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EPA Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Exide Technologies Cleanup Plan for Bernhart Park

Release Date: 04/08/2010
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 or

PHILADELPHIA (April 8, 2010) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking comments from residents on a proposed cleanup work plan for Bernhart Park located in Muhlenberg Township, Pa.

The plan was submitted by Exide Technologies, which is performing the cleanup work under an order issued by EPA in 2000. The park is owned by the City of Reading, Pa.

The work plan is available for review at: Laureldale Borough Hall, 3406 Kutztown Rd., Reading, Pa. 19605; the Muhlenberg Township Office 5401 Leesport Ave., Temple, Pa. 19560 and the Muhlenberg Community Library, 3612 Kutztown Rd., Laureldale, Pa. 19605. The work plan can also be found at:

Comments on the proposed cleanup work plan should be submitted to EPA by May 17, 2010. All comments should be submitted in writing via mail, fax, or email and directed to:

Khai M. Dao, Project Manager
U.S. EPA - Region 3
1650 Arch Street (3LC30)
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
Fax: 215-814-3113
Phone: 1-800-352-1973 ext. 45467

The source of lead in Bernhart Park and surrounding communities was a lead smelter that operated for over 35 years. These emissions happened prior to the installation of air pollution controls and the advent of the Clean Air Act of 1970.

The facility began operating as a battery manufacturing plant in the mid-1930s under the ownership of the Bowers Battery Company. General Battery Corporation purchased it in 1958, and was in turn acquired by Exide in 1987. Exide is located in both Laureldale Borough and Muhlenberg Township, just northeast of Reading, Pa.

Currently, the facility operations are subject to air permits issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's (PADEP) Bureau of Air Quality. PADEP is also reviewing the work plan submitted by Exide. Exide’s proposed cleanup plan, after review and public comment, will result in the cleanup and re-opening of the park.

More information on the Exide site can be found at: