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Release Date: 9/23/1998
Contact Information: Ruth Podems (215) 814-5540 September 23, 1998

KEYSTONE ORDNANCE WORKS, Greenwood Township, Crawford County -- Officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week are beginning an on-site assessment of this former TNT production facility to determine if threats posed by conditions at the site warrant a federal emergency action.  During World War II, the Keystone Ordnance Works’ 14,444-acre facility included acid manufacturing and storage areas, burning grounds and TNT production lines. A preliminary ecological evaluation is also being conducted by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USF&WS), associated with EPA’s Biological Technical Assistance Group.  In addition to EPA’s initial assessment, Keystone Ordnance Works is being evaluated for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL) of the most contaminated hazardous waste sites.  Sites placed on the NPL are eligible for long-term cleanup support by EPA.  EPA Region III, comprising Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, has proposed a total of 200 sites to the NPL since it began in 1982.

ALLEGRO OIL & GAS INC., Sharon Township, Potter County -- After years of noncompliance with environmental laws by the owner of Allegro, EPA has now completed emergency cleanup actions that have successfully eliminated major threats from crude oil spills at this abandoned oil production facility.  Since February 1997, contractors hired by EPA have cleaned out and plugged 109 abandoned oil wells located in the Shinglehouse Oil Fields, and an estimated 39,000 gallons of crude oil was recovered during the plugging.  Sixteen abandoned tanks and containers have also been cleaned out; approximately 118 cubic yards of oily debris and bottom sediments have been recovered and treated in "bio-pods" by natural attenuation, which allows naturally occurring microorganisms in soil to decompose the oil-contaminated debris.  Background: There has been a history of oil spills and noncompliance at this site. EPA’s first response to an oil spill there occurred in January 1989.  In June of that year, EPA removed additional threats posed to health and the environment. There were subsequent oil spills, and penalties were assessed by  the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP).  In October 1996, PADEP ordered the owner to plug the wells, which has not been accomplished.  As a result, in 1997, EPA emergency crews stepped in to mitigate the threats.

MELVIN FARM MINOR OIL SPILL SITE, Bradford,  McKean County -- EPA’s prompt removal response activities have also successfully reduced threats of discharge of crude oil from this abandoned oil production facility into Kendall Creek, a tributary to Tunungawant Creek and the Allegheny River. Since March, 12 oil wells have been cleaned out and plugged, and 2,417 gallons of crude oil have been recovered, with much of it being recycled.  Approximately 32 cubic yards of oil-contaminated soil and debris were treated at the well sites by the same method used at the Allegro Oil & Gas Co. -- natural attenuation.  EPA is completing cleanup of the 13th and final well which falls under EPA jurisdiction.  Two additional wells have been referred to the state, because their locations do not pose a substantial threat to discharge crude oil into the navigable waters of the U.S., and are not eligible for a federal response.