Fischer & Porter Company
EPA ID: PAD002345817
Warminster, PA 18974
Congressional District: 7th
Other Names: None
Last Updated: February 2015
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- The remedy for the Site has been in place since 1984 utilizing three groundwater wells on the property and one municipal drinking water supply well on an adjacent property to capture and treat contaminated groundwater. In 2004 the municipal drinking water well was shut down, but the three on-site wells continue to pump and treat contaminated groundwater.
- Long-term operation and maintenance of the site is ongoing.
- A five-year review of the remedy conducted in 2003 concluded that the remedy was operating as intended and protective of human health and the environment.
- In 2004, the municipal drinking water supply well was shut down, changing the dynamics of the expected groundwater flow patterns and triggering additional investigation of current site conditions.
- The second five-year review, conducted in 2008, could not certify the continuing protectiveness of this remedy because the previously identified plume of contamination may have shifted into an unknown configuration. However, with the contamination at low levels and no untreated drinking water wells in the area, the remedy is anticipated to remain protective.
- EPA contracted with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to design, install and evaluate new monitoring wells to fill in the data gap left by the closed well.
- The USGS Report, issued in 2010, identified the current plume configuration and EPA is now working to evaluate the potential for exposure risks, including the potential for vapor intrusion into buildings that overlie the contamination plume. In 2012 the closest property owner in the downgradient direction conducted a vapor study that indicated no unacceptable risk to workers in the building on that property.
- EPA worked with the current facility owner to conduct vapor intrusion studies on the original Fischer & Porter buildings. The results indicated that there is no current unacceptable exposure in the parts of the building that were sampled. EPA is currently expanding the vapor intrusion studies to other parts of the buildings and other properties.
- The six-acre Fischer and Porter Company Superfund Site is an active commercial property in Warminster, Pennsylvania that was formerly owned by the Fischer & Porter Company (F&P) producer of flow meters and process control equipment.
- In 1979, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), specifically trichloroethylene(TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE), were detected in local ground water. This contamination was found in some public water supply wells of the Hatboro Borough and Warminster Heights Water Authorities.
- Treatment systems to remove the contaminants were installed on the wells allowing them to continue in service, but the Warminster Heights wells were eventually taken out of operation for economic reasons.
- At the time of the initial investigations, about 30,000 people within a three-mile radius of the site depended on municipal water from groundwater supply wells.
NPL Listing History
|Status: Final 1998||Added:|
- In 1986 the Hatboro Borough and Warminster Heights Water Authorities installed permanent treatment systems on their public water supply wells.
- In accordance with the requirements of a November 1984 consent decree, F&P also began pumping groundwater from three extraction wells in the most contaminated area of the site, and cleaning that water with an air stripper.
- The clean water is discharged into an unnamed tributary of Pennypack Creek adjacent to the property.
- F&P will continue to operate the on-site treatment system and report the water quality results to EPA. The treatment systems on the nearby municipal supply wells ensure that no one is exposed to contamination through drinking water.
- In 1992, EPA commenced an investigation of the source of contamination at the site. Part of this investigation was also directed at determining the efficacy of the on-site pump and treat remedy operating at that time.
- The investigation concluded in September 1998, with a final determination that the existing water treatment systems were effectively protecting public health and that no changes to the remedy were necessary.
- In 2003, a five year review of the remedy certified that the cleanup of the site continued to be effective and the operating remedy was sufficient to ensure protection of human health and the environment. Long-term operation and maintenance of the site is ongoing.
- In 2004, one of the municipal supply wells that had served as part of the down gradient groundwater remedy was shut down for business reasons. In response, EPA sampled the on-site monitoring wells to evaluate the potential for significant contamination leaving the Site, and subsequently contracted with the United States Geological Survey to design, install and evaluate new off-site monitoring wells to fill in the data gap left by the closing of the municipal well.
- The newly constructed wells were sampled in conjunction with the existing monitoring wells to confirm the current location and extent of the plume of groundwater contamination.
- The second five-year review, conducted in 2008, could not certify the continuing protectiveness of the remedy because the previously identified plume of contamination may have shifted.
- EPA contracted with the United States Geological Survey to design, install and evaluate new monitoring wells to fill in the data gap left by the closed well.
- The USGS Report, issued in 2010, indentified the current plume configuration and EPA is now working to evaluate the potential for exposure risks, including the potential for vapor intrusion into buildings that overlie the contamination plume. In 2012 the closest property owner in the downgradient direction conducted a vapor study that indicated no unacceptable risk to workers in the building on that property. EPA is working with the current facility owner to conduct vapor studies on the original Fischer & Porter buildings.
- In July 2014, EPA issued the Report of the third Five-Year Review of the Remedy implemented at this Site. The report concluded that the site is protective of human health and the environment in the short term because exposure is being controlled. Highly contaminated groundwater is being extracted and treated and there are no current drinking water wells in the area of contamination. Vapor intrusion results indicate that ether is no current unacceptable exposure to airborne contaminants. To be protective in the long term vapor intrusion must be shown to be consistently under control in all buildings in the area.
- VOCs, specifically TCE and PCE, which are typical chemical components of solvents and degreasers, were detected in industrial water supply wells at the F&P property and in the nearby municipal water supply wells for Warminster Heights and Hatboro.
- The municipal drinking water supplies have been equipped with treatment devices to remove that contamination and allow continued service.
- Contaminant descriptions and associated risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the environmental arm of the CDC.
- To search an on-line database of all documents and reports on the Fischer & Porter Company site, go to EPA’s Administrative Record Database.
- All documents and reports can also be reviewed in person at these locations:
Union Library Company of Hatboro
243 South York Road
U.S. EPA Region III
1650 Arch Street-6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Call for an appointment.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below.
Record of Decision
Five-Year Review Report - July 2014 (PDF) (44 pp, 8.73 MB)
- Submit a FOIA Request
Get instructions on how to submit a FOIA request. $Fee$ for requests over 100 pages.
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