North Penn Area 12
Fact Sheet: August 22, 1995
EPA ISSUES UNILATERAL ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER
On August 22, 1995, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region III, (EPA) issued a unilateral administrative order (UAO). A UAO is an EPA legal document that directs parties responsible for a site's environmental problems to conduct specific activities to correct or resolve those problems. The UAO formalizes a verbal commitment made by the responsible parties.
The North Penn Area 12 UAO specifically addresses off-site residential well contamination. The responsible parties must fulfill the following two requirements of the UAO:
- Install carbon filtration systems in eight residences where EPA found trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination in the well water. The carbon filtration system passes water through a carbon filter to remove contaminants from the water and make it safe for drinking and cooking. The parties also must monitor the carbon filtration systems to ensure that they continue to function properly. The carbon filters are being installed now.
- Sample approximately 30 additional residential wells that have not been sampled before. EPA believes that these wells may have been contaminated by the site. Additionally, the parties must sample all residences once a year to determine if the contamination has spread to additional homes. If additional contamination above allowable levels is found, the order requires that the responsible parties install carbon filters in those homes.
EPA detected levels of TCE above the maximum contaminant level during the sampling of about 70 home wells in January 1995. The maximum contaminant level is the highest amount of a contaminant allowed to be present in water used by the public. At that time, EPA suggested that residents use bottled water until the contamination problem could be solved.
The PRPs named in the UAO include three current owners, Fitz Waterwheel Company, Inc., Mr. Edward Rothschild, and Schlumberger Technology Corp., and one previous owner, Morfontaine Inc.
If you have questions about the North Penn Area 12 UAO or other site-related issues, please contact:
Community Involvement Coordinator