Wednesday, August 28, 2019

DEP Provides Update On Pool Doctor Hazardous Site Cleanup In Beaver County, Hearing Set For Sept. 4

On August 28, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell provided an update on the department’s response to the Pool Doctor/Beaver Alkali Products Hazardous Waste Site and also highlighted a September 4 hearing on the site.
“DEP took immediate action when it became clear that the deterioration of the buildings and quantity of hazardous chemicals within and around them posed a significant threat to the surrounding community and nearby Ohio River,” explained McDonnell.
Following a partial collapse of one of the buildings on site during the week of June 24, DEP determined the threat to human health, safety, and the environment warranted a prompt interim response under the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, which it initiated on July 1. 
On July 12, a chemical reaction occurred in the collapsed building, causing a fire that released low levels of chlorine and bromine vapors, creating a plume that hovered at ground level, prompting temporary shelter-in-place orders to the surrounding community. 
DEP is currently in the process of investigating, removing, transporting and disposing the chemicals on site.
“It’s hazardous sites like these that underscore the need for Restore Pennsylvania,” added McDonnell. “When the Commonwealth is forced to act in these situations, costs can be significant because of the unknown hazards. We need to fund the last line of defense provided by HSCA not only to protect the environment, but to prevent the deterioration of our communities.”
Restore Pennsylvania is an aggressive plan to address the Commonwealth’s vital infrastructure needs, including vacant and deteriorating properties/buildings that often contaminate soil and groundwater, like the Pool Doctor/Beaver Alkali Products site. 
In addition to emphasizing the important role that Restore Pennsylvania could play in remediating hazardous sites, McDonnell also committed to keeping the community updated on the site.
Sept. 4 Hearing
To provide the public with an opportunity to comment on DEP’s decision to remove the chemicals to mitigate the public and environmental threats, the department will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, September 4, at 6:30 p.m., with an informational meeting preceding at 5:30 p.m, at the Rochester Borough Municipal Building at 350 Adams Street in Rochester. 
DEP also welcomes information on the buildings, businesses, or chemicals that may aid in its remediation. 
Individuals who wish to register to provide testimony or are in need of an accommodation as provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 should contact Lauren Fraley at 412-442-4203 or send email to: before noon on September 4.
For more information on this program, visit DEP’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program webpage.
[Note: The Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program has been without a permanent source of funding to support site cleanups since the state Capital Stock and Franchise Tax was phased out.  Since then it has been dependent on tiny $15 million transfers from the Marcellus Legacy Fund to limp along.
[Just one of many environmental budget issues Harrisburg politicians have failed to address in the last decade.]
Click Here to read more about the proposed Restore PA infrastructure funding plan. 

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