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NPL Site Narrative for Berks Landfill

Spring Township, Pennsylvania

Federal Register Notice:  October 04, 1989

Conditions at proposal (June 24, 1988): Berks Landfill is in Spring Township, Berks County, Pennsylvania. The site consists of two unlined landfills: an active 43-acre unit and an inactive 17-acre unit. The owner started operating the now inactive unit in the 1960s. Starting in 1979, Stabatrol Corp. operated within the unit, disposing of stabilized alkali sludges with approval of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (PA DER). In 1975, PA DER granted a permit to discharge treated leachate from the landfill's leachate collection system into an adjacent stream. PA DER halted the discharges in 1979 because of violations of water quality standards. In 1980, PA DER suspended its approval for Stabatrol to stabilize sludges due to inadequate storage methods, which stopped all operations on the 17-acre site.

The 43-acre active landfill received a solid waste permit from PA DER in May 1975 to accept municipal refuse and demolition debris. A leachate collection system discharges to four surface impoundments (three of which were unlined until 1986). The leachate is transported off-site to a treatment plant. A new owner acquired the site in 1984. In 1986, PA DER temporarily closed the landfill. Final closure was completed in 1988.

Analyses conducted in 1985 by EPA and PA DER detected 1,2-dichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene, benzene, and manganese in an on-site monitoring well and in a private well downgradient of the site. An estimated 26,500 residents use private and public wells within 3 miles of the site for drinking water.

The site is unfenced, making it possible for people and animals to come into direct contact with hazardous substances in the impoundments.

Status (October 4, 1989): EPA is conducting a search to identify parties potentially responsible for wastes associated with the site and will then negotiate with them to conduct a remedial investigation/feasibility study to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site and identify alternatives for remedial action.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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