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Final Report on Boyertown Farms Investigation Available

Release Date: 12/1/2000
Contact Information: Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540

Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has completed and is making available to the public its final report on the two-year investigation of agricultural and residential properties in the Boyertown-Gilbertsville, Pa. area

The two-year investigation, which began in January 1999, was initiated at the request of local farmers who thought there might be a link between area environmental conditions and their low crop yields and livestock health problems.

The EPA studied the area’s soil, groundwater, surface water, sediments, air, radiation and vegetation, and coordinated with veterinary experts to examine dairy cattle. The study concluded that the farms’ production problems were related to farm-specific practices, not area-wide environmental contamination. This preliminary finding was announced at a March 2000 press briefing and an open meeting with area residents.

While the farms’ low outputs could not be attributed to the area’s environmental conditions, the study did reveal some anomalies that should be addressed. The report makes recommendations on future steps to address these issues.

In addition to the two-year environmental study, the EPA, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Montgomery County Health Department recently conducted a plant-wide compliance inspection at the nearby Cabot Industries facility. The outcome of that inspection is still pending, however, it will not change the findings in the Boyertown Farms investigation report.

The full report and summary are available for review at the municpal offices of Douglass, Colebrookdale and Washington Townships. To get a copy of the report and/or summary by mail, contact Carrie Dietzel, community involvement coordinator at
215-814-5525 or 1-800-553-2509 or deitzel.carrie@epa.gov.


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