Crews re­new work at Borit site

The Ambler Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Eric Devlin

EPA-hired con­trac­tors be­gan in­stalling ca­ble con­crete mats along the creek bed at Rose Val­ley Creek next to the BoRit as­bestos site July 27, as the next stage of re­con­struc­tion at the site be­gins. Fol­low­ing the con­struc­tion, work­ers will be­gin in­stalling a cover over the for­mer Whit­pain park area.

The BoRit site, lo­cated in Ambler Bor­ough, Up­per Dublin and Whit­pain town­ships be­tween But­ler Av­enue, North Maple Street and the Wis­sahickon Creek, was placed on

the EPA’s Su­per­fund Na­tional Pri­or­i­ties List in April 2009.

7hH fiUVW VWDJH RI wRUN, which the EPA refers to as re­moval, is sta­bi­liza­tion to pre­vent as­bestos from go­ing off site. The EPA has started a re­me­dial in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the site, which will an­a­lyze the na­ture and ex­tent of the waste, along with the risk to eco­log­i­cal and hu­man health. The in­ves­ti­ga­tion, along with a fea­si­bil­ity study, will help GHWHUPLnH D finDO UHPHGLDWLRn method for the site.

Ruth Wuen­schel, Su­per­fund community in­volve­ment co­or­di­na­tor for the EPA, said there are three com­po­nents to the cur­rent UHPRvDO VWDJH. 7hH fiUVW LV the pile, which re­ceived a cap to seal it off to pre­vent the as­bestos from be­com­ing air­borne.

The sec­ond is the work cur­rently be­ing done along the stream bank and reser­voir, which Wuen­schel said were ex­tremely con­tam­i­nated, and have been cov­ered and sta­bi­lized.

A drainage swale was built along the perime­ter of the pile to man­age fu­ture stormwa­ter runoff, as well as an ac­cess ramp to the top of the pile for fu­ture main­te­nance, in early 2010.

Dur­ing Trop­i­cal Storm Lee in Septem­ber 2011, a mas­sive vol­ume of wa­ter and de­bris broke through a chain link fence at Maple Street and rushed into the Rose Val­ley Creek, caus­ing dam­age to the con­crete mats. Be­cause of WhDW, WhH (3A LV fixLnJ WhH VWD­bi­liza­tion ma­te­ri­als along the stream banks.

In or­der to grad­u­ally re­lease wa­ter dur­ing heavy storms, Wuen­schel said the EPA in­stalled a swing gate at Maple Street to con­trol the wa­ter and a guard rail to pre­vent de­bris from en­ter­ing Rose Val­ley Creek. Crews are cur­rently in­stalling re- place­ment ca­ble con­crete mats, with work sched­uled to be com­pleted some­time in the early fall, ac­cord­ing to Wuen­schel.

The third com­po­nent is to cover the for­mer Whit­pain park area. Ac­cord­ing to an EPA community up­date is­sued in July, once Rose Val­ley Creek’s banks are sta­bi­lized, the park area will be cov­ered in the same man­ner as the as­bestos pile with a geo­tex­tile, or fab­ric, liner, with a min­i­mum of two feet RI FOHDn fiOO, VLx LnFhHV RI WRS soil, grass and straw mats for ero­sion con­trol. The cover, which the EPA said will ex­ceed fed­eral air pro­tec­tion stan­dards, will sta­bi­lize the park area and pro­tect hu­man health and the en­vi­ron­ment.

The amount of time it will take to com­plete the cover will de­pend on the weather, Wuen­schel said. If the weather co­op­er­ates, it could be com­pleted as early as Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary; if not, it may take longer.

7hH (3A VDLG FOHDn fiOO DnG top soil will be trucked in to cover the park area, af­fect­ing res­i­dents on Mt. Pleas­ant Av- enue, Maple Street and Oak 6WUHHW. 7hH WUuFN WUDI­fiF wLOO be­gin in the fall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on week­days.

“Res­i­dents on these streets are ad­vised to use ex­tra cau­tion with chil­dren and pets dur­ing this time,” the EPA wrote.

Ac­tiv­ity based sam­pling of the soil, air, ground­wa­ter, sur­face wa­ter and sed­i­ment was col­lected be­tween 2009 and 2011 along pri­vate prop­er­ties ad­ja­cent to the BoRit site, and the re­sults of those sam­ples are be­ing qual­ity checked and com­piled to pre­pare for up­com­ing risk as­sess­ments. Wuen­schel said the EPA will con­duct one more round of ground wa­ter sam­pling to FRn­fiUP WhH UHVuOWV.

The EPA said it will also con­duct hu­man health and eco­log­i­cal risk as­sess­ments once all the sam­pling data anal­y­sis is com­pleted. It said these risk as­sess­ments will eval­u­ate the po­ten­tial hu­man and eco­log­i­cal risks, if ex­posed to as­bestos. They will be used as guides in de­terPLnLnJ WhH finDO UHPHGLDWLRn meth­ods, and a re­port will be avail­able next year.

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