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Dublin TCE

U.S. EPA  INFORMATION UPDATE 
DECEMBER 1997  

Water-Supply Well and Treatment System Completed

The Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs)* for the Dublin TCE Superfund Site recently completed the construction of a new water-supply well and trichloroethylene (TCE) treatment system for ground water contaminated by the site. Under the supervision of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the PRPs constructed the well and treatment system as part of the clean-up plan to provide a permanent, clean drinking water supply for the Dublin community. 

The clean-up plan also included the construction of a waterline from the Dublin Borough Water System to approximately 80 homes and businesses in Dublin impacted by water contaminated by the site. The PRPs finished construction of the waterline in 1995. After finding additional TCE contamination in well-water samples collected in Hilltown Township, EPA extended the waterline to approximately 20 additional homes in Hilltown Township. Work to connect these homes to the public water supply began on November 17, 1997. 

Although the waterline construction in Dublin Borough is finished, the homes and businesses cannot be connected until the supply well and TCE treatment system become operational. The PRPs and local officials currently are negotiating the costs of operating and maintaining the TCE treatment system. The system will not be placed into operation and the homes and businesses will not be connected to the waterline until an agreement is reached.

You are Invited to a Media Event

On December 10,1997, EPA is sponsoring a media event for the Dublin TCE Superfund Site. EPA representatives, including EPA Region III Administrator Michael McCabe, will be available to discuss recent site activities and to address your questions and concerns about the site. U.S. Congressman James Greenwood also is planning to attend the event. 

Discussions will focus on the construction of the water supply well and TCE treatment system, and the connection of the waterline to Dublin Borough. 

When: 1:30 p.m. 
Wednesday, December 10, 1997 
Where: Dublin Borough Water Supply 
Dublin Village Plaza  (at the rear of the IGA Supermarket) 
Dublin, Pennsylvania 

For more information about the media event, please contact Hal Yates (yates.hal@epa.gov), Community Involvement Coordinator, at 1-800-553-2509.

History of Dublin TCE Site

The Dublin TCE Superfund Site consists of approximately four and one-half acres of land at 120 Mill Street in Dublin Borough, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. (See Site Location Map below.) From 1959 to 1971, the Kollsman Motor Company (KMC) owned and operated a motor, gear train, clutch, brake, and electromechanical component manufacturing facility on the site. The Kollsman Instrument Corporation purchased the site from KMC in 1971 and merged with Sun Chemical Corporation (now known as Sequa Corporation) the following year. The Sun Chemical Corporation sold the property to Athlone Industries, Inc. in 1973. The Dudley Sports Division of Athlone Industries, Inc. used the property to clean, stamp, package, and store baseballs and softballs. 

In 1986, Mr. John H. Thompson purchased the site from Athlone Industries, Inc. Mr. Thompson currently uses a portion of the site for restoring antique cars and leases a portion of the site to Laboratory Testing, Inc. 

EPA Becomes Involved 

During a routine drinking water survey in the summer of 1986, the Bucks County Health Department discovered TCE in 23 samples of tap water near the site property. The Department found the highest levels of TCE in a well on the site property and asked EPA to investigate. 

EPA began sampling the ground water around the site in the fall of 1986. After EPA confirmed that the site had contaminated the ground water in the area, Mr. Thompson agreed to provide individual treatment systems or bottled water to approximately 30 homes and businesses with high levels of contamination. He also agreed to monitor the treatment systems to make sure they were working properly. Additionally, he agreed to monitor the ground water in the area of the site. 

Between 1987 and 1990, EPA conducted an investigation to determine whether any further clean-up activities were needed. Sampling results showed high levels of TCE, tetrachloroethylene (PCE), vinyl chloride, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the soil and ground water at the site. Because of this contamination, EPA added the site to the National Priorities List on August 30, 1990. 

EPA Conducts Ground Water Study

In August 1991, EPA conducted a focused feasibility study for the ground water at the site. The focused feasibility study reviewed the possible ways to provide a permanent source of clean water to the community. 

Information from the remedial investigation and focused feasibility study led to the December 30, 1991, Record of Decision for the site ground water. The Record of Decision explained the clean-up methods that included: 

In June 1992, EPA and the PRPs began an additional remedial investigation and feasibility study to determine the full extent of soil and ground water contamination at the site. Information from these activities will lead to a second Record of Decision for the entire site. The PRPs currently are finalizing the remedial investigation and feasibility reports under EPA's oversight. 

Glossary

A feasibility study describes and compares different methods for site cleanup based on information in the remedial investigation. A focused feasibility study examines different clean-up methods for a specific area of contamination at a site. 

Ground Water is the fresh water found underground that fills in gaps between soil, sand, and gravel, and often is a major source of drinking water. 

The National Priorities List is EPA's list of the nation's most serious hazardous waste sites. 

Potentially Responsible Parties are the companies or people responsible for the cleanup of contamination at a site. 

A Record of Decision is an EPA legal document that officially announces and outlines the selected plan to clean up contamination at a site. 

A remedial investigation identifies the types, amounts, and extent of contamination at a site and the effects those contaminants might have on the environment. 

TCE is the common name for trichloroethylene, a man-made chemical that is often used as an industrial degreaser, or as a dry-cleaning agent. TCE is suspected of causing cancer, and high doses may affect the heart and central nervous system. 

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are carbon-containing compounds that readily evaporate at room temperature. VOCs are emitted from motor vehicle exhaust, chemical manufacturing facilities, and dry cleaners. Health effects of VOCs include irritation of the eyes and respiratory system, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness.

For More Information

If you have any questions or would like additional information about the Dublin TCE Superfund Site, please contact one of the EPA representatives listed below. 

Community Involvement Coordinator 
Hal Yates 
800-553-2509
215-814-5530 
yates.hal@epa.gov 

Remedial Project Manager
Pat McManus
215-814-3198 
mcmanus.pat@epa.gov 

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
1650 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029

The Administrative Record File

Information about the site also is 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 support EPA's decision on cleaning up a site. You may review the Administrative Record File at the information repository listed below. 

Dublin Borough Hall 
119 Maple Avenue 
Dublin, Pennsylvania 
215-249-3310 
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 

You also may call to make an appointment to review the file at the EPA Administrative Records Room in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by calling 215-814-3157.

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