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Region 3 News Release
News Release
  • For Immediate Release: August 20, 1999
  • EPA Order Business to Clean-up Fire Damage
    PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an order to the owner of Chemclene Corporation, the site of a recent fire in East Whiteland Township, to immediately clean up the facility.

    As a result of the fire on August 12, 1999 that destroyed the main building of Chemclene Corporation, EPA is investigating the area for any hazardous substances that may pose a potential threat to human health and/or the environment.

    The former building housed much of Chemclene Corporation’s current operation which involves the sale of hydraulic oil, cleaning solvents, and hydrogen peroxide. Until the fire, Chemeclene’s operation was regulated by East Whiteland Township and the cause of the fire is being investigated by the township fire marshall. The business was located in the middle of a Superfund site, but was not under direct EPA jurisdiction because called the Malvern THE site, which EPA is presently cleaning up. Now that the business has been destroyed, it becomes part of EPA’s Superfund clean-up.

    Accordingly, EPA has issued its order to company owner, Lloyd Balderston, to immediately begin securing hazardous substances stored at the site and to clean up any environmental contamination that may have occurred from the fire. All work will be under the supervision of the EPA and the local fire marshall.

    Should Chemclene and its owner fail to comply with the terms of the order, EPA will perform these necessary cleanup activities.

    EPA will evaluate the potential impacts of the fire on the comprehensive Superfund cleanup planned for the site. EPA recently signed a settlement agreement with the parties potentially responsible for the contamination. Under this agreement, the parties will implement the clean-up plan that was selected in 1997.
    The clean-up includes the installation of a public waterline to residents affected or potentially affected by groundwater contamination. The schedule for the waterline construction should be unaffected by the recent fire.

    From 1952 until 1992, Chemclene Corporation sold and reclaimed industrial cleaning solvents. The former processing, chemical storage, and waste management practices at Chemclene have lead to volatile organic contamination in the soil and ground water. In 1992 the company stopped reclaiming waste solvents and began a hauling operation. The new business also distributed hydraulic fluid and hydrogen peroxide.