Note: This information is provided for reference purposes only. Although the information provided here was accurate and current when first created, it is now outdated.
UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY REGION
1650 Arch Street Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
CONTACT: Carrie Deitzel Roy Schrock
Community Involvement Coordinator Remedial Project Manager
David Polish (after 6/26)
Community Involvement Coordinator
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NORTH PENN AREA 5 NOT ENDANGERING CHILDREN AT WHISTLESTOP PARK
PHILADELPHIA - Recently, misleading news has been circulated concerning environmental contamination in the vicinity of Whistlestop Park, located in Montgomery
Township, Montgomery County. As a result, numerous alarmed community members have called this agency seeking additional information. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) wishes to clarify the current status of the park and the EPA's investigation of a nearby site known as the North Penn Area 5 Superfund Site (North
Penn Area 5).
Most importantly, children who play in Whistlestop Park, are not "playing in poison" as suggested by a prominent photo caption accompanying the articles. Drinking
water coming through fountains in the park is not contaminated. The park fountains are connected to the public water supply which is regulated and monitored by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania under the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Additionally, there is no hydrogeologic information or analytical data to support the statement made in one article that heavy downpours cause contamination to rise to the ground surface. Nor is there any current data to suggest that the surface water of the Neshaminy Creek and its tributaries is contaminated or that a nearby housing development has been contaminated by materials from the North Penn Area 5 site.
AEL/Tracor, past and present owner of the site, initiated clean up of the site in 1981 and continues to pump and treat groundwater in compliance with a Consent Order.
Pumping and treating ground water is a widely used technology designed to prevent or significantly reduce the migration of contaminants. In addition, most of the residents in the site vicinity have long been connected to the North Wales Water Authority and their household water supplies are not contaminated by the Superfund Site.
North Penn Area 5 is located in Montgomery County and Bucks County, in the vicinity of Colmar, Pennsylvania. The site was placed on the National Priority List in
1989 based on detection of volatile organic compounds, such as trichloroethene (TCE)and 1,1,1 trichloroethane (TCA), in the groundwater from a North Penn Water Authority supply well which is not now in use. The EPA is currently conducting a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) at the site to identify and delineate contamination and to develop alternatives to cleanup the site.
As part of the investigation, EPA is collecting and analyzing soil and water samples to determine potential sources of contamination. The pond, mentioned in recent
reports as an area where wastes were formerly disposed, is one of the potential sources EPA will investigate.
EPA is collecting samples from residential and industrial wells which still exist in the area for further evaluation of any potential risks that may be posed to those who
continue to use groundwater for their drinking water supply. All results will be provided to the well owners and any residents who are at risk will be notified by the EPA.
When the current investigation of the site is completed, EPA will prepare a Remedial Investigation (RI) Report to provide the public with all information and data
collected by the study. EPA will also prepare a Feasibility Study Report to review "clean
up" alternatives -- engineering technologies that may be used to address any contamination identified by the RI and to protect public health and the environment.
Both reports will be available by early 1999. As always, the availability of the reports will be advertised to the public and a public comment period and public meeting
will be held before any "clean up" alternative is selected by EPA.
For further information, interested parties may contact Carrie Deitzel, Community Involvement Coordinator at 215/ 814-5525 (after 6/29: David Polish at 215/ 814-3327) or
Roy Schrock, Remedial Project Manager at 215/ 814-3210.