North Penn Area 6
Superfund Fact Sheet: October 1999
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Soil Cleanup Activities
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ready to begin cleaning up the contaminated soil at three properties in the Lansdale area. This cleanup activity is part of the ongoing efforts to address the North Penn Area 6 Superfund Site in Montgomery County. EPA plans to excavate the soils at each of the properties, and will ship these soils to an approved hazardous waste disposal site. These soils are believed to be contaminated enough with chlorinated solvents to be contributing to ground water contamination. Chlorinated solvents are chemicals commonly used as industrial cleaners. By removing these soils, EPA will be helping to protect the ground water in this area, which is used as a source of drinking water.
Site Description & Background
The Site is located in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, about 15 miles north of Philadelphia, and occupies portions of the Borough of Lansdale and small portions of Hatfield, Towamencin and Upper Gwynned Townships. The Site is located in a mixed industrial, commercial, and residential setting.
Ground water over an estimated area of four square miles has been contaminated as a result of various activities at different locations across the Site. After the contamination was identified, an investigation was initiated to determine the source of this contamination. Twenty-six properties in the Lansdale area were identified as possible sources of ground water contamination due to their use of siterelated solvents. Owners or former owners are investigating six of these twenty-six properties under EPA oversight. The remaining twenty properties were grouped together and investigated by the EPA through a process called a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS). A RI/FS of the soils has been completed for these twenty properties, and identified four properties where soil contamination levels are still believed to be adversely affecting ground water. EPA determined in a Record of Decision (ROD) that these properties must be cleaned up, and selected the cleanup method(s) to be used.
The ROD called for a soil treatability study to be conducted on a cleanup method called hot air injection. Hot air injection involves heating the soil with hot air to drive the contaminants to a collection hood, then passing them through a carbon filter. During the trial this method was determined to be impractical for this site. Therefore, the EPA is proceeding with the alternate remedy that was presented in the Record of Decision, consisting of excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soils.
The four properties where the contaminated soils exist are the former Keystone Hydraulics property at 834 W. Third Street, the Electra Realty property at 200 W. 5th Street, the John Evans Sons, Inc., property at 1 Spring Avenue, and the former Tate Andale property at 135 E. Hancock Street.
EPA is currently in discussions with the owners and former owners of the John Evans Sons property to have them complete the necessary soil cleanup work at that property, at their expense. At this time the property is not part of this scheduled cleanup action. However, if these discussions should fail, EPA will complete the cleanup at this fourth property as well.
EPA, working with Black & Veatch Special Projects Corporation (a government consultant) and ECG Industries, Inc. (a government contractor), will be completing the excavation and offsite disposal of contaminated soils at each of the three properties beginning in early October. The following is a general sequence of events for work at each property.
- Additional testing of the soil at each property is required to carefully delineate the areas that have to be excavated from those that do not.
- Contractors will mobilize to the property, bringing in construction equipment needed for the work. They will be establishing work zones, safety zones and a decontamination area to ensure no contaminated soil leaves the site on construction equipment, trucks, etc. Also, several trees and a fence adjacent to the former Keystone Hydraulics property have to be removed because they interfere with the soil excavation. Replacement trees and a new fence will be installed after completion of the work.
- The work will include excavation of the contaminated soil, placement of the soil into appropriate containers and shipping the soil to an approved disposal facility. Sampling to ensure that all contamination was excavated is also required.
- The excavated areas with be backfilled using clean fill material and the affected areas will be restored.
The soil excavation work is expected to last about two months. Weather conditions and other variables determine the actual length of time needed for the work.
Steps to Protect the Community and Workers
Throughout this project, air sampling will be conducted at the perimeter of the excavation areas to ensure that the volatile contaminants in the soil being excavated are not creating vapors at unhealthy levels. Based on the levels in the soils, and previous work done at the site, this is not expected to be a problem, but sampling will be conducted to ensure the safety of the operation. Workers doing the excavation work will be wearing protective coveralls, and possibly respiratory protection, as a precaution since they may be directly exposed to the contaminated soils.
The primary contaminants in the soil at the four locations include trichloroethene (TCE), a common industrial cleaner, and perchlorothene (PCE), which is dry cleaning fluid. The estimated amount of soil to be removed from the four properties is listed below:
|Property||Quantity of Soil in Cubic Yards (cy)|
|former Keystone Hydraulics||575|
|former Tate Andale||700|
|John Evans Sons, Inc.||466|
Technical Assistance Grants
EPA believes it is important for communities to be involved in decisions related to nearby Superfund sites. For this reason, community outreach activities are underway at each of the 1,200 sites on the NPL.
In 1986, Congress established the Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) Program to help affected communities understand and comment on site related information, and thus participate in cleanup actions.
Technical Assistance Grants of up to $50,000 are available to eligible community groups to hire a technical advisor to help the community understand site-related technical information. The EPA Region III Office is available to answer any questions you may have about the TAG Program. Please contact:
Technical Assistance Grant Coordinator
Amelia C. Libertz
Hazardous Site Cleanup Division (3HS43)
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
If you have any questions regarding the North Penn Area 6 Superfund Site, you may contact Richard Kuhn, Community Involvement Coordinator or Remedial Project Managers Greg Ham or Kelley Chase. Greg Ham is managing the soil remediation and the long term groundwater remediation. Kelley Chase is managing the interim response action to treat groundwater. In June, EPA distributed a fact sheet detailing a proposed response action to treat groundwater until a final remedy is in place. Contact information for EPA representatives is listed below:
Richard Kuhn (3HS43)
Community Involvement Coordinator
Gregory Ham (3HS21)
Remedial Project Manager
Kelley Chase (3HS21)
Remedial Project Manager
Superfund Community Involvement Hotline
To reach EPA on issues unrelated to Superfund, call our Customer Service
INSIDE: INFORMATION ON SOIL CLEANUP ACTIVITIES AT NORTH PENN AREA 6 SUPERFUND SITE
Richard Kuhn (3HS43)
US EPA, Region III
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103