[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 33 (Tuesday, February 19, 2002)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 7324-7326]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-3655]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 300

[FRL-7145-1]


National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan 
National Priorities List

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of intent to delete the Austin Avenue Radiation 
Superfund Site from the National Priorities List.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region III, 
announces its intent to delete the Austin Avenue Radiation Superfund 
Site (Site) from the National Priorities List (NPL) and requests public 
comment on this action. The NPL constitutes appendix B of 40 CFR part 
300, which is the National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution 
Contingency Plan (NCP). EPA promulgated the NCP pursuant to section 105 
of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and 
Liability Act of 1980, as amended (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. 9605. EPA and the 
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) have 
determined that the Site may be deleted from the NPL because all Fund-
financed response under CERCLA has been implemented and no further 
response action by responsible parties is appropriate.

DATES: Comments concerning the proposed deletion of this Site from the 
NPL may be submitted on or before March 21, 2002.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be mailed to: Mr. David Turner, Remedial 
Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 
(3HS22), Philadelphia, PA, 19103-2029, e-mail turner.david@epa.gov.

Information Repositories: Comprehensive information on the Site has 
been compiled in a public deletion docket which may be reviewed and 
copied during normal business hours at the following information 
repositories: U.S. EPA Region III Library (2nd Floor), 1650 Arch 
Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103-2029, telephone 215-814-5254 
and the Lansdowne Borough Library, 55 S. Lansdowne Avenue, Lansdowne 
Pennsylvania 19050, telephone 610-623-0239.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact Mr. David Turner, Remedial 
Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, 
(3HS22), Philadelphia, PA, 19103-2029, e-mail turner.david@epa.gov, 
telephone 215-814-3216.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

I. Introduction

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region III, 
announces its intent to delete the Austin Avenue Radiation Superfund 
Site (CERCLIS No. PAD987341716), located in Lansdowne Borough, Aldan 
Borough, East Lansdowne Borough, Darby Borough, and Upper Darby 
Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, from the National Priorities 
List (NPL) and requests public comment on this proposed action. The NPL 
constitutes appendix B of 40 CFR part 300, which is the National Oil 
and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP). EPA 
promulgated the NCP pursuant to section 105 of the Comprehensive 
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as 
amended (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. 9605. EPA identifies sites that appear to 
present a significant risk to public health, welfare, or the 
environment and maintains the NPL as the list of these sites. As 
described in Sec. 300.425(e)(3) of the NCP, sites deleted from the NPL 
remain eligible for remedial actions in the unlikely event that 
conditions at the site warrant such action. EPA and the Pennsylvania 
Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) have determined that the 
remedial action for the site has been successfully executed.
    EPA will accept comments on the proposal to delete this Site for 
thirty (30) days after publication of this document in the Federal 
Register.
    Section II of this document explains the criteria for deleting 
sites from the NPL. Section III discusses the procedures that EPA is 
using for this action. Section IV discusses the Austin Avenue Radiation 
Superfund Site and explains how the Site meets the deletion criteria 
established in the NCP.

II. NPL Deletion Criteria

    Section 300.425(e)(1) of the NCP provides that releases may be 
deleted from, or recategorized on, 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 parties have implemented all 
appropriate response actions required; or
    (ii) All appropriate Fund-financed responses under CERCLA have been 
implemented, and no further 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, remedial measures are not appropriate.
    If new information becomes available which indicates a need for 
further action, EPA may initiate additional remedial actions. Whenever 
there is a significant release from a site which has been deleted from 
the NPL, the site may be restored to the NPL without application of the 
Hazard Ranking System.

[[Page 7325]]

III. Deletion Procedures

    EPA followed these procedures in advance of publishing this Notice: 
(1) EPA Region III determined that no further response action is 
necessary in connection with the Site to ensure protection of human 
health and the environment and that the Site may be deleted from the 
NPL; (2) EPA consulted with the Pennsylvania Department of 
Environmental Protection (PADEP (formerly the Pennsylvania Department 
of Environmental Resources)) regarding EPA's intent to delete the Site, 
and PADEP concurred with EPA's proposed deletion decision; (3) EPA 
published, in a major local newspaper of general circulation at or near 
the Site, and distributed to appropriate State, local, and Federal 
officials and to other interested parties, a notice announcing the 
proposed deletion of the Site and the commencement of a 30-day public 
comment period; and (4) EPA made copies of information supporting the 
proposed deletion (i.e., the public deletion docket) available for 
public review in the Site information repositories (the locations of 
these repositories are identified above).
    EPA Region III will accept and evaluate public comments on this 
Notice before making a final decision to delete the Austin Avenue 
Radiation Superfund Site from the NPL. In accordance with 
Sec. 300.425(e)(4) of the NCP, 40 CFR 300.425(e)(4), EPA will prepare a 
Responsiveness Summary to address any significant public comments 
received. Deletion occurs upon publication of a final notice in the 
Federal Register. Generally, the NPL will reflect deletion of a site in 
the final update following publication of the Notice proposing the 
deletion. Public notices and copies of the Responsiveness Summary will 
be made available to the public by EPA Region III.
    Deletion of a site from the NPL does not itself create, alter, or 
revoke any individual's rights or obligations. The NPL is designed 
primarily for informational purposes and to assist Agency management. 
Section 300.425(e)(3) of the NCP, 40 CFR 300.425(e)(3), makes clear 
that the deletion of a site from the NPL does not preclude future 
response actions at that site.

IV. Basis for Intended Site Deletion

    The following summary provides the Agency's rationale for the 
proposal to delete the Austin Avenue Radiation Superfund Site from the 
NPL.

Site Background and History

    The Austin Avenue Radiation Superfund Site (Site) is located on and 
near parcels in Lansdowne Borough, Aldan Borough, East Lansdowne 
Borough, Darby Borough, Upper Darby Township, and Yeadon Borough, 
Delaware County, Pennsylvania. These parcels are all within a two-mile 
radius of the former W. L. Cummings (Cummings) radium refining 
operation, which was located at the intersection of Austin and South 
Union Avenues in Lansdowne. The parcels are listed below.

Austin Avenue Site Property Parcels Listing

    Lansdowne Borough: 11 Greenwood Avenue, 126 Owen Avenue, 216 Wayne 
Avenue, 218 Wayne Avenue, 219 Wayne Avenue, 237 North Lansdowne Avenue, 
6 East Plumstead Avenue, 10 East Plumstead Avenue, 16 East Plumstead 
Avenue, 42/44 South Union Avenue, 129 Austin Avenue, 131 Austin Avenue, 
133 Austin Avenue, 134 Austin Avenue, and 30/36 S. Union Avenue (the 
former W. L. Cummings Radium Refinery (Warehouse Property));
    East Lansdowne Borough: 25 Beverly Avenue, 28 Lewis Avenue, 34 
Lewis Avenue, 210 Lewis Avenue , 246 Melrose Avenue, 211 Penn 
Boulevard, 25 Lexington Avenue,137 Lexington Avenue, 139 Lexington 
Avenue, 151 Lexington Avenue and 155 Lexington Avenue;
    Upper Darby Township: 500 Harper Avenue, 504 Harper Avenue, 346 
Owen Avenue, 310 Shadeland Avenue and 3723 Huey Avenue;
    Aldan Borough: 62 South Clifton Avenue and 64 South Clifton Avenue;
    Darby Borough: 617 Pine Street, 619 Pine Street, 621 Pine Street 
and 623 Pine Street;
    Yeadon Borough: Yeadon Borough Park and South Union Avenue.
    The Site properties were contaminated with radium (Ra226) and 
thorium (Th230) from tailings generated at the warehouse on South Union 
Avenue by the defunct W. L. Cummings Radium Processing Co. Cummings 
operated a radium-refining operation from 1915 to 1925 at this 
location. In the late 1910's and early 1920's, masonry and building 
contractors used the sand-like tailings from the Cummings plant as 
aggregate for, among other things, laying mortar between brick and 
stone masonry, pointing mortar on stone or brick masonry, applying 
stucco on building exteriors, applying plaster to building interiors, 
and laying concrete for sidewalks and basement slabs. The tailings were 
also used as fill under basement slabs, exterior perimeter foundation 
walls, and other miscellaneous applications.
    In May 1991, PADEP visited the former Cummings' property to monitor 
for radon. Radioactive contamination had previously been discovered in 
the back yard of 133 Austin Avenue, a parcel adjacent to the warehouse 
property. During this visit, radiation instruments further indicated 
the presence of significant levels of radioactive contamination. On 
June 7, 1991, PADEP notified EPA of its findings and requested 
assistance. A joint PADEP/EPA site assessment confirmed the presence of 
radiological contamination at 133 Austin Avenue at levels that 
warranted immediate action.
    On June 19, 1991, a team of radiation specialists from EPA's 
National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory, Montgomery, 
Alabama, conducted an assessment using special radiation detection 
equipment. The warehouse and the adjacent residential dwelling, 133 
Austin Avenue, were found to be heavily contaminated with radioactive 
materials. In November and December of 1991, EPA conducted a survey in 
a 12.5 square mile area of Delaware County and a small portion of the 
adjacent City of Philadelphia to detect radiological anomalies using a 
specially-equipped radiation detection van. EPA subsequently conducted 
followup surveys at those parcels found to exhibit radiological 
activity during the van survey. The testing revealed that thirty-seven 
properties within a two-mile radius of the former Cummings radium 
processing facility were radiologically contaminated.
    On February 7, 1992, EPA proposed the Site to the National 
Priorities List (NPL) (57 FR 4824) and finalized the listing on October 
14, 1992 (57 FR 47180).

Response Actions--Operable Unit One

    EPA conducted response actions under the CERCLA removal program at 
nineteen contaminated properties from June 12, 1991 through August 23, 
1995 at a total cost of approximately $23.6 million. The removal 
actions included temporary relocation of residents of several 
contaminated properties; the complete dismantlement and disposal of the 
warehouse structure at South Union and Austin Avenues; dismantlement 
and disposal of the house at 133 Austin Avenue; excavation and disposal 
of radiologically contaminated soils; and removal and disposal of 
contaminated plaster, stucco, concrete, and soils at the other 
properties.
    On June 27, 1994, EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) selecting

[[Page 7326]]

remedial actions for implementation at the remaining properties. The 
remedial actions included, among other things, the removal of 
radiologically contaminated building components and repair/
reconstruction of such components at several parcels; permanent off-
Site relocation of several homeowners to existing housing followed by 
demolition and disposal of their original homes; temporary off-Site 
relocation of several homeowners followed by demolition, disposal, and 
on-Site reconstruction of their original homes; excavation and disposal 
of radiologically contaminated soils at the warehouse property; and 
post-cleanup verification to confirm that cleanup standards established 
in the ROD were achieved. EPA removed and disposed of approximately 
5951.44 tons of radiologically contaminated debris; 150,000 cubic feet 
of contaminated soils; 1620 cubic feet of asbestos-containing 
materials; and 1910 tons of non-hazardous construction debris.
    Cleanup standards selected by EPA in the ROD required that all 
Site-related soil contamination at residential and potentially 
residential properties be removed to 5 pCi/g, averaged over 100 square 
meters \1\; that Site-related soil contamination at public-use 
properties (defined by example as streets and railroad rights-of-way) 
be removed to the residential standard if radium 226 concentrations 
exceeded 5 pCi/g in the top 15 centimeters and/or 15 pCi/g in subsoils, 
averaged over 100 square meters; and that institutional controls 
restricting land use be implemented if cleanup to these standards could 
not be achieved. The cleanup standards have been achieved and no 
institutional controls are necessary. There are no operation or 
maintenance requirements to ensure the continued protectiveness of the 
remedial actions.
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    \1\ A post-ROD memorandum to the Site file clarifies that the 5 
pCi/g cleanup standard articulated in the ROD was intended to be 
averaged over 100 square meters.
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Response Actions--Operable Unit Two

    On September 27, 1996, EPA Region III issued a `No Remedial Action' 
ROD for Site-related groundwater. The No Action decision was based on 
EPA's conclusion that the groundwater presented no risks to human 
health or welfare or to the environment.

Five-Year Review

    Section 121(c) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9621(c), as interpreted by 
Sec. 300.430(f)(4)(ii) of the NCP, 40 CFR 300.430(f)(4)(ii), requires 
that EPA conduct a review, no less often than every five years after 
initiation of remedial action, at sites where hazardous substances or 
pollutants or contaminants will remain above levels that allow for 
unlimited use and unrestricted exposure. Attainment of the cleanup 
standards has resulted in the removal of all Site-related radiological 
contamination such that restrictions on use and/or exposure are 
unnecessary. Accordingly, no five-year reviews are required by CERCLA.

Applicable Deletion Criteria

    In consultation with PADEP, EPA has determined that all appropriate 
Fund-financed response under CERCLA has been implemented at the Site 
and that no further response action by responsible parties is 
appropriate. Consequently, EPA proposes to delete the Site from the 
NPL.

State Concurrence

    By letter dated December 28, 2001, the Pennsylvania Department of 
Environmental Protection concurred with the proposed deletion of the 
Austin Avenue Radiation Superfund Site from the NPL, provided that 
completion requirements for the Site described in the Final Closeout 
Report have been met, the cleanup has achieved the objectives 
established in the ROD and no institutional controls are required, 
radiologically contaminated soils and structures have been removed, and 
no action is required for groundwater at the Site. The conditions upon 
which the State has predicated its concurrence on the deletion of the 
Site from the NPL have been satisfied.

    Dated: January 25, 2002.
Thomas C. Voltaggio,
Acting Regional Administrator, Region III.
[FR Doc. 02-3655 Filed 2-15-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P