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Fischer & Porter - July 1998 Fact Sheet

EPA Issues the Proposed Remedial Action Plan

On July 17, 1998, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Proposed Remedial Action Plan (Proposed Plan) for the Fischer and Porter Superfund Site.

The Proposed Plan is the result of EPA's evaluation of the site's groundwater and soil contamination, and of the groundwater treatment that has occurred at the site since 1987. During the evaluation, EPA found that the groundwater is contaminated above drinking water standards. As a result, the site's former owner and the Municipal Water Authority are presently treating the groundwater. Since the groundwater is being successfully treated, EPA is proposing that additional groundwater treatment facilities are unnecessary. In the Proposed Plan, EPA recommends the "No Further Action" alternative.

EPA Holds Public Comment Period and Public Meeting

EPA relies on public input when making decisions about Superfund sites to ensure that the preferred cleanup alternative addresses the concerns of the community. To solicit input on the Proposed Plan for the Fischer and Porter Superfund Site, EPA has opened a public comment period. The public comment period began on July 17, 1998 and will end on August 17, 1998.

In addition, EPA will hold a public meeting. The public meeting will be:

Time: 7 p.m.
Date: Thursday, July 30, 1998
Place: Warminster Heights Home Ownership Association Auditorium 75 Downey Drive Warminster, PA

Community members who would like to submit a written question or comment about the Proposed Plan may do so by writing a letter or sending an E-Mail to Hal Yates, the Community Involvement Coordinator. (Please see "Contact Information" for his mailing and E-Mail addresses.) All comments must be received by August 17, 1998.

EPA will issue a response to the public's comments and questions about the Proposed Plan in an official document that describes EPA's selected remedy. This document is called the Record of Decision (ROD). EPA's response to the public's concern will be in the section of the ROD called the Responsiveness Summary.

The ROD is available to the public in the Administrative Record File at the information repository. Please see the following article for the location of the information repository.

Site Documents Available to the Public

EPA has established an Information Repository near the Fischer and Porter Site to ensure that information, such as the Proposed Plan, is available to the public. The Information Repository houses the Administrative Record File, EPA's official collection of information that supports decisions made for the site. The Information Repository is located at:

Union Library Company of Hatboro
243 South York Road
Hatboro, PA 19040
215-672-1420

Hours:
Monday 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Friday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Contact: Harriet Ehrsam

You may also review the file at the Administrative Records Room at 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029. Please call 215-814-3157 for an appointment.

Additional information on the Fischer and Porter Superfund Site may be accessed via the Internet at www.epa.gov/region03. EPA's website contains fact sheets on the site, background on the Superfund Program and information about general environmental issues.

Site History

The Fischer and Porter Superfund Site is located on six acres of property owned by the Fischer and Porter Company, an active facility that produces industrial equipment. The site is located at County Line and Jacksonville Roads in Warminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

In 1979, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in groundwater on and around the Fischer and Porter property. The contaminants reached some public water supply wells of the Hatboro Borough and Warminster Heights Water Authorities, forcing a few to close in 1979.

On September 1, 1983, the Fischer and Porter Site was officially added to the National Priorities List (NPL) and thereby became eligible for cleanup funds under the federal Superfund Program. One year later, EPA issued a remedy decision for the site and signed a Consent Decree with Fischer and Porter. According to the 1984 decree, Fischer and Porter would pump three onsite wells and operate an air stripper to treat the extracted water. The treated water would be discharged to an unnamed tributary of Pennypack Creek located north of the property.

Two years after the consent decree was signed, Fischer and Porter finished construction of the air stripper and began pumping and treating contaminated groundwater from the three onsite wells.

In 1992, as part of the long-term monitoring requirements for Superfund sites, EPA began a review of the 1984 cleanup for the Fischer and Porter Superfund Site. EPA's investigation revealed that despite the 1984 remedy, some contamination had continued to migrate off the property. Consequently, the review was expanded into an investigation of contamination sources and the effectiveness of the 1984 remedy.

From the recently concluded investigation, EPA determined that although some contamination still leaves the Fischer and Porter property, it is captured and treated by the Warminster Heights Home Ownership Association well and as a result, there are currently no unacceptable risks to human health or the environment at the site. For this reason, EPA recommends in the site's Proposed Plan that no further action be taken at this time.

Change of Address

EPA's Philadelphia office has recently relocated. The new address is:

U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

All phone extensions remain the same, but the 566 exchange has changed to 814. Toll-free 800 numbers remain the same.

Contact Information

For more information about the Fischer and Porter Superfund Site, please contact one of the EPA representatives listed below.

Community Involvement Coordinator
Hal Yates (3HS43)
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
215-814-5530
800-553-2509
yates.hal@epa.gov

Remedial Project Manager
Jim Feeney (3HS21)
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
215-814-3190
feeney.jim@epa.gov

Glossary

Air Stripper
Equipment that operates a treatment process which forces air through water in order to remove contaminants.
Consent Decree
A legal document, approved by a judge, that formalizes an agreement reached between EPA and potentially responsible parties (PRPs) through which PRPs will conduct all or part of a cleanup action at a Superfund site; stop or correct actions or processes that are polluting the environment; or otherwise comply with EPA-initiated regulatory enforcement actions to resolve the contamination at a Superfund site. The consent decree describes the actions PRPs will take and is subject to a public comment period.
Groundwater
Water found underground in gaps between soil, sand and gravel particles, and which often is a major source of drinking water.
National Priorities List (NPL)
EPA's list of the nation's most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites identified for possible long-term cleanup using Superfund money.
Proposed Remedial Action Plan (Proposed Plan)
A document that describes the cleanup methods EPA evaluated for a site and highlights EPA's preferred cleanup alternative. EPA invites the public to comment on the Proposed Plan during a 30-day public comment period.
Record of Decision (ROD)
A document that announces and explains EPA's selected cleanup method(s). The ROD is based on information gathered during the remedial investigation and feasibility study and on comments received during the public comment period.
Volatile Organic Compounds
Man-made, carbon-based chemicals that vaporize when they come in contact with air. These chemicals are commonly used as solvents, degreasers and dry cleaning chemicals.

Visit EPA on the World Wide Web

EPA maintains a location on the World Wide Web that can be accessed through the Internet. The website covers a broad range of environmental issues and provides detailed information on the work that EPA conducts in order to "protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment."

General Information

To access EPA's homepage on the Internet, please visit the website "http://www.epa.gov." On the website, there are links to several categories such as "Kids," "Students & Teachers," "Concerned Citizens," "Researchers & Scientists," "Business & Industry," and "State, Local & Tribal."

Site-Specific Updates

EPA's website also contains specific information on projects across the country. For the Fischer & Porter Superfund Site, there is a page with a site description, an overview of the site's threats and contaminants and an update on the site's cleanup progress. To locate the information on the Fischer & Porter Superfund Site, please follow these instructions:

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Superfund |EPA Home | EPA Superfund Homepage


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