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NPL Site Narrative for Lower Darby Creek Area

Darby Township, Pennsylvania

Federal Register Notice:  June 14, 2001 (PDF) (8 pp, 192K, About PDF)

Conditions at Proposal (May 11, 2000): The Lower Darby Creek Area (LDCA) site as proposed consisted of a release of hazardous substances from multiple sources into the waters of Darby Creek and other nearby streams. The proposed site included six contiguous properties or groups of properties. From north to south, these were the Clearview Landfill, the Industrial Drive Properties (a group of several individual properties), the Sun Oil Darby Creek Tank Farm, the former Delaware County Sewage Treatment Plant, the former Delaware County Incinerator, and the Folcroft Landfill and Annex. The proposed site was located along an approximately two-mile stretch of Darby Creek, between Cobbs Creek to the north and the tidal marsh of John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) at Tinicum to the south.

The Clearview Landfill and the Folcroft Landfill and Annex were used for the disposal of municipal waste between the late 1950s and early 1970s. The Industrial Drive properties were the location of a dump in the 1950s and are currently occupied by salvage yards, vehicle repair shops, and other businesses. The Sun Oil Darby Creek Tank Farm property is a crude oil tank storage facility, constructed in the late 1940s and early 1950s over a rock quarry filled in with wastes from a local refinery. The former Delaware County Sewage Treatment Plant operated between the late 1950s and early 1970s and included a sewage sludge disposal area. The former Delaware County Incinerator operated from the mid 1960s until late 1970s, with some of the ash residue generated by the incinerator being landfilled in surrounding areas.

Status (June 2001): After considering the public comments received on the proposed listing of the LDCA site, EPA decided to promulgate LDCA as a grouping of two separate sites, the Clearview Landfill site and the Folcroft Landfill and Annex site. Each of these two sites qualifies independently for the NPL. The two sites are grouped into one NPL listing for administrative purposes, as a single listing will facilitate the management of the investigation and cleanup of the releases to Darby Creek. These releases have affected or may affect the same portion of the creek, which includes fisheries, wetlands, and other sensitive environments, including the John Heinz NWR. Darby Creek flows from north to south past the two landfills, and discharges to the Delaware River a few miles downstream.

Hazardous substances of concern include heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The release of these substances into Darby Creek poses a threat to people who might consume fish from the creek, as well as an ecological threat to wetland areas and other sensitive environments. EPA has initiated the Remedial Investigation which will include comprehensive environmental sampling.

The other four properties included in the proposed listing, containing five sources, are not included in the final listing: the Industrial Drive Properties, the Sun Oil Darby Creek Tank Farm, the former Delaware County Sewage Treatment Plant, and the former Delaware County Incinerator. EPA recently completed an integrated Removal Assessment/Site Inspection of the Industrial Drive Properties, and will make a determination of further action based on the sampling results. The owners of the other three properties have all submitted Notices of Intent to Remediate to voluntarily address contamination on their properties under the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Land Recycling (Act 2) Program.

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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