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Lower Darby Creek Area Added to Superfund Hazardous Site List

Release Date: 6/14/2001
Contact Information: Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540

Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today added the Lower Darby Creek Area (LDCA) site, located in Delaware and Philadelphia Counties, Pa., to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites. EPA also proposed to add local sites to the NPL: the Watson Johnson Landfill near Quakertown, Pa., and the Valmont TCE site near Hazleton, Pa. Nationwide, EPA is adding 10 sites to the NPL and proposing to add another 10 sites.

The NPL is a national list of sites where contaminants have impacted or might impact public health or the environment. NPL sites undergo a thorough investigation of the nature and extent of the contamination. EPA or the parties responsible for the contamination then take appropriate actions to address whatever risks the sites pose.

EPA proposed the LDCA site for NPL listing in May 2000. The proposed site included six contiguous properties or groups of properties, 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 at Tinicum to the south.

After considering the public comments received on the proposed listing of the LDCA site, EPA decided to include only the Clearview Landfill and the Folcroft Landfill and Annex sites in the final listing. Releases of hazardous substances from these two landfills affect the same portion of Darby Creek, which includes fisheries, wetlands, and other sensitive environments, including the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum.

The other four properties included in the proposed listing are not included in the final listing: the Sun Oil Darby Creek Tank Farm, the former Delaware County Sewage Treatment Plant, the former Delaware County Incinerator, and the Industrial Drive Properties. Existing data on these properties was inconclusive as to their contribution to the contamination in Darby Creek. The owners of the first three properties intend to voluntarily address contamination on their properties under Pennsylvania's Land Recycling Program, also known as Act 2. At the fourth property, Industrial Drive, EPA completed additional sampling, and will determine further action based on sampling results.

The next step in the Superfund process after this final listing is to conduct a comprehensive environmental investigation called a Remedial Investigation (RI). The Remedial Investigation will include sampling of soil, groundwater and creek water and sediment to determine the nature and extent of contamination.

Documents related to EPA’s decision to add the LDCA site to the NPL may be reviewed at two local libraries: the Eastwick Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, at 2851 Island Ave. in Philadelphia, and the Sharon Hill Public Library, at Sharon Ave. & Spring St. in Sharon Hill, Delaware County. The documents are also available for review at the EPA Region III Superfund Docket in Philadelphia. For additional information, please contact the Region III Docket at (215) 814-5364. Selected scoring materials and related information is also available on the Internet at

EPA will hold a public meeting about the decision to add the LDCA site to the NPL, and future actions at a future date to be announced in the local newspapers. For more information about this meeting, please contact Hal Yates, Community Involvement Coordinator, at (215) 814-5530.