The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Pittsburgh District announces an increase in operational activity at the Shallow Land Disposal Area (SLDA) in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.
During the next few months, residents near the SLDA site will see increased site workers, equipment, signage and maintenance. In addition, site workers will perform infrastructure maintenance such as repairing fencing and drainage ways, clearing trees and brush from between the fences, and removing aged solar panels.
Additionally, residents can expect to see some new construction on the site, including administrative trailers, buildings to enclose the trench excavations and process excavated material for off-site shipment, a wastewater treatment plant to treat site wastewater, and an on-site laboratory.
Just as public health and safety remain top priorities for USACE, we also want to ensure our workers are safe and well-trained. Therefore, residents may see workers training on safety procedures and processes. The training is designed to protect the workers' health and welfare and the community surrounding the site. The training will also ensure workers are operationally prepared prior to the start of site remediation.
The USACE expects the increased site activity to continue until the end of 2024 with physical remediation expected to start in 2025.
The SLDA site, encompassing 44 acres of privately-owned land, is located approximately 23 miles east-northeast of Pittsburgh in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. It is on the right bank of the Kiski River, a tributary of the Allegheny River, near the communities of Apollo and Vandergrift. Radioactive waste disposal operations were conducted between 1960 and 1970 at the site.
As part of work done under Atomic Energy Commission contracts, low-level radioactive materials were produced, primarily for fuel for nuclear-powered submarines and power plants. Disposal operations were conducted by the firm NUMEC, Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation, in the early 1960s. In 1967, ARCO purchased stock in NUMEC. In 1971, ARCO sold the stock of NUMEC to Babcock & Wilcox which has changed to BWX Technologies. BWX Technologies is the current owner of the SLDA site.
In 1981, disposal regulations were rescinded, and a 2002 law directed the site be added to the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program or FUSRAP. The FUSRAP program was initiated to identify, investigate, and clean up or control sites throughout the United States contaminated because of the nation’s atomic weapons and energy programs.
For more information, visit the Army Corps’ SDLA website: https://www.lrp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Planning-Programs-Project-Management/Key-Projects/Shallow-Land-Disposal-Area/; hardcopy documents related to the study, site testing, and removal plans are available online and at the Apollo Memorial Library, 219 North Pennsylvania Avenue, Apollo, PA 15613-1397.
For additional information, please contact the Public Affairs Office at 412-395-7500 or e-mail CELRP-PA@usace.army.mil.
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