EPA Announces Plans to Use Funds from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Address Hot Spot at Crossley Farm Superfund Site
PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 17, 2021) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $1 billion investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law today to initiate cleanup and clear the backlog of 49 previously unfunded Superfund sites and accelerate cleanup at dozens of other sites across the country. Until this historic investment, many of these were part of a backlog of hazardous waste sites awaiting funding.
“No community deserves to have contamination near where they live, work, pray and go to school,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “The historic funding boost from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $3.5 billion in the Superfund Remedial Program, making a dramatic impact in EPA’s ability to address the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighborhoods across the country.”
$5.5 Million of the funds will go to construction work to address the contamination “hot spot” at the Crossley Farm Site in Huffs Church, Berks County, Pennsylvania. This work will include installing extraction wells, pretreating the contaminated groundwater, piping it to the existing treatment plant, and expanding the existing treatment plant to be able to treat the additional contaminated groundwater.
The Crossley Farm Superfund Site is approximately 200 acres of farmland. A portion of the land was used for dumping wastes, resulting in primarily TCE contamination of the groundwater.
The groundwater is currently being extracted and treated at the treatment plant that is successfully removing TCE contamination. The treatment plant is also stopping the groundwater plume from spreading. Where necessary, residential drinking water is being treated with carbon filtration and monitored by the state. Also, where necessary, residential mitigation systems are addressing potential vapor intrusion caused by groundwater contamination.
“Far too many people, particularly in underserved communities, live near Superfund sites that have lacked funding for cleanup efforts. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is about to change that,” said U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). “I have long advocated for Crossley Farm and North Penn Area 6 to receive funding needed to give nearby residents the ability to raise their families free from pollution and contamination. This is a win for the people of Hereford Township and Lansdale, who will be able to enjoy the right to clean air and water guaranteed to them by our Commonwealth’s constitution.”
The $1 billion investment is the first wave of funding from the $3.5 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help cleanup polluted Superfund sites in communities. The backlog of previously unfunded sites that will now be receiving funding are in 24 states and territories and all 10 EPA regions, including some communities who have been waiting for cleanup for more than four years.
EPA is committed to carrying out this work in line with President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative by advancing environmental justice and incorporating equity considerations into all aspects of the Superfund cleanup process. This will help ensure that historic and ongoing impacts of contamination on overburdened communities are fully considered and addressed.
EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan visited the Lower Darby Creek Area site in Pennsylvania, one of the many sites with ongoing work that will receive a boost from the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding. Along with new construction projects, infrastructure funds will be used to accelerate ongoing work and begin cleanup at additional Superfund sites in various stages of pre-construction and planning throughout the country.
The funds will supercharge the Superfund program to address the toll contaminated sites have on communities. EPA is finalizing cleanup plans and preparing funding mechanisms to get construction work started as soon as possible. More information about funding for backlogged sites and accelerated cleanup sites will be available in the coming weeks.
In 1980, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, known as Superfund, was passed. The novel law gave EPA the authority and funds to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up the most contaminated sites across the country. When no viable responsible party is found or cannot afford the cleanup, funds appropriated by Congress are used. A tax on chemical and petroleum industries provided funds to the Superfund Trust fund for Superfund cleanups up until 1995. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law reinstates the chemical excise taxes and invests an additional $3.5 billion in environmental remediation at Superfund sites, making it one of the largest investments in American history to address the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighborhoods.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is a once-in-a-generation investment that will create millions of jobs modernizing our infrastructure, turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, and put us on a path to win the economic competition for the 21st century.
For more information and to see a list of the 49 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-sites-new-construction-projects-receive-bipartisan-infrastructure-law-funding