Working with Our Partners in Ambler, Pennsylvania
On this page:
- Wissahickon Watshed Valley Association (WWVA)
- BoRit Community Advisory Group (CAG)
- Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF)
- Penn Superfund Research and Training Program (SRP) Center
- Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP)
- Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH)
- Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
The Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) is a non-profit land trust founded in 1957 to protect the quality and beauty of the Wissahickon Creek, enhance all life in the Watershed, and address the dangers of flooding posed by the creek. The WVWA is an important ally in the BoRit Superfund Site cleanup as the Wissahickon Creek runs along the perimeter of the site.
The Wissahickon Waterfowl Preserve, a subsidiary of WVWA, owns the reservoir portion of the BoRit site. The Waterfowl Preserve maintains the reservoir as a nature reserve now that the cleanup is complete.
The BoRit Community Advisory Group (CAG) was established by the EPA and community members to represent the interests of the communities surrounding the 32 acre BoRit Asbestos Area. The CAG serves as an ongoing vehicle for information-sharing, discussion, and, where possible, consensus-building regarding decisionmaking on efforts regarding the BoRit Asbestos Area.
Membership represents a diverse cross-section of key stakeholder interests, including affected property owners, concerned residents, planning interests, community groups, environmentalists, health experts, the business community, affected municipalities and others as appropriate. EPA, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health also participate in the CAG.
Fostering dialogue on science and technology in society is the Chemical Heritage Foundation's (CHF) mission. CHF collects, preserves and exhibits artifacts. CHF has partnered with Resources for Education and Action for Community Health in Ambler (REACH Ambler) and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine to explore the history, environmental health of Ambler, Pennsylvania.
The Penn Superfund Research and Training Program (SRP) Center was established by a $10 million from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, awarded to researchers at the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology (CEET), Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The purpose of the grant is to study, over the course of four years, asbestos exposure pathways that lead to asbestos-related diseases.
Montgomery County, Pennsylvania is the third largest county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Redevelopment Authority of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, (RDA) is the recipient of Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grant. Private and public developers may apply to the RDA for RLF money to conduct cleanup work. The RLF funds are for use anywhere in Montgomery County, and the RDA decides which cleanup projects it will fund.
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's (PADEP) mission is to protect Pennsylvania's air, land and water from pollution and to provide for the health and safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment. PADEP is EPA’s state-level counterpart, and plays an active role throughout EPA’s cleanup efforts at the Ambler Asbestos Piles and BoRit Superfund Sites.
Under EPA’s Superfund regulations, PADEP reviews and approves EPA’s cleanup plans and post-cleanup evaluations. Under the Pennsylvania Act 2 program, PADEP oversees voluntary redevelopment of asbestos-contaminated lands within Ambler that are not regulated under EPA’s Superfund program, such as the Ambler Boilerhouse property.
The mission of the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH), specifically the Bureau of Epidemiology Health Assessment program, is to prevent and reduce illnesses from community exposures near hazardous waste sites, determine the health effects associated with exposures, and to provide health education to communities and health care professionals about health effects and ways to reduce their exposures.
PADOH works under a Cooperative Agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) to perform public health activities at waste sites, including the BoRit site. At the BoRit Asbestos Superfund Site, EPA has coordinated with PADOH to respond to community health concerns, and assess the public health threats from past asbestos operations and during current EPA activities.
In 2015, PADOH released a comprehensive public health assessment document for the BoRit Asbestos Superfund Site, which details PADOH and ATSDR’s public health involvement and assessment activities in the Ambler community, as well as a public health review of the current and historical environmental sampling data and cancer data for the community.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is a federal public health agency, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), charged under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) with performing public health assessments on hazardous waste sites.
ATSDR protects communities by using the best science, taking responsive public health actions, and providing trusted health information to prevent harmful exposures and diseases related to toxic substances. ATSDR and CDC have been engaged with EPA to address the public health hazards and community concerns related to asbestos activities in the Ambler area since the early 1980s.
In partnership with PADOH, ATSDR has provided public health guidance, review of environmental sampling data, review of health outcome/cancer data, health education, and responded to community concerns for both the Ambler NPL and BoRit Asbestos sites. EPA continues to partner with ATSDR and PADOH to address public health concerns in the Ambler community.