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Heleva Landfill

Fact Sheet April 1998

Cleanup Continues with Construction of On-site Systems

Cleanup of the Heleva Landfill Superfund Site (the site) continues as site workers construct two on-site systems a surface-water diversion system and a groundwater treatment system. Responsible parties are conducting the construction under the supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Surface-Water Diversion System

EPA has already installed a synthetic cover over the site's soil to help contain contaminants. EPA also constructed a surface-water diversion system to keep the contaminants from migrating off-site. Pipes in the system will lead the water to an on-site treatment system.

The responsible parties have begun building the groundwater treatment system. The system will treat contaminated water and then release the water into Coplay Creek, a tributary of the Lehigh River. Site workers have already begun surveying and digging the area to prepare for the groundwater treatment system's foundation.

EPA expects that construction of the groundwater treatment system will be complete by late fall or early winter this year. EPA anticipates that the systems will begin operating in 1999.

EPA's Overall Cleanup Plan

Construction of the groundwater treatment system is part of EPA's overall cleanup plans for the Heleva Landfill Superfund Site. EPA's overall plans for controlling the site's source of groundwater contamination and for treating the contaminated groundwater include:

Installing a gas venting system,


Placing a synthetic cover over the contaminated soil and   constructing a surface water diversion system to keep contaminants from migrating off-site, and


Building and operating an on-site facility to treat  contaminated groundwater.

In Progress

Once these three steps are complete, EPA will select a remedy for cleaning up the site's soil.

EPA Wants Your Input!

EPA is revising the Community Relations Plan for the Heleva Landfill Superfund Site and is looking to interview community members. If you are interested in being a part of this process, please call the Community Involvement Coordinator, Lisa Brown, at 800-553-2509.


Surface Water
Ponds, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water naturally open to the air.
Fresh water found underground that fills in gaps between soil, sand and gravel, and often is a major source of drinking water.
Responsible Party
A company or person who contributed to contamination at a site. Responsible parties may be generators, transporters, site owners or site operators. Whenever possible, through administrative and legal actions, EPA requires responsible parties to clean up hazardous waste sites or to reimburse the Superfund for actions the Agency takes.
Volatile Organic Compound (VOC)
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.

Site History

The Heleva Landfill Superfund Site consists of approximately 26 acres on a 93- acre parcel of land in North Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Due to past on-site activities, the site's groundwater and soil are contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

In the late 1800s, the site area was a large open-pit iron ore mining operation. Beginning in 1967, the site was used as a sanitary landfill, accepting general mixed refuse, including paper, wood and orchard wastes.

Contamination was detected at the site in 1981. The site owner covered the waste area with two feet of clay soil and closed the site.

EPA added the Heleva Landfill to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983. The NPL is EPA's list of the nation's most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites identified for possible long-term cleanup action under the Superfund program.

To Review the Site Records

Information about the Heleva Landfill Superfund Site is also available for review in the Administrative Record File. The Administrative Record File is EPA's official collection of documents, data, reports and other information that supports EPA's decision on cleaning up a site. You may review the Administrative Record File at the information repository listed below:

North Whitehall Township Building
3256 Levans Road
Coplay, PA 18037

Contact: Mike Seigel

Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday- Friday

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

For More Information

For more information about the Heleva Landfill Superfund Site, please contact one of the EPA representatives listed below:

Richard Watman (3HS22)
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

Richard Kuhn
Community Involvement Coordinator
U.S. EPA, Region III
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

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