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Strasburg Landfill



On December 31, 1996, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the contract to perform on-site work at the Strasburg Landfill Superfund Site to Smith Technology. In the upcoming months, the contractor will begin to regrade the site and prepare the landfill for recapping.


EPA's clean-up plan for the Strasburg Landfill Site is to eliminate exposure to hazardous wastes and minimize the risk of future soil and ground water contamination. The clean-up plan includes re-capping the landfill, installing a system to collect and treat any rain water that trickles through the landfill (called a leachate collection system), and installing a system to prevent gases from becoming trapped in the landfill (called an active gas ventilation system). The plan is explained below.

Re-capping the Landfill

300,000 cubic yards of soil are needed to construct a protective multi-layer cap over the landfill because the original cap has deteriorated. Capping keeps site contamination in place by protecting it from rain water and wind.

Existing landfill waste and any waste moved as a result of regrading the landfill is covered with a minimum of 12 inches of random fill consisting of earth and rocks and 12 inches of fill earth without rocks. A geomembrane protective layer and a cap drainage layer are located on top of the fill. Above these layers lies 18 inches of cover soil and a minimum of six inches of top soil to support vegetation and provide frost protection.

When constructing the cap, EPA plans to use soils from various areas on the property to reduce the traffic through the community and to prevent damage to the roads and stone bridges in the area.

Leachate Collection and Treatment System

An installed system collects and treats leachate from the landfill. Leachate is a liquid produced from the breakdown of hazardous components and rain water trickling down through the landfill. Eventually these contaminants escape from the landfill into the ground water and onto the nearby land surfaces.

A trench is placed around the landfill to direct the flow of the leachate into collection tanks. The addition of neutralizing chemicals and use of an ultraviolet light destroys any hazardous chemicals in the leachate. The process ensures that the treated water meets standards established by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP), before being discharged into Briar Run Creek.

Active Gas Ventilation System

Once installed, the ventilation system in the landfill prevents gases from building up underneath the cap. The system protects against further contamination of ground water as a result of dissolving gases.

The vent pipes are installed deep into the ground of the landfill. The gases are collected in the vents and then destroyed by burning them in the open air. The gases venting from the landfill are monitored to make sure they pose no threat to humans or the environment around the landfill.


August 1996
EPA receives money to begin site clean-up activities.
Fall 1996
EPA solicits and ranks proposals to perform on-site work.
December 1996
EPA awards contract to Smith Technology.
Early 1997
The contractor arrives at the site and begins to regrade the landfill and prepare the site for construction.
Spring 1997 - Summer 1998
The contractor installs the cap, leachate collection system, and active gas ventilation system.
Fall 1998
The contractor places a grass cover over the landfill cap and starts the leachate collection system.

EPA and PADEP will monitor the site after all construction is completed.


On Wednesday, February 12, Representatives from EPA and its contractors will be available to discuss upcoming clean-up activities at the Strasburg Landfill Superfund Site. Specifically, they will address the installation of the new protective landfill cap, the leachate collection system, and the active gas ventilation system. In addition, EPA and its contractors will discuss the approximate schedule for completing clean-up activities.

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 1997
Location: West Bradford
Township Building
1385 Campus Drive
West Bradford Township
Downingtown, PA 19335
Time: 7 pm to 9 pm


Larry Brown (3HW43)
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

Jim Harper (3HW21)
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. EPA Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

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

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