additional potential areas of concern (AOCs) identified in 
the November 1990 Tobyhanna site-specific Federal Facility Agreement 
(FFA), all of which have since been formally closed out and require no 
further action. These determinations were documented in three AOC 
Closeout Documents in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Therefore, no further 
CERCLA investigations or response actions are planned or anticipated. 
Long-term CERCLA and RCRA operation and maintenance (O&M) monitoring 
activities and five-year reviews will continue.

Remedial Action

    A Record of Decision (ROD) for OU1 was signed on September 30, 
1997. OU1 consists of a former burning area and a former hazardous 
waste staging area that resulted in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) 
leaching into the groundwater and contaminating several off-base 
private wells. The Army began supplying bottled water to the affected

[[Page 31584]]

residences in 1987, and in 1991, connected the residences to the Depot 
water supply. In 1996, the Army excavated the source material and 
surrounding soils as a Removal Action. The OU1 remedy consists of 
monitored natural attenuation and institutional controls (ICs). The 
Army monitors groundwater on a semi-annual basis, and VOC 
concentrations continue to decrease. The ICs will limit future use of 
the groundwater while contaminants remain above Maximum Containment 
Levels (MCLs) promulgated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, which are 
the performance standards as identified in the ROD. The expected 
duration of the monitored natural attenuation remedy is fifteen (15) 
years.
    The ICs implemented at TYAD are designed to prevent human 
consumption of contaminated groundwater. An IC previously implemented 
by TYAD includes a waterline agreement with the residents to ensure 
that future residents will not be exposed to groundwater contaminated 
at levels above the MCLs. This ongoing interim measure includes 
supplying potable water to residences/businesses, which have wells with 
VOC concentrations above MCLs. The agreement specifies that individual 
residential wells will not be used for any purpose except for 
monitoring by the U.S. Army.
    Another previously implemented IC is an agreement with the 
Coolbaugh Township Zoning Office to notify TYAD of new construction 
involving potable water. This control will ensure that new wells are 
not placed in areas of known or suspected contamination and will allow 
the resident to be connected to the TYAD potable water supply. 
Additionally, a control prohibiting the construction of any on-post 
drinking water well in the plume of groundwater contamination has been 
implemented. This IC has been incorporated into the TYAD Master Plan.
    A ROD for OU2 was signed on September 27, 1996. OU2 consists of the 
former PCB transformer building. PCB-contaminated soils were removed 
from the site and residual contamination is below risk-based levels 
providing for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure. The selected 
remedy for the OU2 ROD was No Further Action.
    A ROD for OU3 was signed on July 12, 1996. OU3 consists of two (2) 
former hazardous waste storage buildings, which were remediated 
according to an approved RCRA closure plan. The residual contamination 
was below risk-based levels providing for unlimited use and 
unrestricted exposure. The selected remedy for the OU3 ROD was No 
Further Action.
    A ROD for OU4 was signed on September 19, 2000. OU4 consists of a 
400-acre area where artillery range use resulted in residual unexploded 
ordnance. In September 2000, the Army completed construction of a fence 
and hazard warning signs around the OU4 area as a Removal Action. The 
OU4 remedy consists of ICs and Operation and Maintenance (O&M) 
activities necessary to maintain the integrity of the physical controls 
constructed during the Removal Action. The ICs and O&M activities that 
comprise this remedy include the following: maintenance of the physical 
controls (i.e., fencing and signs); increased security patrols to 
minimize trespassing on TYAD property, and specifically OU4; 
proprietary controls such as deed restrictions to be placed on the land 
if it is ever transferred outside of the Government; public education 
to inform TYAD personnel and visitors with business in the vicinity of 
OU4 of the potential for UXO in the area; and periodic review to ensure 
that this remedial action remains effective in protecting the public. 
No remedial construction was required and the Army has implemented the 
IC and O&M procedures.
    A ROD for OU5 was signed on September 28, 2000. OU5 consists of 
groundwater emanating from the inactive (RCRA) sanitary landfill. The 
landfill was closed with an engineered soil cover in accordance with a 
state- and EPA-approved RCRA closure plan, permit and O&M plan. The OU5 
remedy consists of monitored natural attenuation and ICs. The expected 
duration of the monitored natural attenuation remedy is thirty (30) 
years. The Army will continue to monitor groundwater on a semi-annual 
basis, and ICs will prevent exposure to contaminated groundwater until 
monitoring data indicate that the remediation goals have been met. The 
ICs for OU5 are similar to those implemented at OU1, such that an 
agreement between TYAD and the Coolbaugh Township Zoning Office will 
ensure that future residents will not be exposed to groundwater with 
constituents above MCLs. In addition, construction of any onpost 
drinking water well in the area of groundwater contamination at OU5 
will be prohibited until groundwater remediation goals have been met. 
This prohibition has been incorporated into the TYAD Master Plan. Also, 
ongoing public education regarding potential hazards associated with 
consumption of contaminated groundwater in OU5 and results of long-term 
monitoring will be presented to all employees in articles in the 
installation newspaper.
    Because hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants that will 
remain onsite at OU-4, the UXO Area, do not allow unlimited use of, or 
unrestricted access to the site, the Army, as lead agency, will conduct 
five-year reviews as required by CERCLA. Five-year reviews will also be 
conducted in the Excluded Areas at OU1 and OU5, which are not being 
considered for deletion due to long term groundwater monitoring, until 
such time that it has been determined that cleanup goals have been 
attained.
    Operation and maintenance (O&M) activities at the areas proposed 
for deletion will only be necessary at OU4, the UXO area. The O&M 
activities include continuing security patrols and maintenance of the 
fencing and the signs around the perimeter of OU4.

Community Relations Activities

    Community interest in this site is currently low. Initially, 
community interest was very high when the VOC-contaminated groundwater 
plume was found to be migrating offsite to residential wells in the 
village of Tobyhanna. Since the affected residents have been connected 
to the Depot water supply, the interest in other sites at Tobyhanna has 
remained low. In March 1995, a Restoration Advisory Board (RAB) was 
formed. The RAB includes representatives of the Army, Monroe County, 
Coolbaugh Township, former TYAD employees, and other interested 
parties. The Army keeps the RAB well informed by providing members with 
copies of pertinent CERCLA documents for review and comment, and by 
holding periodic meetings to discuss ongoing CERCLA investigations and 
actions.

Applicable Deletion Criteria

    The final ROD for the Tobyhanna Army Depot site was signed on 
September 28, 2000. All remedies are in place, including the 
institutional controls specified in the RODs for OU1, OU4, and OU5. 
Natural attenuation and long-term monitoring for the Excluded Areas, 
the groundwater at OU1 and OU5, is underway. One of the three criteria 
for site deletion specifies that EPA may delete a site from the NPL if 
``responsible parties or other persons have implemented all appropriate 
response actions required.'' 40 CFR 300.425(e)(1)(i). At TYAD, EPA 
believes that the Army has implemented all appropriate response actions 
and therefore, EPA, with the concurrence of the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania, is

[[Page 31585]]

proposing deletion of this Site, except for the previously defined 
Excluded Areas, from the NPL. Documents supporting this action are 
available in the Deletion Docket.
    While EPA does not believe that any future response actions in the 
areas to be deleted from the NPL will be necessary, if future 
conditions warrant such action, the proposed deletion areas of the 
Tobyhanna Army Depot site remain eligible for future Fund-financed 
response areas of the Tobyhanna Army Depot site remain eligible for 
future Fund-financed response actions. Furthermore, this partial 
deletion does not alter the status of the Excluded Areas, the 
groundwater plumes at OU1 and OU5, which are not proposed for deletion 
and remain on the NPL.

State Concurrence

    In a letter dated January 11, 2001, the Commonwealth of 
Pennsylvania through its Department of Environmental Protection has 
concurred on EPA's final determination regarding the partial deletion.

    Dated: March 30, 2001.
Thomas C. Voltaggio,
Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 
Region 3.
[FR Doc. 01-14620 Filed 6-11-01; 8:45 am]
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