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EPA Proposes New Sites For Superfund List

Release Date: 3/8/2004
Contact Information: David Sternberg, 215- 814- 5548

David Sternberg, 215- 814- 5548

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed the addition of two new mid-Atlantic hazardous waste sites to the National Priorities List (NPL). The newly proposed NPL sites are: Ryeland Road Arsenic (Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Pa..) and the Ravenswood PCE Groundwater Plume (Ravenswood, Jacksonville County, West Virginia).

The National Priorities List is a national list of sites where hazardous contaminants have or could impact the public and/or the environment. NPL sites undergo a thorough investigation to determine the full nature and extent of the contamination. EPA or the parties responsible for the contamination then address whatever risks the sites pose to human health and the environment.

The Ryeland Road arsenic site was once a manufacturing facility of pesticides, paints, varnishes, and sulfuric acid. The former pesticide facility was located on the north side of Ryeland Road. After demolition of the pesticide facility, the property was subdivided into four parcels that now each contain a residential home. The pesticide facility also owned the parcel of land on the south side of Ryeland Road. As part of the pesticide manufacturing process, arsenic was converted to arsenic acid; byproducts included lead arsenate, calcium arsenate, and copper acetoarsenate.

Wastes generated during the manufacturing process were reportedly disposed of on both the north and south sides of Ryeland Road. Hazardous substances have been released to surface soils on these properties, residential drinking water wells, and surface waters. The contaminants of concern are arsenic, lead, and copper. EPA previously conducted two emergency removals at the site to address immediate threats. NPL listing will focus on those wastes remaining on site, as well as contamination in the groundwater and surface water body.

The Ravenswood PCE groundwater plume site consists of a groundwater plume that has contaminated three of the five municipal wells that serve approximately 5,500 persons in the City of Ravenswood, which includes three schools. All five municipal wells are located within an approximate three to four acre area to the north of the downtown area. The City Maintenance Building that houses municipal wells 2 and 3 was formerly an electrical power plant owned and operated by the City of Ravenswood.

Following closure of the power plant, the building was converted into the city maintenance garage. Perchloroethylene (PCE) may have been used as a cleaning solvent when the electrical power plant was in use. The three municipal drinking water wells have shown PCE contamination at levels above the national primary drinking water regulations, legally enforceable standards that apply to public water systems. EPA has conducted an emergency removal that includes the installation of a new municipal well field. NPL listing will focus on the remediation of the PCE groundwater plume.

Nationwide, EPA is proposing to add 11 sites to the list.

Once a site has been proposed for inclusion to the NPL, there is a 60-day comment period. The proposed listing becomes final once EPA has responded to all the public comments in writing. The 60-day comment period on the two newly proposed sites starts March 8, 2004, when the notice will appear in the Federal Register. Documents are available for review at the EPA Region III Superfund Docket in Philadelphia. They will also be made available for review shortly at public repositories in the respective municipalities. For additional information, please contact the EPA Region III Superfund Docket at (215) 814-5364.