Crews renew work at Borit site
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.