EPA Says Three PA Superfund Sites Look “Promising” for Redevelopment
The US Environmental Protection Agency recently submitted a list of 30 Superfund National Priorities Sites that they believe have the greatest potential for redevelopment.
Three of the sites on that list are in Pennsylvania and one of them is the controversial BoRit Asbestos Superfund Site in the town of Ambler in suburban Philadelphia.
The other two are the Metal Bank site in Northeast Philadelphia and the Crater Resources Inc./Keystone Coke Co./Alan Wood Steel Co. Superfund site in Upper Merion Township, also a suburb of Philadelphia.
The BoRit site (named after it’s most recent owner) long acted as a repository for discarded asbestos materials that came from a nearby asbestos products manufacturing plant.
That plant operated from the turn of the 20th century until the late 1960s. For decades, the site was home to a huge asbestos waste pile that nearby residents referred to as “The White Cliffs of Ambler”.
The EPA added the site to the Superfund list in 2009 when it was determined that residents in the area could be exposed to airborne asbestos from the piles of toxic waste there.
According to an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, stream bank stabilization, installation of a soil cover across many areas of the site, and reservoir draining, re-grading, capping and refilling have all been accomplished at the 32-acre site, which is close to many homes.
“EPA selected the final cleanup plan for the site in 2017, which incorporates the previous cleanup with post-construction sampling, routine inspections, long-term operation and maintenance activities, and controls regarding approval of future use activities,” the article reports.
Now, say EPA officials, the BoRit site may just be ready for a new life. That’s a suggestion that will make area residents happy, as long as the agency is certain that no one’s health will be at risk should they build at that location.
“EPA is more than a collaborative partner to remediate the nation’s most contaminated sites, we’re also working to successfully integrate Superfund sites back into communities across the country,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a press release about all the properties on the list.
Indeed, the agency bases its recommendations for revitalization of these locations on a number of factors, including previous interest from outside parties, land values, and access to transportation corridors.
“Today’s redevelopment list incorporates Superfund sites ready to become catalysts for economic growth and revitalization,” Pruitt stressed.