Quehanna Wild Area Nuclear Site in the Moshannon State Forest, Clearfield County; Notice of Proposed Settlement
[46 Pa.B. 7597]
[Saturday, December 3, 2016]
Under section 1113 of the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA) (35 P.S. § 6020.1113), notice is given that the Department of Environmental Protection (Department) has entered into a proposed settlement with Lockheed Martin Corporation (Lockheed Martin) for the reimbursement of costs incurred by the Commonwealth for response actions taken at the Quehanna Wild Area Nuclear Site in Clearfield County (Site).
From the 1950s to the 2000s, this Site was the location of a facility at which radioactive materials were processed, stored, handled and, more recently, remediated under Federal licenses from the Atomic Energy Commission and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). During that time span, a number of businesses, including Lockheed Martin's predecessor, Martin Marietta Company, conducted activities at the Site utilizing radioactive and other materials. For most of this 50-year period the Site has been owned by the Commonwealth.
Activities at the Site involving radioactive materials included: the operation of a pool-type research reactor in the 1950s; research and development activities associated with a variety of applications, including, but not limited to, the manufacture of prototype thermoelectric generators using strontium-90 (Sr-90) in the early and mid-1960s; encapsulation of sealed sources of cobalt-60 (Co-60) and other radionuclides in the late 1960s and part of the 1970s; and operation of irradiators for food and wood irradiation and other processes from the 1960s to 2002.
For more than 15 years, the Department coordinated Site cleanup activities. The cleanup is complete. Cleanup activities have included removal and offsite disposal of all regulated radioactive materials, demolition of all Site structures, and extensive monitoring and sampling to ensure that the Site met NRC requirements. The Commonwealth's cleanup expenditures exceed $30 million.
In 2003 and 2004, the Commonwealth and the United States entered into agreements under which the United States reimbursed the Commonwealth for $10 million of the Commonwealth's cleanup costs. The Department filed two lawsuits in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in which the Department seeks payment of the remaining unreimbursed cleanup expenditures. One lawsuit is against Atlantic Richfield Company (Atlantic Richfield), in which the Department seeks to recover from Atlantic Richfield the Site expenditures relating to the cleanup of Co-60. The civil action number of that lawsuit is 1:09-CV-0913. In that action, the Department contends that Atlantic Richfield is liable for the Site expenditures relating to the cleanup of Co-60. The Department has asserted that the expenditures for the cleanup of Co-60 were at least $1.45 million. The Department and Atlantic Richfield previously agreed to a proposed Consent Decree that resolves the lawsuit and any other claims that the Commonwealth could have made against Atlantic Richfield relating to the Site cleanup and reimbursement of the Commonwealth's cleanup expenditures (ARCO Consent Decree).
This notice pertains to a second lawsuit which was filed against Lockheed Martin. The Department contends that Lockheed Martin is liable for those Site expenditures relating to the cleanup of Sr-90. The civil action number of that lawsuit is 1:09-CV-0821. In that action, the Department seeks in excess of $20 million. The Department and Lockheed Martin have agreed to a proposed Consent Decree that resolves this specific lawsuit and any other claims that the Commonwealth could have made against Lockheed Martin relating to the Site cleanup and reimbursement of the Commonwealth's cleanup costs.
The primary terms of the proposed Consent Decree are that Lockheed Martin shall pay the Department $500,000 for reimbursement of the Commonwealth's cleanup expenditures, that Lockheed Martin shall withdraw its objections to the ARCO Consent Decree and that Lockheed Martin will receive contribution protection and cannot be sued by any other entity with respect to the Commonwealth's cleanup expenditures. In the proposed Consent Decree, which has been filed with and is subject to court approval, the Department and Lockheed Martin have stated that: (1) the proposed Consent Decree has been negotiated by the Department and Lockheed Martin in good faith; (2) the settlement of this matter will avoid prolonged and complicated litigation between the Department and Lockheed Martin; and (3) the settlement is fair, reasonable and in the public interest.
Under section 1113 of the HSCA, the Department is providing a 60-day comment period on the proposed settlement beginning on the date of publication of this notice. Interested persons may submit written comments to the Department which shall be addressed to Curtis C. Sullivan, Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Chief Counsel, Southcentral Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110-8200. Copies of the proposed Consent Decree also may be obtained from Curtis Sullivan. The Department has the right to withdraw its consent to the Consent Decree if comments concerning the Consent Decree disclose facts or considerations that indicate that the Consent Decree is inappropriate, improper or not in the public interest.
Persons in need of accommodations as provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 should contact the Department at (717) 787-3720 or through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD) to discuss how the Department may accommodate their needs.
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 16-2079. Filed for public inspection December 2, 2016, 9:00 a.m.]
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