Friday, December 17, 2021

EPA Announces Plans To Use Funds From Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill To Expedite Cleanup At 2 PA Superfund Sites In Berks, Montgomery Counties

On December 17, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $1 billion investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to initiate cleanup and clear the backlog of 49 previously unfunded Superfund sites and accelerate cleanup at dozens of other sites across the country. 

The three sites in Pennsylvania represent an investment of $38.7 million and include--

-- Berks County: Crossley Farms, Hereford Township: funded at $5.5 million, Crossley Farms is a 209-acre farm where, from the mid-1960’s to 1970’s, the Bally Case and Cooler Company disposed of numerous drums of liquid waste leading to contaminated land. The site was added to the Superfund list in 1992.

-- Delaware County: Lower Darby Creek Area, Darby Township: funded at $30 million.  The Clearview Landfill part of the Lower Darby Creek Superfund site is receiving additional funding to aid in the cleanup of more than 50-acres of land with contaminated soil and groundwater as a result of disposal practices from two landfills that occupied the site from the 1950s to 1970s. The cleanup will effectively excavate contaminated soil and waste, cap the landfill, and create a new green space.

-- Montgomery County: North Penn Area, Landsdale: funded at $3.2 million, this site is located within the North Penn Water Authority and was found to have high levels of trichloroethene in 1979. The site was placed on the National Priorities List in 1989. This site is located in an Environmental Justice Area.

Until this historic investment, many of these were part of a backlog of hazardous waste sites awaiting funding.

“No community deserves to have contamination near where they live, work, pray and go to school,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “The historic funding boost from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $3.5 billion in the Superfund Remedial Program, making a dramatic impact in EPA’s ability to address the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighborhoods across the country.”

“With the passage of the landmark bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we have delivered the largest investment in addressing legacy pollution in American history,” said U.S. Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01). “The EPA Region 3’s announcement of the first wave of IIJA-funded Superfund clean-up projects is a significant milestone in our efforts to remediate the more than 1,000 hazardous waste sites across the country. I am thrilled to hear that the EPA is beginning work to clear out the serious backlog of unremedied toxic Superfund sites, including the North Penn Area 6 Superfund site located in Lansdale, which has posed considerable environmental and health risks to residents in my district for decades.”

“Far too many people, particularly in underserved communities, live near Superfund sites that have lacked funding for cleanup efforts. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is about to change that,” said U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA). “I have long advocated for Crossley Farm and North Penn Area 6 to receive funding needed to give nearby residents the ability to raise their families free from pollution and contamination. This is a win for the people of Hereford Township and Lansdale, who will be able to enjoy the right to clean air and water guaranteed to them by our Commonwealth’s constitution.”

The $1 billion investment is the first wave of funding from the $3.5 billion in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help cleanup polluted Superfund sites in communities. 

The backlog of previously unfunded sites that will now be receiving funding are in 24 states and territories and all 10 EPA regions, including some communities who have been waiting for cleanup for more than four years.

EPA is committed to carrying out this work in line with President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative by advancing environmental justice and incorporating equity considerations into all aspects of the Superfund cleanup process. 

This will help ensure that historic and ongoing impacts of contamination on overburdened communities are fully considered and addressed.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan visited the Lower Darby Creek Area site in Pennsylvania, one of the many sites with ongoing work that will receive a boost from the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding. 

Along with new construction projects, infrastructure funds will be used to accelerate ongoing work and begin cleanup at additional Superfund sites in various stages of pre-construction and planning throughout the country.

The funds will supercharge the Superfund program to address the toll contaminated sites have on communities. 

EPA is finalizing cleanup plans and preparing funding mechanisms to get construction work started as soon as possible. More information about funding for backlogged sites and accelerated cleanup sites will be available in the coming weeks.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law reinstates the chemical excise taxes and invests an additional $3.5 billion in environmental remediation at Superfund sites, making it one of the largest investments in American history to address the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities and neighborhoods.

 Click Here for more information and to see a list of the 49 sites to receive funding for new cleanup projects.

[Posted: December 17, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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