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EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)
EPA ID# PAD980692719
15th Congressional District
Last Update: February 2007
Current Site StatusThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined in 1988 that no further action is needed at the Voortman Farm site, except continued groundwater monitoring. The EPA deleted the site from the National Priorities List (NPL) of the nation's most hazardous waste sites on June 1, 1989. The State of Pennsylvania conducted additional sampling of wells for five years and found no contamination at the site.
Site DescriptionThe contamination area on the 43-acre Voortman Farm, located in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, consisted of a large sinkhole, measuring 48 feet wide by 100 feet deep. When the site was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1982, it was reported that 10,000 battery casings had been dumped into the sinkhole. The State detected elevated concentrations of heavy metals in the sinkhole in 1983. Analyses of nearby domestic wells showed heavy metals below maximum permissible limits. A fire in the sinkhole in the Fall of 1986 was extinguished by the State and the battery cases were removed. The area surrounding the site is primarily agricultural. About 9,700 people live in Upper Saucon Township. The closest dwellings are to the west of the site. A public golf course is located toward the southeastern end of the Voortman Farm.
- Site Responsibility
- This site was addressed through federal and state 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, The site was deleted from the list on June 1, 1989.
Threats and Contaminants
The air may have been temporarily contaminated with lead during the sinkhole fire in 1986, and people may have been exposed to airborne lead at the time of the fire. Battery casings contaminated the soil prior to excavation of the wastes and soil.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.