Enforcement

Case Summary: Cleanup Agreement for Precision National Corporation Site, Penn.

On May 12, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reached a settlement with Precision National Plating Services, Inc. on a plan to clean up groundwater and surface water contamination at the Precision National Corporation site in Clarks Summit, Penn. where a chrome plating facility had been in operation from 1958 to 1999.

EPA has been overseeing Precision’s cleanup activities at the site since 1991. The 2012 administrative order on consent replaces previous orders and agreements between Precision National Plating Services and the Agency. The final cleanup plan, expected to take several years, will also include extensive monitoring of groundwater wells on the site and around the perimeter of the site at an estimated cost of $4.452 million.

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Information about the Company

Precision National Plating Services, Inc., is a corporation existing and operating under the laws of the State of Delaware.

Information about the Precision National Corporation Site

The Precision National Corporation Site consists 46 acres of the Precision property and any areas where site-related hazardous substances are located. The Precision property is located Clarks Summit, Penn., approximately 10 miles north of Scranton, Penn. From 1958 until 1999, the Precision property had been used for chrome-plating operations. Specifically, locomotive crankshafts were chrome-plated at the Precision property, and a cylinder-lining plating division began in or about 1971. Both operations continued until the facility ceased operations in 1999.

From 1958 until approximately 1970, chromium wastes were disposed of in a lagoon at the northern end of the facility. In May of 1970, chromium-contaminated liquids leaked from a break in the lagoon's retaining wall and were absorbed into the soils in a drainage pathway. Additional wastewater containing hazardous substances flowed along the drainage pathway leading to a nearby creek. From approximately 1970 until the cessation of operations, Precision utilized a wastewater management system to minimize contamination. Groundwater to surface water discharges, also known as seeps, occur due to the hydrogeology at the site and associated fractures in the bedrock.

Based on historical investigations conducted to date, the hazardous substances at the site are total chromium and hexavalent chromium; however, hexavalent chromium is the primary constituent of concern.

From 1958 until1971, Ernest V. Berry, Inc., operated a plating business on the site. In 1971, Precision National Corporation purchased the property. Precision National Corporation changed its name to Precision National Plating Services, Inc. in 1987.

More information on the site is available from the Precision National Corporation on-scene coordinator website.

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Information about the Administrative Order on Consent

Under the administrative order on consent (AOC), Precision will perform a removal response action at the site to address groundwater and surface water contamination. Under the agreement, 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.

Precision will also collect and treat water to prevent human exposure to contaminated groundwater, perform air monitoring during treatment to ensure residents are not exposed to unsafe levels of hydrogen sulfide and implement institutional controls to ensure that groundwater within the contaminated plume shall not be used for drinking water until cleanup standards are reached.

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Contact

Manuel Ronquillo
Attorney-Advisor
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
MC-2272A
Washington, D.C. 20460
202-564-6065
ronquillo.manuel@epa.gov