Centre County Kepone
EPA ID: PAD000436261
State College, PA 16801
Congressional District: 11th
Other Names: RÜTGERS Organics,
Ruetgers-Nease Chemical Company,
Last Updated: January 2015
The EPA is dedicated to providing you with timely and accurate information about our work at this site. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:Alexander Mandell
On This Page
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is overseeing the cleanup of the Centre County Kepone Site, being carried out and paid for by RUTGERS Organics Corporation (ROC).
- A Five-Year Review (PDF) (76 pp, 3.28 MB) of the Site was completed in September 2014.
- Additional evaluation of the shallow aquifer will be conducted to delineate the current extent of the shallow groundwater plume and its potential impact on commercial properties west of the Site. Annual evaluations will be performed for the commercial property to assess whether there are changes in building conditions or indoor air levels.
- The 32-acre Centre County Kepone site, located in State College, Pennsylvania, was a chemical manufacturing facility.
- The facility produced the pesticide kepone in 1958, 1959 and 1963, and the pesticide mirex in 1973 and 1974. All chemical manufacturing operations at the facility ceased in March of 2004.
- Process wastes originally were disposed of on site; in a spray irrigation field, a concrete lagoon, two other earthen lagoons, and also stored in drums on-site.
- After leaks were discovered, the material in the lagoons was solidified and disposed of in the two earthen lagoons and capped.
- It was later discovered however, the waste material had failed to solidify leading to hazardous materials leaching into the groundwater and surface water.
- Approximately 2,100 people live within a one-mile radius of the site. The closest residence is less than a quarter mile from the site.
- In 1982, a section of the adjacent Spring Creek was designated as a catch and release zone for fishing as a result of high levels of pesticides in fish. In 2001, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania determined that the catch and release regulation was no longer required for contamination reasons.
NPL Listing History
|Status: Final||Added: 1983|
- In April 1995, EPA signed a Record of Decision (ROD) for a more comprehensive cleanup of the site. The selected cleanup methods included 1) extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater; 2) excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soils and sediments; 3) surface water system improvements; 4) additional soil/sediment sampling; 5) monitoring of ground water, surface water, stream sediments, and fish tissue; 6) on-site and off-site fencing; and 7) deed restrictions.
- In September 1996, a Consent Decree was signed by Ruetgers-Nease Corporation, requiring the company to perform the cleanup outlined in the ROD.
- Occidental Chemical Corporation, another PRP for the site, had declined participation in the cleanup. In March 1997, EPA issued an order to Occidental Chemical Corporation for the remedial design and remedial action.
- In March 2001, EPA issued an Amendment to the April 1995 ROD, providing an improved cleanup approach for contaminated soils. An enhanced soil vapor extraction (SVE) system is used to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from subsurface soils. Excavation and off-site disposal will continue to be used for soil contaminated with pesticides. ROC conducted additional soil excavation in Fall 2001.
- In November 2001, EPA approved the Interim Remedial Action Report, establishing that the following construction activities have been completed:
- 1) Installation of the new groundwater extraction wells and conveyance system,
- 2) demolition and installation of a new groundwater treatment plant system,
- 3) excavation and reconstruction of an existing drainage ditch,
- 4) upgrades to surface water management controls, and
- 5) fencing at Thornton Spring.
- Operation and maintenance of the groundwater extraction and treatment system, including groundwater, surface water, and treatment plant monitoring, will continue to remain in operation.
- In early 2003, the enhanced soil vapor extraction (SVE) system became operational.
- In November 2004, an eight-acre area of the Site, referred to as the "Administration Parcel" was partially deleted from the NPL. The Administration Parcel includes the current Ruetgers Organics Corporation administration building, associated parking lot, and open areas. The Administration Parcel was never used for manufacturing operations and is located upgradient from the contaminated portion of the Site.
- EPA entered into an Administrative Settlement and Order on Consent (AOC) with the PRP for a removal response action at the Site in May 2007. The AOC addresses contaminated sediments from the lower portion of the freshwater drainage ditch and Thornton Spring drainage channels. Work for this removal action was completed in July 2008.
- In July 2009, EPA issued a second Record of Decision (ROD) for the Site addressing OU2. OU2 areas that were investigated include the soils of the 15-acre Former Spray Field Area and riparian areas of Spring Creek, and sediments from the lower freshwater drainage ditch, Thornton Spring outlet and drainage channel, and depositional areas of Spring Creek downstream of Benner Fish Hatchery.
- The selected remedy in the OU2 ROD included the following major components:
- a soil cover for surface soils within the Remediation Parcel portion of the Former Spray Field Area,
- any combination of a soil cover, pavement/building cover, or excavation/disposal and replacement with clean soil for surface soils within the Redevelopment Parcel portion of the Former Spray Field Area,
- security fencing between the Redevelopment and Remediation Parcels, and
- institutional controls to protect the remedy.
- A Consent Decree (CD) for OU2 Remedial Design/Remedial Action activities was entered with the court in March 2011. Under the settlement, ROC agreed to: 1) implement the ROD for OU2; 2) reimburse 100 percent of the United States’ past costs; 3) pay all future response costs; 4) commence the work pursuant to an early action settlement agreement; and, 5) reimburse the Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection’s response costs.
- The design of the OU2 selected remedy was approved by EPA in June 2011. Construction of the remedy was completed by ROC in September 2011.
- Contaminant descriptions and associated risk factors are available at: (ATSDR web site).
- To search an on-line database of all documents and reports on the Centre County Kepone site, go to EPA’s Administrative Record Database.
- All documents and reports can also be reviewed in person at these locations:
Schlow Memorial Library
100 East Beaver Avenue
State College, PA 16801
U.S. EPA Region III
1650 Arch Street-6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Call for an appointment.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below.
Record of Decision
Third Five-Year Review (PDF) (76 pp, 3.28 MB)
- Consent Decree - October 2010 (PDF) (117 pp, 5.05MB)
- Consent Decree - October 2010 (PDF) (117 pp, 5.05MB)
- Submit a FOIA Request
Get instructions on how to submit a FOIA request. $Fee$ for requests over 100 pages.
|The on-Site drainage ditch.||The outside of the treatment plant building.||Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) system in the former tank farm area.
(Click on a thumbnail to enlarge the photo)
- Fact Sheets
July 2011 (PDF) (2 pp, 190K)
March 2009 (PDF) (4 pp, 122K)
- Press Releases
04/29/2004: Environmental Cleanup Activities at Rutgers Site Will Continue
01/04/2000: Appeals Court Upholds EPA's Power to Order Non-Settling Parties to Participate in Negotiated Superfund Cleanups - Rules that Occidental Chemical May Be Liable for Centre County Cleanup
- Federal Register
09/27/2004: National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan;
National Priorities List ACTION: Direct final notice of partial deletion of the Centre County Kepone Superfund Site from the National Priorities List.
09/27/2004: National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan; National Priorities List ACTION: Notice of intent for partial deletion of the Centre County Kepone Superfund Site from the National Priorities List.