Land Revitalization Summer '05 Newsletter – Community Celebrates New Riverfront Park
On Site of Old Chemical Dump
Local dignitaries gathered last October to celebrate the cleanup and transformation of over six acres of prime riverfront property in Chester, Pa. to a scenic park, complete with fishing pier, boat launch, walking trail and parking area.
Barry Bridge Park is located adjacent to the site of the former Wade (ABM) Superfund site which was cleaned up and deleted from the National Priorities List in 1989. EPA signed an agreement in 2003 with the City of Chester to allow the three-acre site to be turned into a parking area for the park. The park's redevelopment was financed with a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A former rubber recycling facility was located at the Wade site from 1950 to the early 1970s. Eventually, the site became an illegal chemical dump. Chemical wastes were trucked to the site and stored there in drums and tankers, or disposed of on the ground.
In 1978, an intense fire at the operation destroyed one building and caused extensive damage to two others used for stockpiling drummed wastes. Forty-seven firefighters were hospitalized. Burned building debris, exploded drums, tires, shredded rubber, and contaminated earth littered the property. About 150,000 gallons of waste materials remained on site after the fire. Most of the wastes were in 55-gallon drums stored in the fire-damaged buildings.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection managed the final site cleanup, which started in 1987. The cleanup included removing and decontaminating equipment and buildings. Contaminated soil was removed, the site was graded, covered with topsoil and seeded.
Return to Summer 2005 Newsletter