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FOLCROFT, Pa.-- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it is recommending the Lower Darby Creek area be eligible for a comprehensive environmental investigation and cleanup. The agency expects to formally propose the site be added to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is a list of the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites.
"While our recent sampling indicates no immediate threat to human health, we’ve identified contaminated areas that warrant a comprehensive investigation and cleanup. Once a Superfund site is listed, EPA can develop a comprehensive cleanup plan. We’ll involve the community in this process every step of the way," said EPA Branch Chief Dennis Carney.
The area, located on the eastern edge of Delaware County, bordering Philadelphia, is contaminated with metals, PCBs, and oil products. Historically, EPA has kept this area on its radar due to potential waste sources, including the Folcroft and Clearview landfills; Darby Creek tank farm; the former Delaware County incinerator and sewage treatment plant; and commercial properties along Industrial Drive. Previous studies with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) determined that there was no significant threat to human health, but EPA recommended ongoing monitoring of the creek and underground waters.
Today, equipped with broader cleanup criteria that considers ecological factors as well as human health impacts, EPA has taken a closer look at this area extending from the confluence of Cobbs and Darby Creeks to the north, and extending south to where the Darby Creek discharges to the Delaware River. FWS has since posted signs along Darby Creek advising that the fish should not be consumed and has also restricted access to the Folcroft Landfill and Annex. After finalizing its site investigation package, EPA mid-Atlantic region will submit its nomination of the site to the NPL with EPA headquarters. A proposal is scheduled for spring of 2000. Under the Superfund law, companies or individuals that are responsible for contamination problems at a site are liable to pay for the cleanup.