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David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548
PHILADELPHIA - The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced today that the recent closure of the Rutgers Organics Corporation fine chemical operations in State College will not affect the environmental cleanup at the Centre County Kepone Superfund site. The site is located at Struble Road and State Highway 26, about 2.3 miles northwest of State College, Pa.
“The soil and groundwater cleanup systems are continuing to operate and studies are being planned to address an area of the site which was used for spray irrigation in the 1960s,” said EPA remedial project manager, Frank Klanchar.
Klanchar also noted that USEPA is conducting a five-year review of the site this year. The purpose of the five-year review is to assess the protectiveness of the cleanup. The review was triggered by the five-year anniversary of the first phase of the cleanup in 1999, which included groundwater extraction and treatment systems, surface water drainage and containment systems, and a soil vapor extraction system.
While Rutgers’ fine chemical production has been moved to its Georgia facility, pilot production projects, research and development, and the company’s headquarters will remain in State College.
Since 1958, Rutgers or its corporate predecessors, owned and operated pesticide and chemical manufacturing facilities at the 32-acre site. In the 1980s various volatile organic compounds and pesticides were detected in soil, sediments, surface water, and groundwater as the result of past manufacturing activities at the site. In 1983, and the site was added to the Superfund National Priorities list. Under the Superfund law, the landowners, waste generators and waste transporters who are responsible for the contamination of a Superfund site must either clean up the site or reimburse the government or other parties for their cleanup activities.