September 26, 2010 - The federal Environmental Protection Agency wants to determine whether there is any hazardous waste lurking outside the area of a Parks Township waste dump slated for cleanup by the Army Corps of Engineers.
At the urging of Patty Ameno, an environmental activist from Leechburg, EPA is investigating whether illegal dumping took place in areas other than the disposal trenches at the former waste dump along Route 66.
Known as the Shallow Land Disposal Area (SLDA), the 44-acre dump sits behind a razed plutonium processing facility, a sister site to the former nuclear fuel-processing plant in Apollo, owned by the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp. (NUMEC) and its successors, the Atlantic Richfield Co. and Babcock & Wilcox (now BWX Technologies).
NUMEC and ARCO disposed of radiological and chemical waste from the Apollo plant into 10 trenches in Parks from 1960 to the early 1970s.
The EPA is reviewing site-related documents and photos to decide whether Ameno's concerns are warranted.
"We are reviewing and determining if further EPA action is necessary," said Roy Seneca, EPA spokesman for Region III in Philadelphia.
At least several incidents of off-site contamination have been documented and cleaned up through the years, but Ameno and a former NUMEC engineer believe there could be more.