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Release Date: 1/5/1999
Contact Information: Ruth Podems (215) 814-5540

CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled its claims against four of the parties responsible for contamination at the Strasburg Landfill Superfund Site in Chester County, Pa.

Somerset Strippers of Virginia, Inc., Buckley & Company, Inc., Robert F. Buckley Sr. and Joseph M. Martosella have agreed to reimburse the EPA $7.5 million for cleanup costs at the 24-acre former landfill.

The Strasburg Landfill site -- located in both Newlin and West Bradford townships, near Strasburg Road and a half mile from Brandywine Creek -- operated as a landfill from 1979 to 1983.  The landfill accepted large quantities of sewage sludges, industrial waste, and PVC manufacturing wastes.

In 1983, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection shut down the landfill after repeated environmental violations  The landfill was placed on the EPA’s Superfund list of most-contaminated sites in March 1989 because of  hazardous waste there.

Under the Superfund law, the parties responsible for creating contaminated sites are also responsible for site cleanups.  According to the EPA, the settling parties are liable because they are former owners or operators of the landfill.

The Strasburg Landfill cleanup involves building a permanent, multi-layer cap over the landfill; installing a system to collect and treat leachate (the liquid created when rainwater trickles through the landfill); installing a ventilation system to prevent the buildup of gases underneath the cap; and monitoring gases venting from the landfill.  Work is ongoing.

The proposed consent decree, filed Dec. 30, 1998 by the Justice Department in federal District Court in Philadelphia, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.  

The settlement announced today is the government’s second recovery of costs for the Strasburg cleanup.  In a Sept. 29, 1998 consent decree, the following 11 companies and four municipal government parties agreed to pay $2.5 million in cleanup costs:  Occidental Chemical Corporation; Clean Harbors of Cleveland, Inc.; Esschem, Inc.; Congoleum Corporation; NRM Investment, Inc.; Borough of Downingtown; West Goshen Township; Borough of West Chester; Valley Forge Sewer Authority; Unisys Corporation; Westcode, Inc.; Whitford Corporation; Wyeth Laboratories; Worthington Steel Corporation; and USA Waste of Delaware, Inc.

The U.S. will continue to pursue Superfund cost recovery claims against other responsible parties at the Strasburg Landfill.