The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) filed a remediation plan that addresses contamination in soil, groundwater and surface water last week. It provides for a public water connection to a private homeowner at the Bishop Tube Hazardous Site Cleanup Act (HSCA) site in East Whiteland Township, Chester County.
“This remediation plan represents the culmination of a thorough assessment and review of a complex site,” says DEP Southeast Regional Director Pat Patterson. “We believe this remedy selection will provide a comprehensive pathway for cleaning up and reusing the site in a way that is protective of public health and the environment.”
The site will be remediated to a combination of background, statewide health, and site-specific standards in accordance with the Land Recycling Program. After considering several courses of action, DEP selected a combination of in situ chemical injections, soil mixing, engineering practices, institutional controls, and long-term monitoring to address the soil, groundwater, and surface water contamination. The residence with the impacted private well will be connected to an existing public water line.
The injection of chemical oxidation or reducing agents creates a chemical reaction that destroys harmful contaminants and produces harmless byproducts. It is commonly described as “in situ” because it is conducted in place, without having to excavate soil or pump out groundwater for aboveground cleanup.
Several industrial businesses manufactured stainless steel tubes at the 13.7-acre Bishop Tube HSCA site from the 1950s to 1999. Trichloroethylene (TCE) is considered the primary site-related contaminant of concern because its concentrations within soil, groundwater, and surface water are generally higher than other chlorinated solvents at the site and it poses the most substantial threat to human health and the environment. TCE is a commercial-grade solvent that was commonly used as a degreasing agent for manufactured metal parts. Besides being a known carcinogen, prolonged exposure to TCE can result in serious neurological, cardiac, reproductive, and developmental health problems.
DEP received and responded to hundreds of comments, including those received at a virtual public hearing in November 2021. For information on the Bishop Tube site, please visit: dep.pa.gov/bishoptube.
The Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act was signed into law in 1988 to provide DEP the funding and authority to address hazardous substances and contaminants in the environment. To date, the program has conducted nearly 900 actions in communities across Pennsylvania, cleaning up groundwater, capping or removing contaminated soil, and ensuring thousands of people have access to safe drinking water.