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EPA Finalizes Cleanup Plan for the Clearview Landfill Portion of Lower Darby Creek Area Superfund Site

Release Date: 10/29/2014
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith 215-814-5543 smith.bonnie@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (October 29, 2014) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized the cleanup plan to address the contaminated waste and soils portion in the Clearview Landfill which is part of the Lower Darby Creek Area (LDCA) Superfund Site. The LDCA Superfund site is comprised of two landfills, the Clearview Landfill situated in both Delaware and Philadelphia Counties and the Folcroft Landfill in Folcroft Borough, Pa. Historic waste disposal activities at the Clearview Landfill have resulted in organic and inorganic contamination in soil, leachate and groundwater. It’s anticipated that the design and implementation of this portion of cleanup will cost up to $24 million.

EPA held a public meeting in August 2013 after releasing the Proposed Cleanup Plan for public review and comment. After considering all of the comments and consulting with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, EPA finalized the cleanup plan in a Record of Decision.

The cleanup includes installing an evapotranspiration cover over approximately 50 acres. The cover is a thick layer of soil that is densely planted with trees and plants to minimize precipitation reaching the waste and prevent erosion. EPA has determined that this remedy will provide long-term protection to the community from contaminants, and greater environmental benefits than other cleanup options considered.

In addition, contaminated soils outside of the cover will be excavated and long term erosion controls will be put in place along the creek banks. Shallow groundwater contaminated by the Landfill, referred to as “leachate,” will be captured by an underground trench which will lead into wetlands especially built to absorb the water and serve to treat the contaminants.

The remedy also includes land and groundwater use restrictions and long-term maintenance and monitoring. An investigation of the groundwater contaminated by the Clearview Landfill and a separate investigation at the Folcroft Landfill are also currently underway.

The Clearview Landfill is on the east side of Darby and Cobbs Creeks at 83rd St. and Buist Ave. The Folcroft Landfill is two miles downstream on the west side of Darby Creek and located within the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. Both landfills operated from the 1950s through the mid-1970s, and reportedly accepted a variety of materials, including municipal, demolition, and hospital waste. The Lower Darby Creek Area Superfund site was placed on the EPA’s Superfund list in 2001.

Superfund –authorized under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act - was established to address the most toxic abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. This law was enacted in the wake of the discovery of toxic waste dumps such as Love Canal and Times Beach in the 1970s. Superfund authority allows the EPA to clean up such sites and to compel responsible parties to perform cleanups or reimburse the government for EPA-lead cleanups.

To subscribe to the LDCA’s email mailing list go to: http://www.epa.gov/reg3hscd/npl/PASFN0305521.htm#status

For a copy of the final plan, visit: http://www.epa.gov/reg3hscd/npl/PASFN0305521/reports/OU1_ROD-ALL_FINAL_9-26-14.pdf

For additional information about the Lower Darby Creek Superfund Site visit: http://www.epa.gov/reg3hscd/npl/PASFN0305521.htm#background