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Friday, January 19, 2018

$7.9 Million Dollar Cleanup Of Radium-226 Contamination Nears Completion In Lock Haven

Wolf Administration Celebrates Cleanup of Contaminated Site and Construction of New Senior Housing Facility

Lock Haven, PA – The Wolf Administration today celebrated the opening of Lock Haven Court, a new senior housing made possible by the cleanup efforts of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

DEP North-central Regional Director Marcus Kohl and staff joined the Northern Cambria Community Development Corporation (NCCDC), developer of the Lock Haven Court facility, to highlight the new facility at a ribbon cutting ceremony.

“The remediation of this site is a good example of how DEP can use the tools available to us to protect the citizens of the commonwealth and the environment, while returning contaminated properties to productive use,” said Randy Farmerie, Program Manager for Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields in the DEP North-central Regional Office.

Supported through DEP’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA) funds the new Lock Haven Court apartment building provides 11 units of safe, affordable housing for low-income seniors, replacing an existing building that was built over soils with elevated levels of radiation. DEP plans to demolish the former Lock Haven Court apartment building and remediate the underlying contaminated soil by Summer 2018.

**The site is contaminated with a radioactive element, radium-226, used by the former Karnish Instruments company as a component of glow-in-the-dark paint used to illuminate aircraft instruments. Karnish Instruments operated on the site from the 1950s through the 1970s.

“The completion of this building allows us to move on to the final step of a long clean up that will erase the environmental legacy of Karnish Instruments,” said Kohl. “It’s a big win for the environment and a big win for the residents of Lock Haven Court.”

The Lock Haven Court site will be the fifth and final parcel of land associated with the former Karnish site that has been remediated through HSCA. HSCA provides DEP with the funding and the authority to conduct cleanup actions at sites where hazardous substances have been released and no viable responsible party exists to conduct the cleanup.

“It is a great pleasure to see the tenants move into their new, safe, beautiful homes,” said Cheryl Sinclair, Environmental Group Manager for Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields in the DEP North-central Regional Office, who served as project lead for DEP. “This is what we’ve worked so hard to achieve; the moment when we could say ‘welcome home."

**Previous article with financial information on cleanup of Radium-226. Radium-226 is found in frack waste from JKLM gas wells in Potter County.

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