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2000 News Releases


Construction Complete/Cleanup Working at Exton Hazardous Waste Site

Release Date: 11/29/2000
Contact Information: Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540

Ruth Wuenschel, (215) 814-5540

CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. – Today, Exton, PA can benefit from a major environmental cleanup. EPA announced that construction was completed for the cleanup of the AIW Frank/Mid-County Mustang Superfund hazardous waste site in Exton, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

A ceremony was held today at the site celebrating the successful construction completion. Officials from Congressman Pitts’ office, the EPA, West Whiteland Township, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the companies that performed the cleanup were on hand.

“The $4 million cleanup included removal of contaminated soils and other materials, construction of a waterline and groundwater treatment system,” said EPA Remedial Project Manager Charlie Root.

Bill Hudson, EPA Community Involvement Coordinator for the site stated that he was “pleased that this day has come, the residents and nearby businesses had been patient and cooperative throughout the cleanup process.”

The cleanup includes a treatment system for contaminated groundwater that was built during the summer and fall of 2000 and began operation on November 1, 2000. The groundwater is treated and discharged to a nearby pond. The treatment system uses air stripping, filtration, and carbon adsorption to remove groundwater contaminants to safe levels.

As part of a cooperative agreement between EPA and West Whiteland Township, the treated groundwater in the pond can be used in a spray irrigation system. The system consists of one mile of underground piping along Swedesford and Ship Roads. The system draws water from the on-site pond and sprays it over agricultural land. The spray irrigation distributes the water to the soil so that it recharges the groundwater aquifer.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on behalf of EPA, extended a municipal water line to provide a source of potable water to affected residents and businesses. The Philadelphia Suburban Water Company performed the water main extension that included more than one mile of pipeline. A total of 13 connections were made to the municipal water system in September 2000.

Several tons of contaminated soils and other materials were removed from various locations at the site, disposed off-site, and replaced with clean fill material in 1998. One of the parties responsible for contamination at the site performed this work under EPA oversight. This section of the site has tentative plans for reuse as an office business park.

The 16-acre site is about one mile east of Exton on Route 30 in West Whiteland Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. A number of local residences and businesses within the contaminant plume area had private wells that were used in the past for drinking water supply and other uses.

Based on sampling of local private water supply wells in 1982, a pattern of elevated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was detected in groundwater. Additional sampling of groundwater and soils revealed the presence of several VOCs. The contaminants with the highest observed concentrations are the solvents, trichloroethene (TCE), tetrachloroethene (PCE), and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA).

The inactive AIW Frank portion of the site was a small facility owned by Continental Refrigeration used to manufacture styrofoam products and commercial refrigeration units. The Mid-County Mustang portion of the site covers less than one-acre and consists of an auto garage, a parking lot, and a small lawn area. The area of concern is a tile field, located in the lawn area near the garage. Previous operators reportedly cleaned automobile engines with steam and solvents. These materials were then disposed into floor drains in the garage, and then discharged into a tile field consisting of a stone filter bed east-southeast of the garage.