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Record of Decision System (RODS)



City & State:  WARMINSTER  PA  18974
County:  BUCKS
EPA ID:  PAD002345817
EPA Region:  03
NPL Status:  Currently on the Final NPL
ROD Type:  Record of Decision
ROD ID:  EPA/541/R-98/054
ROD Date:  09/28/1998
Operable Unit(s):  02
Media:  Air, Groundwater, Sediment, Soil, Surface Water
Contaminant:  Metals, Oil & Grease, PAH, VOC
Abstract:  Please note that the text in this document summarizes the Record of Decision for the purposes of facilitating searching and retrieving key text on the ROD. It is not the officially approved abstract drafted by the EPA Regional offices. Once EPA Headquarters receives the official abstract, this text will be replaced.

The Fischer & Porter Company Superfund site located in Warminster, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, includes a source area on the property occupied by the Fischer & Porter facility, as well as the plume of contaminated groundwater extending to the north. The plume of contaminant groundwater underlies the site and impacts the nearby Warminster Heights Home Ownership Association (a homeowner's co-op with their own water wells and distribution system). The site is surrounded by a mixture of residential, commercial and industrial property.
Historically, aboveground and belowground tanks were used to store oil, waste oil, trichloroethylene (TCE - a common degreasing agent) and other chemicals. Most of the tanks are no longer used and have been either removed or closed and abandoned in-place by filling with concrete. Approximately 20 gallons of dark reddish-brown, viscous oil with a solvent odor, was found floating on top of the water in a Fischer & Porter's former production well.

The contamination of the local groundwater was first recorded in 1979. That year, high levels of two organic solvents, TCE and perchloroethene (PCE), were identified in the industrial water supply wells on the Fischer & Porter property and in municipal water supply wells operated by the Hatboro Borough Water Authority and the Warminster Heights Home Ownership Association. Subsequently, the affected wells were either shut down or fitted with treatment equipment. Originally, the plume was believed to impact the nearby Hatboro supply wells; however, recent investigations at the site indicate that it does not.

In 1984, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Record of Decision (ROD) and entered into a Consent Decree with the Fischer & Porter Company to extract the groundwater from three on-site wells to contain the plume. The extracted groundwater is then treated in an air stripper, constructed as part of the remedy, to remove the contaminants and then ultimately discharged to the unnamed tributary of Pennypack Creek located north of the property.

In 1992, as part of the long-term monitoring requirements for Superfund sites, EPA started a Five-Year Review of the remedy at this site. The preliminary results of that review indicated that the plume of contamination had not been confined to the property boundaries as had been anticipated in the 1984 remedy decision. Furthermore, the range in the levels of contamination in the untreated water in the three extraction wells and the two Warminster Heights Homeownership Association wells have remained relatively steady since the late 1980s. As a result of these findings, it was determined that more investigations into the source area were necessary. Subsquently, the Five-Year Review was expanded into a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study focused on the source of the contamination and the effectiveness of the 1984 remedy. A ROD was issued in September 1998.
Remedy:  Under this alternative, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will take no action beyond continued operation and maintenance of the remedy that was selected in 1984. Continuing elements of that earlier remedy, which were constructed in 1986 and continue to be implemented by the Fischer & Porter Company, include extraction and treatment of the groundwater from three on-site wells with the treated groundwater discharged to the unnamed tributary of the Pennypack Creek located north of the property. The remedy also requires continued monthly monitoring of groundwater from the three on-site wells, the effluent from the on-site treatment system, the discharge to the tributary and the untreated water from the Warminster Heights production wells WH1 and WH2. Monitoring results are reported to EPA quarterly.

Operation of production well WH1, which also serves as an extraction well, is an integral part of the cleanup and containment of groundwater contamination at this site. However, the continued operation of this well is not specified or required in the current remedy or any binding agreement.

Because hazardous substances remain on-site, reviews of the remedy will be conducted at least every five years to confirm that the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment. These Five-Year Reviews will utilize the information gathered in the monitoring program, and any necessary additional testing which would, at a minimum, include air monitoring around the Fischer & Porter air stripper and the Warminster Heights air stripper. Five-year Reviews can also trigger further response actions if unacceptable risks are discovered or site conditions change. Any significant change in the continued operation of WH1 would constitute a change in site conditions and would trigger the immediate performance of a Five-year Review, regardless of where the site is in the standard five year time frame.

Estimated Capital Costs: $0
Estimated Annual O&M: $0
Estimated Present Worth Costs: $0
Text:  View full-text ROD [ 51K ]
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