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Old City of York Landfill

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

York County
Just outside Seven Valleys

EPA ID# PAD980692420

19th Congressional District

Last Update: January 2015

Other Names

Seven Valleys Landfill

Current Site Status

The Old City of York Landfill Site has been in the remedial action phase of the clean up since 1996 and is now closely monitored though periodic sampling. At this time, groundwater contamination is limited to three monitoring wells and concentrations are decreasing every year, but a few contaminants still remain slightly above the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). The most recent ROD Amendment in March 2000 continues to rely on monitored natural attenuation for the clean up remedy. A Five-Year Review was completed in February 2011 which concluded that the remedy is protective in the short term but for the long term protectiveness, the iron levels in the seep areas requires maintenance.

Site Description

The 178-acre Old City of York Landfill site, 56 acres of which was a landfill, was owned and operated by the City of York from 1961 to 1975. Industrial wastes reportedly were disposed of at the site. In 1981, EPA and State investigators found that the landfill was contaminating groundwater in the area with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the chemical components of solvents. Local wells were contaminated, and the state advised affected residents to find other sources of drinking water or to treat the well water before consuming it. The surrounding area is rural and residential. About 460 people live within a mile of the site. One resident lives on the site itself. The City of York water supply intake is eight miles downstream of the site. At the time of listing the Site on the National Priority List the groundwater at the site was contaminated with VOCs including 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, trichloroethylene (TCE), tetrachloroethene and vinyl chloride. At the time of the third Five-Year Review ( February 2011) only low levels of vinyl chloride, methylene chloride and 1,1,2-trichloroethane remain.
Site Responsibility
This site is being addressed through a combination of federal, state, and potentially responsible parties' actions.
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 December 30, 1982 and formally added to the list September 8, 1983.

Threats and Contaminants

At the time of the NPL listing, the groundwater and domestic wells are contaminated with VOCs including TCE from former waste disposal practices. Surface water on site contains iron, magnesium, and mercury. Potential health risks exist if contaminated groundwater is ingested.

Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.

Cleanup Progress

Construction is complete at the site. A Preliminary Construction Completion Report was issued on September 27, 1996. The cleanup entailed restoring 16 acres of the soil cover over the northeastern portion of the landfill which had eroded; installing a pump and treat system to remediate groundwater; the removal of contaminated sediments from on-site leachate collection vaults; and ongoing surface water monitoring.

The cleanup at the site was done, under order from the EPA, by the potentially responsible parties, including Service America Corporation (settled claim in bankruptcy court), Rite-Way Services, Inc., York Wrecking, Inc., Stewart and March, Inc., Litton Industrial Automation Systems, Inc., and A.B. Chance Company, Inc. (later included in de minimis settlement). In addition, EPA has entered into a de minimis settlement with 11 other waste generators at the site. These generators are A.B. Chance Company, BMY-Combat Systems, Certainteed, Keystone Colorworks, Molycorp, Root Corporation, Schmuck's Cleaners, SHC Liquidating Corporation, York Hospital, York International, Inc., and York Wallcoverings. An administrative order based upon ability-to-pay was also entered into with the City of York, Pennsylvania. Currently, Waste Management of Pennsylvania is performing the Operation and Maintenance at the Site.

On March 31, 2000, EPA issued a ROD Amendment changing the remedy selected in the original 1991 ROD from pumping and treating contaminated groundwater to monitored natural attenuation with institutional controls. EPA determined that the 2000 pump and treat remedy was only marginally effective and adds little additional benefit toward groundwater cleanup. The PRPs have secured institutional controls on residential properties near the Site. EPA issued the third five-year review report for the site in February 2011. The site remedy is protective of human health and the environment in the short term, because the remedial actions selected in the ROD, ESD and ROD amendment were implemented, and the immediate threats at the site have been addressed. For the site to be protective in the long term, MCLS for organic concentrations in the groundwater must be attained. Concentrations in groundwater have decreased since MNA was initiated, but the natural attenuation for concentrations of vinyl chloride 1,1,2-trichloroethane and methylene chloride will need further reduction in three wells at the site. The contractor for the PRP continues to monitor the groundwater, surface water and air vents in the landfill.

A Five-Year Review was completed in February 2011 which concluded that the remedy is protective in the short term but for the long term protectiveness, the iron levels in the seep areas requires maintenance.


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