Norwood, PA: Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) have been compiled based on questions received by Norwood residents, interested stakeholders, and other parties familiar with the Norwood Landfill Site. Not all questions submitted to EPA appear in these FAQs; rather, the most frequently asked questions appear, along with questions that EPA considers directly relevant and important to an overall understanding of what is happening at the Norwood Landfill site.
EPA will continue to update the list of questions periodically as new FAQs are received and updated by EPA’s site team and posted on the Norwood Landfill site at www.epa.gov/norwood.
- What is the geographic definition of the Norwood Landfill Site?
- Why has it taken EPA so long to fully define the physical boundaries of the Norwood Landfill site?
- What year was the landfill closed? What if any regulations would the Landfill have to have complied with during the closure process?
- Were the homes in the Winona Homes and Norwood Acres neighborhood built on contaminated fill?
Site Assessment Process Questions
- Why did EPA wait so long to begin its investigation of the Norwood Landfill and Old Norwood Dump?
- What is a site assessment and what is the difference between a site assessment and a site investigation?
- What is the key question EPA tries to answer through a site investigation?
- Why hasn’t the Norwood Landfill Site been identified as a Superfund Site? Two nearby landfills, Folcroft and Clearview, which were established and in use at the same time as Norwood Landfill and Dump have both been designated as Superfund sites.
- How does EPA develop a “sampling plan” for a site like the Norwood Landfill Site?
- What questions was EPA trying to find answers to during its first round of sampling at the Norwood Landfill Site?
- How do you know you are not missing some areas that might be contaminated?
- What exactly is EPA looking for when it takes samples from the soil around residential homes?
- What does it mean when EPA finds contamination that “exceeds screening levels?”
- How is EPA conducting sampling at the Old Norwood Dump and Norwood Landfill?
- Is EPA planning on taking samples from the basements in the homes you are sampling in the Norwood community? If not, why not?
- Will EPA sample the Norwood school?
- Will EPA conduct sampling in local parks in the Norwood community?
- Will EPA sample the Glenolden Laboratory property?
- How are EPA’s sampling results verified for accuracy?
- If EPA finds any contamination associated with the Norwood Landfill site that “exceeds” what is considered safe, will EPA clean up that contamination - even if the Agency cannot find any “pathways” for that contamination to reach humans or sensitive environments?
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) are the lead agencies that address health related questions associated with the Norwood Landfill Site. These agencies are currently working on a Health Consultation Report for the Norwood Area, that will be completed in 2020. Once this report is complete it will be made available to the public and posted on EPA’s website: www.epa.gov/norwood.
- Why is it difficult to establish a link between cancers or other illnesses and environmental exposures?
- How do we know that we have not been exposed to contamination from the Landfill for the past 40+ years?
- How do we know our drinking water has not been affected over the past 40+ years when the landfill was operating and after it closed since there were no regulations governing its operation or closure?
- Can Norwood residents be exposed to contamination if we grow and eat our own vegetables from gardens in our yards?
- Is there a Pennsylvania registry that tracks non-cancer diseases or immunological disorders?
- What state or federal agencies are responsible for evaluating records from the PADOH cancer registry? Are all types of cancers considered in this evaluation [including rare and/or environmentally associated cancers]?
Communications and Public Relations Questions
- How can residents communicate with EPA about activities at the Norwood Landfill site?
- Where can residents get the most accurate and up-to-date information on the Norwood Landfill site?
- If I want to talk with EPA about sampling on my property or ask a specific question about my property, who should I contact?