North Penn Area 6
Current Site Information
EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)Pennsylvania
EPA ID# PAD980926976
13th Congressional District
Last Update: July 2012
Current Site Status
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has completed construction of five groundwater extraction and treatment systems at separate properties that are part of the North Penn Area 6 Site. The former Keystone Hydraulics (834 W. Third Street) and Royal Cleaners (1315 N. Broad Street) groundwater treatment systems were constructed and have been operating for approximately six years. Treatment systems have been constructed and are now operating at Westside Industries (5th & Mitchell Sts.), and the former Electra Products (200 W. Fifth St.) since 2008. In addition to these four locations, EPA recently completed the construction of the final groundwater treatment system at the former Rogers Mechanical Company (135 E. Hancock Street) in May 2011.
EPA has reached agreement with the following parties to perform work related to groundwater contamination: the John Evans Property (Maple & Spring), the Parker Hannifin Corporation (422. W. 6th St.), the J.W. Rex Heat Treat property (8th & Valley Forge Road) and Tyco International (451 N. Cannon Ave).
The properties are all part of the groundwater operable unit known as Operable Unit 3 for the North Penn Area 6 Site. The systems are being constructed as a result of EPA's cleanup plan or Record of Decision ("ROD"), signed August 10, 2000, which calls for a groundwater extraction and treatment system to clean up the contaminated groundwater underlying the site. The cleanup plan also requires that individual water supply wells affected by the site-related contamination above drinking water standards be provided with connections to the public water supply.
In addition to the groundwater contamination associated with the Site, there are also properties with impacted soil. EPA has completed the removal of the contaminated soil from Keystone Hydraulics, Rogers Mechanical, and Electra Products under operable unit 1 (OU1). These properties were identified as having soil contamination on their properties which contributed to the area wide groundwater contamination. The contaminated soil was excavated and shipped to an approved off-site disposal facility. Site restoration activities are complete. A fourth property, John Evans and Son conducted a soil cleanup at their property in the Fall of 2003, under EPA's oversight.
Presently, two potentially responsible parties (PRPs) are conducting studies to determine if soil cleanup is necessary at their properties. These properties are the former Parker Hannifin (422. W. 6th St) and J.W. Rex (8th & Valley Forge Road) companies. A risk assessment has been approved by EPA at the J.W. Rex site and a Feasibility Study has been submitted for the Parker Hannifin property. These activities are being conducted as part of the second operable unit (OU2).
Site DescriptionThe North Penn Area 6 site is largely a groundwater contamination problem encompassing the area in and around the Borough of Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Trichloroethene (TCE) and perchloroethene (PCE) are the primary contaminants in the groundwater, the chemical components of solvents and degreasers, although several other contaminants are present. Twenty-six facilities in the Lansdale area were originally identified as possible sources of contamination due to their use of site-related solvents. Groundwater contamination exists at levels as high as 68,000 parts per billion at the worst locations, and decreases with distance from the site. An unnamed tributary to Towamencin Creek is about a mile from the site. Approximately 100,000 people obtain drinking water from public and private wells within three miles of the site. The closest home is next to the site, and the nearest well is 200 feet away. Approximately 45,000 people live within a three-mile radius of the site. Groundwater is still used as a source of drinking water in this area.
Site ResponsibilityCleanup of this site is the responsibility of the federal government and parties potentially responsible for site contamination.
NPL Listing HistoryOur 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 January 22, 1987 and formally added to the list March 31, 1989.
Threats and ContaminantsGroundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in on-site wells, off-site wells, and private wells. Soils at some locations are also contaminated with VOCs from previous waste disposal practices or spills. Potential threats exist from drinking or other domestic use of contaminated groundwater, or coming into direct contact with contaminated groundwater or soil.
Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.
Since site discovery, approximately 20 homes have been connected to public water supplies after their wells were found to be contaminated. This was done by parties responsible for site contamination (PRPs), under consent agreements with EPA, or on their own. Beginning in the fall of 2004, EPA conducted sampling of individual private wells for site-related contaminants. Additional private wells were found to be impacted and PRPs will be offering connections to well users that have been impacted by the Site pursuant to a Consent Decree with EPA that was approved by the Courts in May 2005.
EPA sampled 20 of the 26 identified facilities, and identified four that needed to have soil cleanups completed. These four are the former Tate Andale property, the former Keystone Hydraulics property, the Electra Realty property, and the John Evans Sons property. The soil cleanups at these properties have been completed.
Under a consent agreement, six PRPs have conducted soil sampling on their individual properties. To date, three properties have been released from further commitments under the consent agreement (no site-related contamination was found). Contamination was found at three properties, and these will be evaluated to see if a cleanup is needed. The properties are the Central Sprinkler Company, the J.W. Rex Heat Treat Company, and the former Precision Rebuilding/Parker Hannifin property.