occidental chemical corp./firestone tire & rubber co.


Four consecutive owners disposed of industrial wastes at the approximately 250-acre Occidental Chemical Corporation. Prior to the second World War, this site was owned by Jacobs Aircraft Engine Company, which built engines there. The Defense Plant Corporation (DPC) bought the site from Jacobs in 1942, however Jacobs continued to operate and manufacture aircraft engines for DPC until late 1944. In 1945, DPC leased the site to Firestone Tire and Rubber (FTR), which later purchased the site in 1950. FTR made tires and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins at the site. In 1980, FTR sold the property to Occidental Chemical Corporation. Occidental continued to manufacture PVC resins at the site until 2005. From 1942 to 1985, operators disposed of wastes, including cutting oils, metal filings, tires, and PVC sludge resins, into a seventeen-acre solid waste landfill. In 1977, FTR requested permission from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) to expand this landfill. PADEP granted the expansion and required continuous pumping of groundwater beneath the site to prevent contaminants from moving off-site. In 1985, with state approval, the owner closed this landfill, capping it with a rubber cover and two feet of soil. During the EPA's investigation, the nature and extent of groundwater contamination was further defined. Groundwater pumping continues today. Another landfill operated on-site; its seven acres were used for disposing residual wastes. In July 1997, PADEP approved a Closure Plan for this landfill, which was then capped in 1998. A pair of lined lagoons built in 1974 – were closed in 1995 under PADEP's oversight. When they were open, these lined lagoons received the PVC sludge overflow from the plant wastewater treatment system. The site also contained four inactive, unlined lagoons. These unlined lagoons were used to dispose of PVC sludge before the lined lagoons were built. The material from these unlined lagoons was removed by Occidental in 2008 under the Superfund program. The site surroundings are both agricultural and urban. Pottstown, PA is the closest major town. Approximately 31,000 people live within a two-mile radius of the site. A portion of the site is in the flood plain of the Schuylkill River, which is used both for water supply and for recreational activities. Site Responsibility Cleanup of this site is the responsibility of the federal government and the parties potentially responsible for the site contamination.

Hazardous Ranking Score

46 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 3
Within the region: (800) 438-2474
Outside the region: (215) 814-5000

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

        Potentially Responsible Parties

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