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NPL Site Narrative for North Penn - Area 6

Lansdale, Pennsylvania

Federal Register Notice:  March 31, 1989

Conditions at proposal (January 22, 1987): The North Penn-Area 6 Site is in Lansdale, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. The site was originally proposed under the name "J.W. Rex Co./Allied Paint Manufacturing Co., Inc./Keystone Hydraulics."

The site has been renamed because the contamination may be caused by sources in addition to those identified in the original name. This is one of several NPL sites involving North Penn Water Authority (NPWA) wells that supply drinking water to most of the people living northwest of Philadelphia. Six additional areas with contaminated ground water are under investigation.

J.W. Rex Co., which was involved in heat-treatment of metals, owned a 1-acre site in Lansdale before the mid-1970s. An underground storage tank was on the site. J.W. Rex used trichloroethylene (TCE) in another plant it operated nearby. Allied Paint Manufacturing Co., Inc., acquired the site in the mid-1970s. In 1979, while Allied owned the site, a fire destroyed a building on the site. Subsequently, Allied removed the underground tank. Soils surrounding the tank contained high levels of TCE, according to NPWA. Keystone Hydraulics, a hydraulic equipment repair facility, has owned the site since 1979 and also stored construction equipment at the site.

NPWA detected high levels of TCE, vinyl chloride, cis-1,2-dichloroethylene, perchloroethylene (PCE or tetrachloroethylene), and 1,1-dichloroethylene in an on-site well. Contamination decreases with distance from the site.

In 1979, NPWA took a well within 200 feet of the site out of service due to contamination from TCE and PCE. An estimated 101,000 people obtain drinking water from public and private wells within 3 miles of the site.

An unnamed tributary to Towamencin Creek is about 5,000 feet from the site.

Status (March 31, 1989): EPA is developing a workplan for a remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) to determine the type and extent of contamination in the area and identify alternatives for remedial action. As a detailed workplan is developed, the sources responsible for the contamination will be given an opportunity to conduct the RI/FS.

EPA is evaluating additional sources of contamination.

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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