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EPA completes removal action at Strube warehouses
Release Date: 02/27/2009
Contact Information: Terri White email@example.com, 215-814-5523
PHILADELPHIA (February 27, 2009) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has completed its oversight and removal of radioactive materials from eight warehouses located at seven sites in Lancaster County. The sites are owned and operated by Strube, Inc., and were used to store military aircraft instruments and other related items.
Health officials determined more than a year ago that items in the warehouses, including dials and instruments with radium, mercury and other hazardous substances, may have threatened the health and safety of the surrounding communities if a fire occurred in the warehouses.
EPA assumed the responsibility for oversight and cleanup in January 2008 and this month transferred remaining oversight to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) who administers Strube’s radioactive material license. Over the past year, both the EPA and the property owner, Strube, conducted cleanup operations at the facilities. Removal of the radioactive material means that there is no longer a threat from a measurable release of radioactive material if there would be a fire. Strube maintained business operations at the facilities throughout the cleanup.
EPA's removal action was completed by December 2008. A portion of Strube's cleanup, with EPA oversight, was completed in January. Strube will continue to work with the Pennsylvania DEP to identify and remove any remaining radioactive and hazardous materials and perform final radiation measurements of the property, building, and materials left behind.
Most of the items removed from the warehouses showed low levels of contamination. However, the warehouses stored a large inventory of these items. Overall, the EPA and Strube removed an estimated 400,000 contaminated items from the eight warehouses located in the Lancaster County communities of Columbia, Marietta, Maytown and Mount Joy.
EPA will remain available to the DEP if resources and additional cleanup support becomes necessary as the state decommissioning process continues. More information is available at www.epaosc.net/Strube.