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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Lawrence McFadden Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

The final remedy for the facility is complete and consists of the implementation of engineering and institutional controls summarized below and described in more detail in the Statement of Basis. The Final Decision to implement the final remedy became effective on January 8, 2020.

Cleanup Background

Environmental investigations at the facility began in 1991 with a Preliminary Assessment that identified several solid waste management units (SWMU) at the facility. In 1993, soil samples from the loading dock area and the drum storage area were taken as part of an EPA RCRA Compliance Evaluation. Only one of the samples locations near the loading dock exhibited an elevated level of VOCs. Results were reported to PADEP.

A Phase II investigation was performed in June 2010 that included the collection of soil borings throughout the facility. Localized impacts from volatile organic compounds (VOC) were identified, mainly in the loading dock area.

In August 2011, most of the process materials that remained at the facility were removed from the facility and disposed of properly. The outdoor above-ground storage tank (AST) farm was also decommissioned and removed from the facility.

EPA conducted a vapor intrusion investigation of the facility in the summer of 2015 and winter of 2016. Results from this investigation suggested an impact to indoor air within the construction company office above appropriate risk-based levels due to likely historical releases from nearby aboveground storage tanks (unused since 2009 and removed in 2016) that had stored solvents, fuel oil, and hazardous waste. Therefore, a 2-port vapor mitigation system was installed in the office in September 2016.

An Environmental Indicator (EI) inspection was conducted in November 2010 to determine whether human exposures to contamination and the migration of contaminated groundwater were under control. After installation and verification of operation of the vapor mitigation system, EPA determined that human exposures to existing contamination were under control in May 2017. Groundwater wells were installed in 2016; quarterly sampling results demonstrated that the three wells downgradient of the main area of impact near the loading dock have remained unimpacted, suggesting that migration of contaminated groundwater has stabilized. Therefore, in September 2017 EPA determined that the migration of contaminated groundwater was under control.

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Site Description

Interactive map of Lawrence McFadden Company, Philadelphia, PA


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From 1937 to 2009, the Lawrence McFadden Company manufactured stains, lacquers, varnishes, and other industrial finishes for various wood and metal products. Prior to 1937, the facility was used for sandpaper manufacturing. In 2009, Lawrence McFadden declared bankruptcy and ceased operations at the facility. The facility was sold on December 30, 2010 to 7430 State Rd LLC and presently houses several commercial tenants.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Primary contaminants at the facility include VOCs from past finishing operations. Workers or trespassers could potentially be exposed to this contamination through inhalation of vapors from contaminated subsurface soil and/or groundwater; however, this exposure pathway has been mitigated through installation of the vapor mitigation system. Construction workers could potentially be exposed to contaminated subsurface soil and groundwater during intrusive operations.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional controls include restricting land use to non-residential uses only, prohibiting groundwater use, and prohibiting building construction within the area of the former loading dock without additional investigation or approval from EPA.

Engineering controls include development of a soil management plan to address any future intrusive activities within the former loading dock area and continued operation and maintenance of both the vapor mitigation system and the groundwater monitoring well network.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The facility is presently being used by two construction companies as an office and garage/warehouse, and the front office of the building is being used as a driver’s license office.

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Site Responsibility at this Facility

RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 3.

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