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Ryeland Road Site in Berks Co. Added to Superfund Hazardous Site List

Release Date: 7/22/2004
Contact Information: David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548 & Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540

David Sternberg, (215) 814-5548 & Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today finalized the addition of the Ryeland Road Arsenic Site, in Heidelberg Township, Berks County, Pa. to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites.

The NPL is a national list of sites where contaminants have impacted or might impact public health or the environment. NPL sites are required to undergo a thorough assessment of the nature and extent of contamination prior to cleanup by EPA or the responsible parties. This investigation has begun and is expected to be complete by summer 2005.

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 parcels that are now residential. 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; by-products 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 were released to surface and subsurface soils, surface waters and possibly residential wells on these properties. 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.

Documents related to the site will continue to be available for public review at the Womelsdorf Community Library located at 203 W. High Street in Womelsdorf.