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EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)
EPA ID# PAD000441337
16th Congressional District
Last Update: January 2015
Current Site Status
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has completed the cleanup of the Strasburg Landfill, where a multi-layer cap and subsurface leachate collection system, as well as the construction of an on-site water treatment plant, were completed in late September 1999. Groundwater around the site continues to show no contamination. The cap and the groundwater collection and treatment system are now being operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. EPA completed a five year review of the Site in April 2010, which found that the remedies implemented at the Site continue to be protective of human health and the environment in the short term. To be effective in the long term, appropriate institutional controls need to be identified, selected in an a decision document and implemented. These institutional controls will be used to prevent exposure to waste and contaminated ground water and to preserve the integrity of the components of the remedies (cap, fence, leachate collection and treatment system, etc.). EPA issued a draft Explanation of Significant Difference (ESD) regarding the ICs to the public for comment on June 18, 2012. EPA did not receive comments on the draft ESD and a final ESD was signed September 4, 2012. An Environmental Covenant to implement the institutional controls described in the ESD was signed and recorded by the property owner on December 27, 2013. A Five-year review is in progress and is expected to be completed in April 2015.
Site DescriptionThe 302-acre Strasburg Landfill site, located in Chester County, Pennsylvania was purchased in 1973, by Strasburg Associates and received a permit in 1975, to accept municipal wastes. However, no landfilling was conducted during that period. In 1978, Strasburg Associates sold the property to Strasburg Landfill Associates. The new owner eventually began landfilling operations, using 24 acres near the center of the site. In 1979, the landfill was licensed to receive industrial waste under a new permit. Records show that Diamond Shamrock Chemicals Company sent 500 to 600 tons of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) wastes to the landfill in 1979, and that Gichner Mobile Systems disposed of heavy-metal sludge there. The Commonwealth prohibited the landfill from receiving an industrial waste permit in 1980. Early in 1983, the Commonwealth found volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals in on-site monitoring wells and various VOCs in an off-site private well downgradient of the landfill. The same contaminants were discovered in liquids leaching from the site. Later in the year, the Commonwealth closed the operation. About 1,200 people draw drinking water from municipal wells within three miles of the landfill. However, about 75 homes downgradient of the site use private wells. The Brandywine Creek flows within one-half mile of the landfill. Briar Run (one of only two natural trout breeding streams in SE Pennsylvania), flows into the Brandywine Creek, and is within 200 feet of the site. Soil and on-site wells were contaminated with VOCs and heavy metals including lead and copper from former disposal practices. Drinking water in two private off-site wells and Briar Run downgradient of the site contained VOCs. Since the landfill cap and leachate collection and treatment system have been installed the concentration of contaminants have all dropped below actionable levels. The site no longer poses a measurable risk to the surrounding community.
- Site Responsibility
- This site is being addressed through Federal actions and being operated and maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
- NPL Listing History
- Our country's most serious, uncontrolled, or abandoned hazardous waste sites can be cleaned using federal money. To be eligible for federal cleanup money, a site must be put on the National Priorities List. This site was proposed to the list on June 24, 1988 and formally added to the list on March 31, 1989.
Threats and ContaminantsThe site no longer poses a threat to human health and the environment. Formerly, soil and on-site wells were contaminated with VOCs and heavy metals, including lead and copper from former disposal practices. Drinking water in three private, off-site wells, downgradient of the site, contained VOCs. Briar Run Creek contained various VOCs. Consumption of contaminated ground water and direct contact with contaminated liquids on the site formerly posed potential health risks. Access to the landfill is restricted by a large fence. Ground water monitoring and operation and maintenance of the cap and the leachate collection and treatment system will continue.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.