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Remedies at Hereford Superfund Site Continuing to Protect Heath, Environment
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2019-12-11

            A recent five-year review of a Superfund site in Hereford Township concluded that remedies implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continue to be protective of human health and the environment.

            The most recent review of the Crossley Farm Superfund Site, completed in September, found that the remedies put in place to protect public health and the environment are functioning as intended, according to information provided Monday afternoon from the federal agency.

            According to a December 2019 community update webpage, the review found that all remedies for homes with residential wells requiring treatment units are working properly. They include a groundwater treatment plant located on the farm property continues to remove the groundwater contamination, homes requiring vapor mitigation systems are working properly, land use controls are in place to restrict the use of the farm property and the township continues to share site information with prospective home buyers and builders regarding the installation of wells in the impacted area.

            The goal of the site cleanup is to restore groundwater quality and ensure it meets maximum contaminant levels (MCLs), which is the highest level of a contaminant allowed in drinking water based on the Safe Water Drinking Act. The MCL for trichloroethene (TCE), the primary contaminant of concern at the site, is five parts per billion, according to information delivered by Gina N. Soscia, a spokesperson from the EPA's Region 3 office in Philadelphia.

            Treatment of volatile organic compounds on the 209-acre farm, surrounded by Dairy Lane Huffs Church Road and Dale Road, began in July of 2012.  From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, the Bally Case and Cooler Company disposed of numerous drums of liquid waste at the site. These activities contaminated soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals, specifically trichloroethylene (TCE), according to information provided by information provided by the EPA.

            In 1983, odors in residential well water were observed and an investigation was started. At that time eight private wells were found to be impacted, with six at TCE levels above 200 microgram per liter and a maximum of 8,500 microgram per liter, according to a final report issued by the EPA about a  pilot, region-based optimization program for superfund sites in Hereford and Washington townships. In 1992, the site was added to the Superfund program's National Priorities List.

            By 1987, 15 point of entry systems were installed at nearby residences. The ground water contamination reaches deep bedrock (up to 400 feet below ground surface). The contaminant plume is extensive, approximately two miles long.

            The cleanup is addressing three plumes of groundwater contamination. The Valley Plume extends off the site to the west and south of the farm property. The Hot Spot Area is located at the top of Blackhead Hill on the farm property. The Distal Plume extends almost three miles down the valley from Blackhead Hill, according to the community update.

            In 2012, the EPA completed the installation of groundwater extraction wells along Dale Road and the construction of a groundwater treatment plant to stop the contamination from spreading.

            Significant progress has been made to reduce contamination in the Valley Plume, according to the update. It states that in 2012, the groundwater being pumped from the extraction wells and entering the treatment plant averaged 2,100 ppb of TCE. Six years later, the average concentration entering the treatment plant was 100 ppb of TCE.

            Nineteen out of 64 treatment systems on residential wells no longer require operation and maintenance by the state. These wells no longer show the presence of site-related contaminants and have been turned over to the residents for operation and maintenance, if they chose to continue using them, according to information provided by the federal agency.


 

 

 

 

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