AWK Consulting Engineers, Inc. (AWK) has completed a Phase I Environmental Site
Assessment (ESA) for the replacement of the Waltz Mill Bridge, which carries S.R. 3037,
Section D10, over Sewickley Creek. The northern end of the bridge is in Sewickley Township,
and the southern end is in South Huntingdon Township, both in Westmoreland County,
Pennsylvania. This work was completed for Innovative Consulting Group, Inc. (ICG), who are
under contract with PennDOT District 12-0 on this project. This Phase I work was done in
accordance with PennDOT Publication 281, “Waste Site Evaluation Procedures Handbook”,
dated August, 2004, and included:
Review of property records;
Review of available geologic, soils and hydrogeologic data;
Contacts with local property owners;
Review of U.S. EPA records;
Contacts with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP) and a
review of PaDEP files;
Review of historical records;
Review of aerial photographs;
Site reconnaissance; and
Preparation of this report.
2.0 PROJECT DESCRIPTION
2.1 Location and Existing Conditions
The existing Waltz Mill Bridge is located approximately one-quarter of a mile south of the
Madison Interchange between S.R. (Interstate) 0070 and S.R. 3037 in central Westmoreland
County, Pennsylvania. The bridge spans Sewickley Creek, which marks the boundary between
Sewickley Township to the north and South Huntingdon Township to the south (see Figure 1 and
Figure 2 for vicinity and location maps). It is a two-span bridge. The northern bridge approach
crosses a set of railroad tracks about 30 feet north of the existing bridge. Ballast for this track
extends all the way down the northern bank of the creek on the downstream side of the bridge.
The project area includes the existing bridge, 200 feet of approach roadway along S.R. 3037 at
the northern end of the bride, and about 50 feet of approach roadway at the southern end of the
bridge. The bridge location is shown on the project mapping on Figure 3.
2.2 Proposed Work
The existing S.R. 3037 bridge is a two-span concrete box-beam structure supported by concrete
northern and southern abutments, each with two wingwalls about 18 feet in length and oriented
about 30 degrees from the existing roadway, and one pier located roughly in the middle of
Sewickley Creek. There is significant deterioration of the concrete throughout the bridge, with
rebar exposed in many areas. The new bridge is expected to be a two-span continuous composite
P/S spread box beam bridge or possibly an adjacent box bridge, with all new sub-structures.
2.3 Topographic, Geologic and Hydrogeologic Conditions
The site is at an elevation of approximately 920 feet. According to the Soil Survey of
Westmoreland County (1992), it is underlain by Philo soils, which typically consist of friable silt
loam. These are expected to be underlain by alluvial deposits of local origin composed of silt,
sand, clay and gravel, with a depth to bedrock of approximately twenty feet beneath the stream
bed. There are no bedrock outcrops in the stream banks in the immediate vicinity of the bridge.
Top of rock beneath the site is expected to be in the middle of the Glenshaw Formation of the
Conemaugh Group of Pennsylvanian Age, and to consist of interbedded shale, siltstone and
sandstone. The Upper Freeport Coal is reported to occur at an elevation of 750 feet, which
corresponds to a depth of about 170 feet beneath the site. The Upper Freeport Coal has
reportedly been deep mined within one half mile to the east of the site, but there is no record of
the site having been undermined. Bedrock dips to the west at about 200 feet per mile beneath the
There is weak to moderate iron staining of cobbles in the stream bed just downstream from the
existing Waltz Mills Bridge. This probably results from acid mine drainage entering Sewickley
Creek upstream from the bridge, possibly from a strip-mined area located about one and one-half
miles east of the project area.
The entire project area drains directly into Sewickley Creek. The water table is expected to slope
gradually downward towards the creek elevation of about 918 feet on both sides of the creek.
Groundwater flow in bedrock beneath the site is expected to be controlled by the westerly dip of
There are no municipal sewer or water lines in the project area. However, there is a
Westmoreland County Water Authority water line that runs along Waltz Mill Road (S.R. 3037)
north of the project area and crosses Sewickley Creek about 500 feet upstream of the existing
bridge (see Appendix A, page 1). It is expected that the homes and businesses in the project area
have private water well and septic systems.
In a telephone interview on February 13, 2008, a South Huntingdon Township staff member
stated that the township is not zoned. In an interview on February 21, 2008, Mandy from the
Sewickley Township office said that Sewickley Township is also not currently zoned although
they expect to have a zoning system in place in “a couple of months”.
This section describes how data-gathering activities were conducted for this project. Results are
presented in Section 4.0.
3.1 Deed Research
The project area considered in this Phase I ESA report includes the twenty-five parcels listed in
Table 1. Parcel locations are shown on the project mapping included as Figure 4. AWK
conducted deed research on the following four of these parcels on the Westmoreland County
website wcdeeds.us/dts/default.asp in February, 2007:
58-19-00-0-001, currently owned by New Menasha Inc.;
58-19-00-0-0012, currently owned by West Penn Power;
58-19-00-0-015, currently owned by the Westmoreland County Industrial Development
58-19-00-00-010, currently owned by Louis Yemc.
Deed research was not conducted on the remaining properties, which are occupied by residences,
an abandoned church or are vacant and are not considered to be potential waste sites. The
purpose of the deed research was to investigate prior landowners and land use. It was not
intended to establish clear title and is not a substitute for a title search.
3.2 Interviews and Questionnaires
AWK mailed a questionnaire regarding environmental (hazardous waste) issues to the current
owners or occupants of the four properties for which deed research was conducted. Responses
have been received for all four properties. Copies of these completed questionnaires are included
in Appendix B.
3.3 Agency Contacts
Government agencies and private individuals to whom inquiries were made for this project are
listed on Table 2 along with a summary of responses. Correspondence and telephone
memoranda related to these inquiries are included in Appendix A. A general file review was
conducted at the PaDEP office in Pittsburgh on January 17, 2008, and included examination of
Westmoreland County General Waste Management files from 1969 to the present and Waste
Management N.O.V. (Notice of Violation) files from 1970 through the present. Files for the
New Menasha plant, and water quality files from Sewickley, Hempfield and South Huntingdon
Townships, were reviewed at the same office on February 28, 2008.
3.4 Database Search
Environmental Data Resources, Inc. (EDR) was engaged by AWK to conduct a search of
environmental records for the project area. A copy of the EDR report, which is dated February
11, 2008, is included in Appendix C. Federal, state and other databases searched, and search
distances, are listed on pages 10 and 11 of this appendix.
3.5 Oil and Gas Well Records
AWK staff examined a map of the Smithton, Pennsylvania, U.S. Geological Survey 7 ½-minute
topographic map showing the locations of registered oil and gas wells at the Pennsylvania
Geologic Survey office in Pittsburgh on January 23, 2008.
3.6 Aerial Photographs
Aerial photographs were examined at the Westmoreland County Natural Resources Conservation
Service on January 25, 2008. Table 3 presents information about all of the photographs
examined. Copies of these photographs are included in Appendix D. An aerial photograph was
also obtained for the project area from the Google Earth web site.
3.7 Sanborn Maps
EDR was engaged by AWK to conduct a Sanborn map search of the project area. No Sanborn
map coverage was found. AWK reviewed the Sanborn maps at the Carnegie Main Library in
Pittsburgh on February 14, 2008. Maps dated 1916 and 1925 were found for Yukon,
Pennsylvania, which is located about one mile northeast of Waltz Mills. There was no coverage
of the Waltz Mill Bridge project area.
3.8 Other Historical Information
AWK reviewed historical information at the Westmoreland County Historical Society in
Greensburg on January 25, 2008, and at the Heinz History Center Library in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, on February 19, 2008. U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps of the Smithton
7 ½’ quadrangle dated 1954, 1954 (photorevised 1969), 1977, 1994 and 1997, and a U.S.G.S.
topographic map of the Connellsville 15’ quadrangle from 1902, were obtained from EDR.
Copies of these maps and of selected historical information is included in Appendix E.
3.9 Site Reconnaissance
Site reconnaissance was conducted by AWK staff on February 21, 2008.
4.1 Deed Research
Results of deed research conducted for this project are as follows.
Parcel 58-19-00-0-001 was acquired by New Menasha Inc. from the International Paper
Company on 9/30/80 (DBV 2367/874). This deed states that there is a one story steel
frame and concrete building of approximately 160,400 square feet, a sewage treatment
facility and other accessory structures on the property. It also refers to a Peoples Natural
Gas right of way for a “gas regulator, etc”. There are no references to any environmental
issues in this deed. The International Paper Company acquired the property from
Clarence E and Ruth R. Rhodes on 9/19/60 (DBV 1798/314). This deed does not
reference any structures on the property or any environmental issues.
Parcel 58-19-00-0-0012 was acquired by West Penn Power from the Consolidated Rail
Corporation on 11/26/86 (DBV 2708/256), and included the section of the railroad right-
of-way from Mile Post 3.0 to 3.5. This deed does not refer to any environmental issues
on the property. Consolidated acquired the property from the Trustrees of the Penn
Central Transportation Company on 3/30/76 (DBV 2305/133).
Parcel 58-19-00-0-015 was obtained by the Westmoreland County Industrial
Development Authority from the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad Company on 6/28/95
(DBV 3372/563). This deed does not reference any environmental issues.
Parcel 58-19-00-00-010 was obtained by Louis Yemc from Robert and Betty Miller on
5/17/66 (DBV 1934/624). This deed refers to a two-story frame eleven room dwelling
house and a three car cement block garage on the property. No environmental issues are
noted. This site is now occupied by Gary’s Truck Repair, which is run by Mr. Gary
McClain. However, it is apparently still owned by the Mr. Yemc.
4.2 Interviews and Questionnaires
A questionnaire was returned by Mr. George S. Church of the Westmoreland County Industrial
Development Corporation for parcel 58-19-00-0-015 (see Appendix B, p. 1-3), which includes
the railroad right-of-way on the northern side of the bridge (Figure 3). According to the
questionnaire, the property has been a railroad right-of-way since 1875. No environmental
concerns were noted, except that “people dump a lot of things along the railroad”, although Mr.
Church stated that he was not aware of any such dumping at this property.
The railroad line on parcel 58-19-00-0-015 is reportedly now referred to as the Southwest
Pennsylvania Railroad and is operated by Carload Express. In a telephone interview on 3/20/08,
Mr. Sandy Perkins of Carload Express stated that he was not aware of any environmental issues
along this railroad right-of-way in the project area.
Mr. Gary McClain returned a questionnaire for parcel 58-19-00-0-010 (see Appendix B, p. 4-6).
It indicated that the property is used for repair and servicing of tractors trucks and trailers, and
that there is a heating oil AST on site. Mr. McClain stated that he did not know if there was any
discharge from this property into Sewickley Creek.
Mr. Joe Cottrill of the Allegheny Power Environment, Health & Safety Department completed
and returned the questionnaire for parcel 58-19-00-0-0012 (see Appendix B, p. 7-9). This
questionnaire states that the property is used for the Yukon electrical power substation, and that
there is a diesel AST on site. However, these features are located on a portion of the parcel that is
approximately three miles west of (and downstream from) the Waltz Mills Bridge. As such, they
are not considered significant for this project.
AWK received a questionnaire completed by Mr. Jeremy Dixon, the regional Environmental
Health and Safety Manager for New Menasha, on March 14, 2008 (see Appendix B, p. 10-17).
This questionnaire indicates that roof drains for the facility discharge to Sewickley Creek. A
map of the discharge points was included with the questionnaire, and shows one of these points
is just downstream from the Waltz Mills Bridge. Additional information about this discharge
point gleaned from the New Menasha NPDES permit is presented in Section 5.2. AWK field
observations regarding a discharge pipe located just downstream from the existing Sewickely
Bridge, which is believed to correspond with this discharge point, are presented in Section 4.9.
Mr. Dixon also stated that railroad cars are delivered to the New Menasha facility roughly every
other day, and that he is unaware of any spills or accidents that have occurred along the railroad
line that services the facility.
4.3 Agency Contacts
AWK received an email from Mr. Christopher Tantlinger, the HAZMAT Coordinator for the
Westmoreland County Department of Public Safety, on February 15, 2008 (see Appendix A for
this email and other information described in this section). He stated that there was a 100-gallon
diesel spill from a motor vehicle accident on eastbound I-70 about 2,000 feet east of the Waltz
Mills Bridge project area on January 2, 2008. He also stated that this incident was investigated
by the PaDEP. However, the PaDEP was not able to locate any information about this incident.
The PaDEP general file review yielded the following information.
There is a letter dated July 18, 1989, that describes dumping of fill material adjacent to
Sewickley Creek by an “unknown” property owner. A map attached to the letter shows
the location of this dumping on the north side of Sewickley Creek about 1,200 feet
upstream from the project area. No other information about this incident was found
during the file review. As discussed in Section 5.2, this dumping appears to have taken
place on the southern edge of a parcel now occupied by Gary’s Truck Repair.
There is a letter concerning the Hoadwonic property (parcel ID 59-07-00-0-086), which is
located on the southern end of the bridge on the eastern side of S.R. 3037. This concerns
an incident that occurred on October 18, 2004, when a truck driver backed onto the
Hoadwonic’s property, broke a fuel line and spilled an estimated 30 gallons of diesel fuel.
Soil contaminated in this incident was remediated, according to the PaDEP. This incident
is not considered significant to the Waltz Mill Bridge project.
On April 6, 1994, a tanker truck lost control, ran through a center guard rail and ruptured
a fuel tank, spreading “100+” gallons of fuel oil onto I-70 and into adjacent catch basins.
This accident occurred approximately two miles west of the New Stanton interchange,
which would place it about one mile east of the Waltz Mills Bridge. A follow-up PaDEP
inspection stated that no residual pollution was observed.
A similar incident occurred at the south ramp off of I-70 eastbound at S.R. 0119 on
August 25, 1996. A tanker truck overturned and caught fire, discharging gasoline into an
adjacent storm drain. From there it drained into a tributary of Sewickley Creek, and
caused a fish kill in the tributary and in Sewickley Creek. The confluence of this tributary
and Sewickley Creek is located about three miles upstream from the Waltz Mills Bridge.
AWK reviewed the December, 2007, permit renewal application for a National Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit to discharge to Sewickley Creek filed by New
Menasha, Inc., for their Waltz Mills Plant. This permit application is discussed in detail in
Section 5.2, and excerpts are included in Appendix A.
The Westinghouse Waltz Mill Facility is located about 3,000 feet northeast of the Waltz Mills
Bridge. As discussed in more detail in Section 5.2, this facility was built in 1957 as a nuclear
research laboratory and has been used for this purpose to the present. The back half of the
facility drains into a tributary of Sewickley Creek that is unnamed on the U.S.G.S. 7 ½’
topographic map of the Smithton quadrangle, but is referred to in some documents as “Calley”
Creek. This tributary enters Sewickley Creek about 1,300 feet upstream from the Waltz Mills
Bridge. AWK spoke with Mr. Howard Dunne, who was the PaDEP water quality inspector for
Hempfield Township, which borders Sewickley Township to the east, on February 25, 2008. Mr.
Dunne stated that the Westinghouse facility discharges wastewater into this unnamed tributary,
and provided additional information about the history of the facility that is presented in
Section 5.2. AWK spoke with Mr. Dwight Shearer, of the PaDEP office of Radiation Protection,
about the Westinghouse Facility on February 26, 2008. Details of that conversation are also
presented in Section 5.2.
AWK also discussed potential waste sources in the project area with Mr. Dave Lifert of the
PaDEP. He stated that he had been the inspector for the area that includes the Waltz Mills
Bridge “about five years ago”. He recalled that a business called the Madison Truck Stop was
located at the Madison I-70 exit at that time, but did not have any major waste issues associated
with it. He was also the inspector for the Westinghouse Waltz Mills Plant, but he said that he
was unaware of any sampling of stream sediments in Sewickley Creek downstream from the
4.4 Database Search
The following specific findings from the database review are included here to be consistent with
One reported CERCLIS – NFRAP site was found within one-half mile of the project area.
This is the Menasha Corporation Yukon Facility, which is about one-quarter mile
north-northwest of the project area. This site is also a RCRA Correction Action site and a
RCRA small-quantity generator. Although downstream from the project area, this site is
potentially significant because it includes a discharge point into Sewickley Creek within the
project area, as discussed in Sections 4.2 and 5.2.
One Underground Storage Tank (UST) site is located within one-half mile of the project area.
This is the Madison Truck Stop, which is located on S.R. 0070 West at exit 25. It is about
one-quarter mile northeast of the site, and believed to be the same location as Gary’s Truck
Repair. Because of its potential impact on stream sediments in the project area, it is
discussed in more detail in Section 5.2.
No Pennsylvania State hazardous waste sites, landfills or leaking underground storage tanks
were found within one-quarter mile of the project area.
In addition, no sites were found within one-quarter of a mile of the project area for any of the
other environmental databases reviewed by EDR, as listed in Appendix C.
One other site was identified in the database review that is considered potentially significant for
this project. This is the Westinghouse Electric Company Waltz Mills Plant, which is located
about 3,000 feet northeast of the project area. Although well outside the project area, a portion
of this plant drains into Sewickley Creek upstream of the Waltz Mills Bridge, and therefore may
have discharged waste materials that subsequently accumulated in stream sediments within the
project area. This plant is currently listed as a RCRA Large Quantity Generator. It also has a
long history as a nuclear research facility, as discussed in Section 5.2.
4.5 Oil and Gas Well Records
PaDEP records indicate that there are no registered oil or gas wells within 1,000 feet of the
4.6 Aerial Photographs
On the 1949 aerial photograph, the Waltz Mill Bridge is visible at its present location, and all
roadway approaches appear roughly on their current alignments. There are scattered small
structures on both sides of the bridge that appear to be residential. The railroad line along the
northern side of Sewickley Creek is also visible. No changes are noted on the 1957 photograph
in the vicinity of the bridge. However, the Westinghouse Waltz Mills facility is under
construction at this date. In the 1967 photograph, I-70 has been built as has the large facility to
the northwest of the bridge now occupied by New Menasha, Inc., and the Westinghouse Waltz
Mills complex is complete. There is also some new construction visible to the northeast of the
Waltz Mills Bridge adjacent to the interchange between S.R. 3037 and I-70, which consists of
roadway work and cleared lots but no unambiguous new structures. No changes are noted in
1974. The 1986 photograph shows a substantial new cleared area about 500 feet upstream from
the bridge on the northern side of Sewickley Creek, which could be a large new parking lot. As
discussed below, this is probably the first evidence of the truck repair business now present at
this location. This lot is also clearly visible on the 1993 photograph.
4.7 Sanborn Maps
AWK was not able to locate any Sanborn map coverage of the project area. The Sanborn
coverage of Yukon indicates that the Pennsylvania Railroad line along Sewickley Creek was
present in 1916 and 1925 (see Appendix E, p. 1-2).
4.8 Other Historical Information
The 1902 topographic map shows a bridge at approximately the location of the current bridge,
just south of a community labeled “Walts Mill” that consisted of only a road junction and four
small structures (see Appendix E for copies of historical maps and information). The railroad
along Sewickley Creek is not present on this map. On the 1954 map there is a railroad track
running along the northern bank of Sewickley Creek at the bridge location, which is labeled
“Pennsylvania”. There are also some additional small structures along the roads on both sides of
the bridge, and “Walts Mill” has been changed to “Waltz Mill”. On the 1969 photorevision, I-70
has been built and there is a large structure about 700 feet northwest of the bridge with new
access roads and a railroad spur that connects it to the line along Sewickley Creek. This line has
been relabeled Penn Central. No significant changes were noted on the 1977 revision. In 1994,
there is a new structure about 1,000 feet northeast of the bridge location, adjacent to a ramp at the
S.R. 3037 – S.R. 0070 interchange. As discussed in Section 4.6, this is believed to be a new
truck stop. In addition, the railroad line that runs past the Waltz Mills Bridge is shown
terminating about 2,000 feet to the northwest of the project area, indicating that the former
through-going Penn Central line had been abandoned by this date. The remaining line was
presumably a spur left in place to service the New Menasha facility from the east. There are no
changes noted on the 1997 map.
The following information is from several publications on the history of Sewickley Township.
The unincorporated community of Walts Mill was established in 1849, and as of about 1860
consisted of a store, saw mill, grist mill, distillery and some dwellings. The first bridge over
Sewickley Creek, a wooden covered bridge, was built about 1860. A single arch steel bridge
later took its place, and was replaced by the current cement bridge in 1925. In 1962 the
International Paper Company erected a paper products factory on twenty acres of land just north
of the existing Waltz Mills Bridge. This plant manufactured cardboard boxes. It is believed that
this is the facility now occupied by New Menasha, Inc.
In 1957, construction began on the Westinghouse Atomic Testing Reactor at Waltz Mills, at a
location about 3,000 feet northeast of the Waltz Mills Bridge. This plant was designed to test
how various materials would stand up to high levels of radiation. Starting in 1962 it was also
used to test “nuclear rocket engines”, and in 1966 the “fast breeder” project was moved to the
plant. This involved developing a nuclear reactor that produced more plutonium than it used.
Although this site is outside of the project area, it is considered relevant since it drains into
Sewickley Creek upstream of the Waltz Mills Bridge. It is discussed further in Section 5.2.
4.9 Site Reconnaissance
This section presents general information about field observations in the project area. Additional
information about specific potential waste sites is provided in Section 5.0.
About 50 feet north of the northern end of the bridge, S.R. 3037 makes a 90-degree bend. At this
bend, an access road to the Menasha plant enters from the west. There are several single-family
homes along the northern side of S.R. 3037 at the northern end of the bridge (Photograph No. 1)
and an abandoned church near the northeast corner of the project area. There is a Peoples Gas
Line with some above-ground piping along the northern side of the Menasha Access Road
(Photograph No. 2).
A railroad track runs between the roadway and the northern bank of Sewickley Creek at the
northern end of the existing bridge. It appears to be in current use. No significant refuse was
noted along the roadway or the railroad tracks but there was a stack of railroad ties on the
northern side of the track on the day of the field reconnaissance (Photograph No. 3). West
(downstream) of the bridge the ballast for the railroad forms part of the bank of the creek
(Photograph No. 3), whereas upstream from the bridge it is separated from the creek’s edge by a
swath of flat land along the creek bank (Photograph No. 4). The railroad embankment is made
up of cobbles, locally with pieces of railroad ties protruding from it. No waste material was
noted in the railroad embankment.
At the existing north bridge abutment, there is some coarse rubble fill but no significant refuse or
other waste material. There is a roughly 8”-diameter metal pipe set in a concrete headwall on the
northern bank of the creek about 20 feet downstream of the bridge (Photograph No. 5). On the
day of the field visit there was a flow estimated visually at 20 Gallons per Minute (GPM). There
was some foam accumulated on the surface of Sewickley Creek where this flow entered into it,
but it was not clear if this was from soap suds or was just some air bubbles on the surface of the
water. As discussed in Section 4.2, this pipe is believed to be an NPDES discharge point for
runoff from the Menasha plant.
At the south abutment there is also some coarse fill material but no significant refuse. The
southern stream bank is moderately wooded. At the top of the bank upstream from the bridge is
a residential lot (Photograph No. 6), and downstream is a paved road, bordered on the south by
residential properties (Photograph No. 7). No waste issues were noted.
On the southern bank about 20 feet downstream from the existing bridge, there is a concrete
structure (Photograph No. 8) with a 24” diameter opening at its base that drains into the creek.
There was no foam or sheen on this water on the day of the site reconnaissance. Flow was
estimated at 10 GPM. There is a free flowing stream in a gully adjacent to the southeastern side
of the bridge (Photograph No. 9). Water flowing in this stream was free of foam or sheen on the
day of the field visit, and the flow rate was estimated visually at 20 GPM.
As discussed in Section 5.2, there is extensive reddish-brown staining of the cobbles in the bed
of Sewickley Creek on both sides of the existing bridge (Photograph No. 10).
This section describes the two potential waste sites identified within the project area. These sites
are listed on Table 4 and are plotted on Figure 3. The eastern and western limits shown for each
site on this figure correspond with the approximate limits of the project area, and not with the
inferred limits of the site itself. Both are linear features that extend essentially indefinitely in
both directions moving away from the project limits.
5.1 Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad Tracks and Embankment
This site is located at the northern end of the existing Waltz Mill Bridge, and extends east to west
across the project area. It is on parcel no. 58-19-00-0-015, which is owned by the Westmoreland
County Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC), and on parcel 58-19-00-0-0012, which
borders parcel 015 to the west and is owned by the West Penn Power Company. The WCIDC
obtained parcel 015 from the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad Company in June of 1995. The
railroad line on this parcel is operated by the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad, which has
reportedly been recently “consolidated” into Carload Express. West Penn Power obtained parcel
012 from the Trustees of Penn Central railroad in 1986. The railroad track on this parcel has
Sanborn maps for the Borough of Yukon, which is located about one mile northwest of the
project area, indicate that a Pennsylvania Railroad line was present along Sewickley Creek in
1916. Based on historical topographic maps of the project area, some time between 1977 and
1994 the portion of this railroad that extended west out of the area on parcel 012 was abandoned,
and the line on parcel 015 became a spur that serviced what is now the Menasha facility.
The questionnaire returned by Mr. George S. Church of the WCIDC for parcel 015 did not
identify any environmental issues in the project area. The railroad line is still in use, according to
Jeremy Dixon of New Menasha. The questionnaire returned for parcel 012 mentions an
electrical substation thereupon, but as noted in Section 4.2, this feature is well outside the project
During the site visit conducted on February 21, 2008, AWK did not observe any dumping or
other environmental issues along the railroad tracks in the project area. The ballast for the
railroad embankment consisted of coarse gravel over a base of darker-colored fill (Photograph
Nos. 3 and 4). With the exception of scattered pieces of 4x4’s protruding from this fill, no refuse
or other debris was noted in the embankments.
5.2 Stream Sediments
The following three sites have been identified that may have discharged wastes into Sewickley
Creek upstream from the project area or in the immediate vicinity of the bridge, and therefore
may have impacted stream sediments within the project area.
New Menasha, Inc. - The New Menasha, Inc., plant has an NPDES permit that it was granted in
July, 2002, to discharge to Sewickley Creek. A permit renewal application for this permit was
submitted to the PaDEP in December, 2007, and is currently under review. This permit renewal
application indicates that there is a stormwater discharge point for the New Menasha plant
located on the northern side of Sewickley Creek approximately 15 feet downstream from the
existing bridge (see the location of the “SW-1” outfall on Appendix A, p. 18 and on Appendix B,
p. 17). This discharge point is believed to be the pipe that was observed to be producing a
“foamy” discharge during the field visit conducted by AWK on February 21, 2008. According to
the permit renewal form, the stormwater discharge from outfall 1 qualifies for a “No Exposure
Certification for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activites” (see A, p. 28).
Furthermore, a PaDEP inspection of the New Menasha facility on February 11, 2008, reported no
violations (Appendix A, p. 29) and an evaluation of the facility completed by the PaDEP in July,
2004, concluded that it did not engage in hazardous waste storage or treatment activities and that
there were no environmental problems known at the site (Appendix A, p. 31).
The New Menasha plant was originally built by the International Paper Company in 1962. No
specific information about the plant during its operation by International Paper was found, but it
is probable that it produced paper/cardboard packaging products similar to those now produced
by New Menasha, Inc., using the same facility.
Gary’s Truck Repair (Madison Truck Stop) – This site is located on the east side of S.R. 3037 at
the Interstate 70 interchange. It is outside the project area. However, it includes a paved parking
lot that extends south from the repair shop at the northwestern corner of the property almost to
the northern bank of Sewickley Creek, a distance of about 200 feet, and also extends upstream
along the creek for a distance of roughly 700 feet. On the day of the site visit there were roughly
50 semis and other large trucks parked in this lot, most of which were adjacent to the repair shop.
A few trucks were parked at the southwestern corner of the lot. Some of these are visible near
the center of Photograph No. 4. The portion of the lot adjacent to Sewickley Creek was almost
completely empty. There is also an abandoned series of pump islands under a canopy near the
center of the lot, and further to the east, a vacant structure that appears to have been a restaurant.
No drains were observed in this parking lot.
Review of aerial photographs suggests that the paved lot was built sometime between 1974 and
1986. PaDEP records indicate that the Madison Truck Stop, which is located at Exit 25A on
Interstate 70 (the current location of Gary’s Truck Repair) has four registered USTs including
two 20,000-gallon diesel and three 20,000-gallon gasoline tanks. However, based on
observations made during the site visit, it appears that the truck stop is no longer in business, and
that the USTs, which were presumably in the vicinity of the now-unused pump islands at the site,
are not currently in use. AWK obtained a telephone number for the Madison Truck Stop listed
on the AITA (America’s Independent Trucker’s Association) website, but it was no longer in
Westinghouse Waltz Mills Plant – This large facility is located on the northern side of
Interstate 70 about 3,000 feet north and east of the project area. It is situated on a minor drainage
divide, with the eastern half draining into an unnamed stream that joins Sewickley Creek about
1,300 feet upstream from the project area, and the western half draining west into a smaller
unnamed stream that flows into Sewickley Creek roughly 4,000 feet downstream from the project
area. According to contacts with the PaDEP, the waste water treatment plant for this facility
discharges into the stream that joins Sewickley Creek upstream from the project area. Thus, the
plant discharge does pass through the project area and could have had an impact on stream
sediments at the location of the existing Waltz Mills Bridge.
A review of historical records indicates that the Waltz Mills plant was constructed in 1957, and
that it has operated as a nuclear research facility from then until the present. Contacts with the
PaDEP indicate that there has been discharge of radioactive materials from the plant into the
stream that flows into Sewickley Creek upstream from the Waltz Mills bridge. However, there
has apparently not been any testing of Sewickley Creek itself for such materials. Mr. Dwight
Shearer, Section Chief for Radioactive Materials at the PaDEP Southwest Office, stated in an
email dated 4/21/08 that the PaDEP would be interested in analyzing geotechnical samples
obtained from Sewickley Creek for the Waltz Mills Bridge project for radioactive materials (see
Appendix A, p. 5).
Other potential waste sources
In addition to these specific sources, several other potential waste sources upstream along
Sewickley Creek should be considered. These include (1) spills from vehicle accidents along
Interstate 70; (2) acid mine discharge; and (3) wildcat (illegal) sewer discharge.
As discussed in Section 4.2, PaDEP records document several diesel fuel spills that have
occurred along Interstate 70 upstream from the Waltz Mills Bridge, and that have resulted in fuel
entering Sewickley Creek. These include a roughly 100-gallon diesel fuel spill in January, 2008,
and two similar incidents in the 1990s. PaDEP documents describe remediation efforts
completed for these spills, and do not indicate any substantial impacts to Sewickley Creek.
Acid mine discharge has clearly impacted Sewickley Creek at the Waltz Mills bridge, as
demonstrated by pervasive reddish-brown staining of stream cobbles in the vicinity (see
Photograph No. 10). This staining may be related to drainage from mine spoils located one to
two miles upstream along the banks of Sewickley Creek.
No evidence of wildcat sewerage was noted in the project area. However, given the absence of
municipal sewer lines in the area, there could be illegal discharge of untreated residential sewage
directly into the stream at various points upstream from the bridge.
The section presents recommendations for further environmental work, if warranted, at the two
potential waste sites identified in this report. These recommendations have been developed in
conformity with guidance in PENNDOT Publication No. 281, “Waste Site Evaluation
Procedures Handbook, Volume I”, dated August, 2004, and in ASTM Publication D-5746,
“Standard Classification of Environmental Condition of Property Types” (1998). They are based
on site history and current site use.
6.1 Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad Tracks and Embankment
This site is identified as a Standard Environmental Condition of Property Area Type 1, which
means that no release or disposal of hazardous substances or petroleum products is known to
have occurred there. It has been reportedly been owned by a railroad since 1875, and historical
maps reviewed for this project indicate that a railroad track was probably built on the site some
time between 1902 and 1916. Although there are no known contaminated areas, this inferred
long history of railroad use suggests that diesel fuel, herbicides, or other unknown contaminants
may be present locally in soils beneath or adjacent to the railroad line. AWK therefore
recommends that any geotechnical borings or intrusive construction activity at this site should be
done under a HASP with Level D PPE. This work should be accompanied by monitoring for
organic volatiles. Intervals that have organic volatile readings above background or show visual
evidence of contamination should be analyzed in accordance with the following
recommendations in PENNDOT Publication 281:
Initially, analyze each sample for priority pollutant metals, Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons
(TPH) and Extractable Organic Halogens (EOX).
For each sample
- If lead exceeds 250 ppm, a Toxicity Characteristics Leach Procedure (TCLP) test for
lead only should be run.
- If EOX exceeds 50 ppm, Target Compound List Semivolatile Organic Compounds
(TCL - SVOCs) should be run.
- If the concentration difference between EOX and total SVOCs exceeds 50 ppm,
Pesticides/PCB should be run.
If it is anticipated that materials excavated from along the railroad tracks or embankment will
need to be removed from the site, AWK recommends that they be disposed of at a residual waste
landfill. This will probably require sampling and testing for Form U parameters, depending on
the receiving landfill permit requirements.
6.2 Stream Sediments
This site consists of the stream sediments beneath the existing bridge, which based on field
reconnaissance consist primarily of cobbles, but could also include significant amounts of finer
material. These sediments are classed as a Standard Environmental Condition of Property Area
Type 7, which means that additional evaluation is required. This classification is based on the
potential waste sites identified upstream from the bridge, including the Westinghouse Waltz
Mills plant, Gary’s Truck Repair, and several documented fuel spills along Interstate 70 that
drained into Sewickley Creek. In addition, the discharge point for the New Menansha plant
immediately downstream from the existing bridge could have impacted stream sediments at the
As a result of these upstream sites, AWK recommends that any geotechnical borings or intrusive
construction activity in Sewickley Creek should be done under a HASP with Level D PPE. This
work should be accompanied by monitoring for organic volatiles, and by monitoring for radiation
exposure due to the potential for radiological contamination from the Westinghouse facility,
According to current PaDEP regulations included in Appendix F, sediment testing is required for
construction projects that involve dredging of more than 500 cubic yards of material. The testing
requirements are based in part on the potential sources of contamination identified upstream from
the excavation location. Because of the wide range of potential contaminants that may have
originated at the Westinghouse facility, AWK recommends that sediment samples obtained from
borings in Sewickley Creek should be analyzed for TPH, Priority Pollutant List (PPL) metals,
TCL SVOCs, and PCBs. AWK also recommends that a portion of the sediment samples
collected from any geotechnical borings drilled in Sewickley Creek for this project be provided
to a representative of the PaDEP, for analysis of selected radiological parameters. Mr. Dwight
Shearer of the PaDEP Radiation Protection Division would be the contact person to coordinate
this sampling (see correspondence in Appendix A, p. 5).
American Society for Testing and Materials, 1998, Standard Classification of Environmental
Condition of Property Area Types for Defense Base Closure and Realignment Facilities,
Atlas of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, 1867, A. Pomeroy, publisher.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, 2004, Waste Site Evaluation Procedures Handbook,
Volume I. Publication No. 281.
United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service (1981) Soil Survey of
Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
United States Geologic Survey, 1997, Topographic Map of the Smithton 7 1/2 Minute
Wilson, John J., 1962 (?), History of Sewickley Township.
Wilson, John J., 1971, History of Sewickley Township.
Wilson, John J. date unknown, Sewickley Township 1776-1976
AST - Aboveground Storage Tank
ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials
AWK – AWK Consulting Engineers, Inc.
CERCLIS - Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information
ESA – Environmental Site Assessment
EOX - Extractable Organic Halogens
ICG – Innovative Consulting Group, Inc.
NFRAP - No Further Remedial Action Planned
NPDES - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
PaDEP – Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
PCB – Polychlorinated Biphenyls
PennDOT – Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
S.R. – State Route
SVOC – Semivolatile Organic Compound
TCL – Target Compound List
TPH – Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons
U.S. EPA – United States Environmental Protection Agency
UST – Underground Storage Tank