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Douglassville Disposal

BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA
U.S. EPA REGION III - April 1998

What's Happening at Douglassville Disposal?

To date, EPA has conducted two cleanup actions at the Douglassville Disposal Site. The first one, completed in 1991, involved removing a *tank farm , buildings, equipment and trucks from the site. The second action involved placing a cap with a grass cover on a 15- to 20-acre area in the northern portion of the site along the Schuylkill River. This area was formerly land farm areas and lagoons. Monies from the Superfund Trust paid for the first action. The potentially responsible parties (PRPs) completed the second cleanup action in 1993.

Currently, a large pile of oily filter cake waste needs to be cleaned up at the site. This pile is approximately two acres in size, and is 15-feet thick. In 1989, EPA signed a Record of Decision (ROD) which called for incinerating the waste pile onsite using a commercial incinerator. EPA issued an order requiring the PRPs to pay for and conduct the incineration. The PRPs were opposed to conducting incineration at the site. After a long period of intense negotiations, the PRPs agreed to pay for and clean up the waste pile if EPA would agree to use a different technology, called stabilization.

After studying the PRP’s proposal, EPA decided that the plan could be a possible method for cleaning up the waste pile. EPA agreed to let the PRPs conduct a Focused Feasibility Study (FFS). This study will show in detail how and if the stabilization technology will work at the site, and compare it with other cleanup techniques. Currently, EPA is reviewing the PRP’s draft FFS.

If, during the review, EPA and PaDEP decide that the proposed stabilization technology is a possible method for cleaning up the waste pile, the final study would be submitted. If the final report is approved, EPA would consider preparing a proposed amendment to the 1989 ROD.

EPA would then release the proposed ROD Amendment and hold a 30-day public comment period and public meeting. During the comment period and at the meeting, EPA would accept and respond to comments and questions from the public. After considering all comments received, EPA would prepare a ROD Amendment.

The ROD Amendment is a formal document that would outline the new technology that the PRPs would use to clean up the waste pile. After issuing the ROD Amendment, EPA and the PRPs would enter a formal agreement called a Consent Decree to conduct the Remedial Design and Remedial Action. Once this work is done, the PRPs would begin cleanup of the waste pile at the site with oversight from EPA and PaDEP.

The stablization technology involves adding lime and other substances to the waste plie that will bond with the contamination. This will prevent the oil and other contaminants from leaching, or moving from the waste pile into the groundwater or clean soil.

Tank Farm:

Before the Cleanup

After the Cleanup

Next Steps at the Site

The following list shows the next steps that EPA and the PRPs would most likely take. These steps are not finalized and may change.

  1. Final Focused Feasibility Study Submitted
  2. Proposed ROD Amendment Issued
  3. Public Meeting and Comment Period Held 4. ROD Amendment Issued
  4. Consent Decree Signed by EPA and PRPs
  5. Remedial Design and Remedial Action Conducted
  6. Cleanup Work Started

Glossary of Terms

Cap
A layer of clay, or other material installed over the top of a closed landfill.
Consent Decree
A legal document that formalizes and describes an agreement between EPA and PRPs through which the PRPs will conduct all or part of a cleanup action at a Superfund site; end or correct actions or processes polluting the environment; or comply with EPA enforcement actions to resolve the contamination at the Superfund site involved.
Focused Feasibility Study
A specific, detailed analysis of one area of contamination at a site and the proposed cleanup plans for addressing the contamination.
Incineration
A treatment technology involving destruction of waste by controlled burning at high temperatures.
Lagoon
A shallow pond used for storage of wastewater or other wastes.
Land Farm
A disposal process in which hazardous waste is deposited on or in the soil.
Potentially Responsible Party (PRP)
Any individual or potentially responsible for, or contributing to, a spill or other contamination at a Superfund site. Whenever possible, through administrative and legal actions, EPA requires PRPs to clean up hazardous sites they have contaminated.
Remedial Action
The actual construction or implementation phase of a Superfund site cleanup that follows remedial design.
Remedial Design
The phase following the remedial investigation/feasibility study that includes development of engineering drawings and specifications for a site cleanup.
Record of Decision (ROD)
A public document that explains which cleanup alternative(s) will be used at National Priorities List sites.
Tank Farm
An area of land where many storage or holding takes are located.

For More Information

Information Repositories

For more information about the Douglassville Disposal Site you can review the Administrative Record File at the information repositories listed below.

Union Township Municipal Building
177 Center Road
Douglassville, Pa. 19518
610-385-3769
Contact: Lori Burkhart

U.S. EPA Administrative Records Room
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19107
215-814-3157
Contact: Anna Butch

Information via the Internet

To access information about EPA Region III, follow these instructions:

  1. Click on the Offices, Labs and Regions menu item.
  2. Select Regions from the menu.
  3. Select Region 3 on the map or from the listing.
  4. Click on Projects and Programs from the menu along the side of the page.
  5. Select Hazardous Site Cleanup Division from the next menu listing.
  6. Click on Superfund from the menu along the side of the page.
  7. Select National Priorities List (Superfund Sites) from the menu options.
  8. Click on the name of the Superfund site about which you wish to view information.

Contacting EPA

If you have any questions or comments regarding the Douglassville Disposal Site, please contact William Hudson

Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19103
215-814-5532
hudson.william@epa.gov

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