EPA Releases Clean-up Plans for Clearview Landfill; Submit Comments by Sept 30

On August 1, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the official Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the Clearview Landfill, of the Lower Darby Creek Area Superfund Site, in southwest Philadelphia.

Located in southwest Philadelphia, the Clearview Landfill – also known as “Heller’s Dump” – has a profound environmental, economic and social impact on the Darby Creek watershed, including the Eastwick community and John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

Operating un-permitted from the 1950’s-1970’s, tons of municipal and industrial waste were dumped into the Clearview Landfill along the banks of the Darby and Cobbs Creeks.  In the 1970’s, adjacent lands were excavated, filled and graded for development of Eastwick homes.  Illegal dumping continued through the 1990’s.  In 2001, the Clearview Landfill, along with the Folcroft Landfill located 1.5 miles downstream Darby Creek inside Heinz Refuge, were designated as a National Priority Superfund site.  The EPA began investigation of the Clearview Landfill, gathering data, and completing a feasibility study.  In 2011-2012, the EPA removed a portion of the landfill, deemed of unacceptable risk due to concentrations of PCB’s, PAH’s and other toxins.

Encompassing 3 million cubic yards, the Clearview Landfill is too large to remove.  The EPA’s proposed cleanup plan, known as “OU1-PRAP”, calls for an “Evotranspiration (ET) Cover” to be implemented overtop of the landfill.  This is a thick layer of soil (~48”) planted with dense vegetation and native, fast-growing trees.  Tree roots absorb water, preventing it from entering landfill and carrying contaminants off-site.   This cleanup plan is protective to human and wildlife communities, reducing generation and off-site migration of contaminants.

The EPA is working with the Eastwick community, Friends of Heinz Refuge, Darby Creek Valley Association, and other stakeholders to inform and involve the public in the cleanup plans for the Lower Darby Creek Area Superfund site.

Public participation in the process is encouraged and essential.  All are urged to review the PRAP cleanup plans for the Clearview Landfill, and submit all comments/questions before deadline September 30, 2013 (extended from August 30, 2013).

*EPA Presentation can be downloaded here from EPA website (29-pages, 1.8MB PDF document – very readable, good maps, diagrams and information).
*Summary Cleanup plan can be downloaded here (4-pages, PDF document).
*Complete Cleanup plan can be downloaded here from EPA website (80 pages, 11MB PDF document).

Submit comments to below – must be postmarked by September 30, 2013:

U.S. EPA (3HS21)
Attention: Joshua Barber
1650 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Email comments by September 30, 2013 to:  barber.joshua@epa.gov

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