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EPA Moves to Stabilize Magnesium Site PADEP to Assist in EPA Action
Release Date: 09/18/2006
Contact Information: EPA: David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548 & PADEP: Freda Tarbell, (814) 332-6816
PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. EPA and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) are working to address potential health hazards posed by magnesium and low-level radioactive materials at the REMACOR, Inc., site in Taylor Township, Lawrence County, Pa.
EPA and PADEP are concerned that magnesium materials currently stored in flammable containers and exposed to weather conditions are a serious fire and potential explosion hazard. PADEP is addressing aspects of this through a Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas order.
The magnesium scrap facility located on Highway 168 in West Pittsburg, Taylor Township, has a history of fires, resulting from disposal, stockpiling and unsafe storage of scrap magnesium. For many years, the company processed magnesium materials into products for sale to the steel industry.
In August 2005, scrap magnesium materials caught fire at the site, destroying processing equipment. Since then, no scrap magnesium materials have been processed. However, the company continued to accept scrap magnesium materials until the court order required it to stop. Approximately three million pounds of scrap magnesium are being stored at the Taylor Township site. In addition to the magnesium, some low-level radioactive materials are also present at the site.
In order to address the potential health hazard posed by the REMACOR site, EPA will take the lead on the following actions:
1) Secure the site with additional fencing and 24-hour security;
2) Conduct extensive sampling to determine the extent of contamination;
- 3) Stabilize hazardous, magnesium-containing materials at the site by placing them in non-flammable containers;
4) Additional work may be performed to containerize and remove radioactive waste materials once the extent of contamination is determined.
EPA and PADEP will hold a public meeting at 6:00 pm, Thursday, September 21, at the Taylor Township fire hall, 310 Center Avenue, West Pittsburg, to discuss the project and address residents' concerns.
PADEP has repeatedly attempted to get the company and its owner, Joseph Jackman, to address the situation and resolve longstanding violations of environmental laws and on June 30, 2006 a court order was issued by Judge Thomas M. Piccione. At this date, Mr. Jackman is in contempt of the order and has until September 30 to meet the conditions of the order.