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Superior Steel Site

Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program

Buffalo District
Published Dec. 11, 2023
Updated: Dec. 11, 2023

The former Superior Steel Site, located in Scott Township, Pennsylvania, processed uranium metal in support of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission’s (AEC) fuel-element development program from 1952 to 1957. The site was also licensed from 1957 to 1958 to receive thorium metal for processing and shaping. The primary AEC operations performed at the Superior Steel Site consisted of salt bathing, rolling, brushing, shaping, cutting, stamping, and coiling of uranium metal. Records indicate that primarily natural uranium was processed at the site, along with limited amounts of enriched uranium. Recycled uranium from reprocessed spent nuclear fuel may also have been processed on site.

Project Status

It was determined in February 2006, that the former Superior Steel Company site would be investigated to determine its eligibility for inclusion into the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). A preliminary assessment was completed in February 2007 which concluded that the site was used for AEC activities that supported the Nation’s early atomic energy program, and further investigation was recommended to determine the extent and nature of AEC-related contamination and the associated risks to human health and the environment.

USACE conducted field work for the remedial investigation (RI) from July 2014 through November 2016, with additional field activities in 2019.

The RI investigated the nature and extent of uranium in environmental media and on building surfaces potentially impacted by AEC-related constituents. Information collected during the RI indicates that uranium is present in environmental media (soil) and on building surfaces above screening levels; however, concentrations do not currently pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.

There is no data for the basement of Building 29, as the building owner would not allow access to the flooded basement during the RI field work. Although this area remains an uncertain risk to potential receptors, data for soils surrounding the basement were used to make a weight-of-evidence conclusion that there has been no environmental release of any potential AEC-related contamination from the basement.

USACE has concluded based on investigation findings that cleanup is not necessary and no further action is required at the Superior Steel Site. The baseline human health risk assessment shows that there is no unacceptable risk to receptors from uranium under current or reasonably anticipated future land uses, and the ecological risk assessment shows that there are not likely to be any adverse ecological impacts from uranium.

The only uranium detected in environmental media above conservative risk-based screening levels created to protect human health and the environment exists in limited areas of soil within the Central and South Areas of the site. These areas of slightly elevated uranium concentrations in soil do not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment under both current and reasonably anticipated future land uses (i.e., commercial/industrial uses, including trespassing), in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.

Building 23 (which currently consists of five interconnected steel-frame warehouses), Building 29 and Building 37 similarly do not pose unacceptable cancer risk, non-cancer hazard, or radiological dose to any receptors under current or reasonable future exposure scenarios. This includes current and future indoor industrial workers, current and future adolescent trespassers, and future construction workers. Therefore, no further action is needed to protect human health and the environment from residual contamination in site buildings.

Under the no action proposed plan, no remedial action would be performed, and no institutional controls would be implemented.

The public comment period for the proposed plan begins May 8, 2023 and ends July 7, 2023.  A public meeting will be conducted at the Scott Township Municipal Building, Main Meeting Room, 301 Lindsay Rd, Carnegie, Pennsylvania 15106, on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, beginning at 6:30 p.m.  A court recorder will be available to record verbal comments during the meeting after the presentation.

The no action remedy outlined in the proposed plan may be modified based on any new information acquired during the designated public comment period. Once the comment period for the proposed plan closes, a record of decision will be issued outlining the selected remedy. The record of decision will include a written response to comments received on the proposed plan and is currently scheduled for release in 2025.

The proposed plan and supporting documents are available in the administrative record file for the site, which is located electronically in the administrative record file link below. The administrative record is electronically available for viewing on-line in the Scott Township Public Library, 301 Lindsay Road, Carnegie, Pennsylvania. The administrative record file is also available for review by appointment at the Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District Office Library.

Community Involvement

The US Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District welcomes your input at any time. Our goal is to offer timely and meaningful opportunities for public input to our projects and to promote the dissemination of project information to the community. Public involvement activities complement the Corps' mission to address environmental contamination at the Superior Steel Site from past Manhattan Engineer District and Atomic Energy Commission activities.

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