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NPL Site Narrative for Crossley Farm

Hereford Township, Pennsylvania

Federal Register Notice:  October 14, 1992

Conditions at Proposal (July 29, 1991): The Crossley Farm site covers approximately 24 acres along Huff's Church Road in Hereford Township in a rural part of Berks County, Pennsylvania. The site is on top of Blackhead Hill and consists of several excavations. Reportedly, between the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s, an estimated 300 drums (possibly more) containing mostly liquid waste were obtained from the local plant of Bally Case and Cooler Co. and were disposed in a pit on the Crossley Farm property. Some drums were described as having a characteristic "solvent" odor. A 1989 report by a Bally contractor indicates the company used trichloroethene (TCE) as a degreaser until 1973. EPA has received many allegations from nearby residents that waste had been disposed on the Crossley Farm.

In September 1983, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (PA DER) detected elevated levels of TCE and tetrachloroethene in residential wells downgradient of the Crossley Farm site. Additional sampling by PA DER and EPA in November 1983 confirmed TCE contamination. PA DER issued a health advisory regarding use of the contaminated wells, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency provided a temporary water supply.

In response to more citizen complaints, EPA conducted additional sampling that confirmed the contamination. In the spring of 1987, EPA started a regional hydrogeologic study that included construction and sampling of 21 monitoring wells and a soil gas survey. The study identified a large plume of TCE-contaminated ground water, with the source near the crest of Blackhead Hill. The plume continues to spread and affect more private wells. EPA has used CERCLA emergency funds to install carbon filtration units on 11 wells.

An estimated 4,800 people obtain drinking water from public and private wells and springs within 4 miles of the site, the nearest a private contaminated well at 0.1 mile.

Status (October 1992): EPA is using CERCLA emergency funds to install carbon filtration units on additional private wells and to maintain the units previously installed.

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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