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Foster Wheeler site proposed for Superfund list

Release Date: 04/08/2009
Contact Information: Roy Seneca seneca.roy@epa.gov (215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA (April 8, 2009) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed the addition of the Foster Wheeler Energy Corp./Church Road TCE site in Mountain Top, Pa. to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).

The NPL is a national list of sites where hazardous substances could impact human health and/or the environment. NPL sites first undergo a thorough investigation to determine the full nature and extent of contamination. EPA or the parties responsible for the contamination then address whatever risks the sites pose to human health and the environment.

Once a site has been proposed for the NPL, there is a 60-day comment period. A final decision on listing the site is then made after EPA evaluates and responds to all the public comments in writing.

This proposed listing comes five days after EPA reached a settlement agreement with Foster Wheeler that requires the company to conduct a remedial investigation and feasibility study to further characterize the site and evaluate cleanup options. Under the agreement, Foster Wheeler is required to pay for the investigation and reimburse EPA for oversight costs. EPA used the Superfund alternative approach for this settlement, which means that the site can be cleaned up without being put on the NPL. If Foster Wheeler complies with the agreement, the NPL listing may not be finalized and the cleanup will proceed.

Foster Wheeler operated a pressure boiler manufacturing facility in Mountain Top, from 1953-1984. EPA’s involvement at the site began in 1988 when it required Foster Wheeler to install a groundwater treatment system to address contamination from trichloroethene (TCE), a chemical degreaser used at the facility. Sampling conducted by Foster Wheeler in Sept. 2004 indicated that residential wells along Church Road, to the southwest of the former facility, were also contaminated with TCE. Residents were subsequently notified, and EPA in conjunction with Foster Wheeler provided affected residents with bottled water and/or carbon filters, and connected some residents to a public water supply. EPA also conducted additional sampling to ensure no additional residents were impacted.

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for this and other proposed sites, please visit http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm. For information about EPA’s Superfund alternative approach, please visit: http://epa.gov/oecaerth/cleanup/superfund/saa.html.