EPA presents cleanup plan for quarry

Souderton Independent - - FRONT PAGE - By Bradley Sch­legel

The U.S. En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency’s pre­ferred cleanup op­tion for the Sal­ford Quarry Su­per­fund site in Lower Sal­ford Town­ship in­cludes the im­ple­men­ta­tion of an en­gi­neered cell to cover the quarry, ac­cord­ing to Sharon Fang, a re­me­dial project man­ager for the agency.

Fang said the con­tam­i­nated soil and sed­i­ments, back loaded into the quarry, would be sur­rounded with sev­eral lay­ers of clay, lin­ers and fab­ric lay­ers to pre­vent ground con­tam­i­na­tion. The work would in­clude the re­moval of sed­i­ment from a 20-by-20-foot area along a prox­i­mate creek where ev­i­dence of dis­tressed veg­e­ta­tion ex­ists, Fang said Mon­day night at a pub­lic meet­ing to dis­cuss the pro­posed cleanup plan of the de­funct quarry at 610 Quarry Road.

The three-acre site — pre­vi­ously used as a shale quarry in the early 20th cen­tury as well as a waste dis­posal lo­ca­tion as far back as 1948 — was pur­chased by the Amer­i­can Olean Tile Co. of Lans­dale in 1963, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the EPA.

It states the busi­ness, a sub­sidiary of the Na­tional Gyp­sum Co., pur­chased the site for waste dis­posal. The lo­cal tile com­pany used the quarry to dis­pose of tile waste, sludge and sed­i­ment from their op­er­a­tions, ac­cord­ing to the fed­eral agency’s news­let­ter.

AOT also stored two, 10,000-gal­lon tanks in the quarry con­tain­ing fuel oil and boron, a com­pound found in na­ture and most com­monly used to make boric acid and some pes­ti­cides, ac­cord­ing to ar­chive ar­ti­cles.

The en­gi­neered cell — which will pro­tect the site from ground­wa­ter and rain­wa­ter — was cho­sen be­cause it will pre­vent ex­po­sure to site con­tam­i­nants by hu­man and eco­log­i­cal re­cep­tors as well as min­i­mize the mi­gra­tion of con­tam­i­nants to ground­wa­ter, ac­cord­ing to a 54-page re­port posted at the EPA’s web­site. The re­port states that the cell would not re­quire an in­ten­sive op­er­a­tion and main­te­nance ef­fort to en­sure func­tional in­tegrity and it is expected to pro­vide long-term ef­fec­tive­ness.

EPA en­gi­neers con­sid­ered six cleanup op­tions for the waste and soil and four for the sed­i­ments, ac­cord­ing to Fang. She said one of those op­tions in­cluded re­mov­ing the con­tam­i­nated ma­te­ri­als from the

site, but that was cost pro­hib­i­tive.

The pre­ferred rem­edy would cost ap­prox­i­mately $3.4 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

A trust set up by Na­tional Gyp­sum Co. will cover the pro­jected ex­pense, bar­ring cost over­runs dur­ing the de­sign or con­struc­tion phase, ac­cord­ing to Fang.

She said the restora­tions could be com­pleted in two years.

Ground­wa­ter and sur­face wa­ter mon­i­tor­ing will be per­formed to track the im­pact of the source con­trol, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment. Ten mon­i­tor­ing wells around the quarry were drilled sev­eral years ago, ac­cord­ing to Fang. She said the two wells clos­est to the quarry have been tested quar­terly.

“The lev­els have re­mained con­stant over the years,” said Fang, adding that the other wells would be mon­i­tored once con­struc­tion of the cell be­gins. One res­i­dent ex­pressed a de­sire to re­move the con­tam­i­nated sed­i­ment from the quarry in­stead of com­plet­ing the EPA’s pro­posal.

“I want to get that stuff out of here,” he said. “The other so­lu­tion is just a BandAid.”

Res­i­dents can continue to pro­vide their com­ments to the EPA dur­ing the project’s com­ment phase, which runs through Aug 31. To make a com­ment, contact Vance Evans, a community in­volve­ment co­or­di­na­tor, at evans.vance@epa.gov or call 215814-5526, or contact Fang at fang.sharon@ epa.gov or at 215-814-3018.

For more in­for­ma­tion, contact the U.S. EPA Re­gion 3 at 1650 Arch St., Philadel­phia, or at www.epa.gov.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.