Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

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The Chem-Fab site is located on N. Broad Street in Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. From the mid-1960s to the late 1970s, Chem Fab, Inc. operated an electroplating and metal etching facility, and also stored and disposed of processing chemicals on-site. Groundwater underlying the site is contaminated with metals, volatile organic compounds, chemicals commonly found in solvents and degreasers and associated electroplating operations. The volatile organic compounds have been found in two municipal wells and several residential wells.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

  • ​In 1990, EPA connected residences and businesses that were impacted by the groundwater contamination to city water.
  • In 1994, EPA removed 117 drums of chemicals and 8,400 gallons of liquid waste from the site.
  • The Chem Fab Corp. site was added to the EPA’s National Priorities List of most hazardous waste sites in 2008.
  • EPA began collecting new samples for the Remedial Investigation in April 2010.
  • In December 2012, EPA issued an interim Record of Decision (ROD) for Operable Unit 1, which selected excavation and off-site disposal to remediate soil contamination on the former Chem Fab property.
  • Between March and August 2014, a removal action was undertaken to implement the site remedy. Post-excavation sampling confirmed that soils had been excavated to cleanup levels identified in the OU-1 interim ROD. Clean soils were used to replace the soils removed and parking facilities and blacktop were restored.


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What Is the Current Site Status?

EPA initiated a Remedial Investigation at the Chem-Fab site in 2010 to determine the natures and extent of contamination at and around the site. In 2015 and 2017, EPA installed additional wells to delineate the extent of the groundwater contamination plume. Sampling of these wells will further delineate the extent of contaminated groundwater at the site.

EPA issued an early interim Record of Decision in July 2017 to prevent further migration of contamination from the area of highest groundwater contamination while the full characterization of contaminated groundwater is being completed. The early interim remedy consists of extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater at the former Chem-Fab facility and a neighboring property.  The design of the system is ongoing.

EPA is also currently conducting vapor intrusion studies at several residences over the southwestern portion of the groundwater contaminant plume.

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Sampling and Monitoring

​There are many years of data and information about the Chem-Fab site. Detailed information about local, state and EPA actions at the site can be found here.

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Emergency Response and Removal

Cleanup to date has included removal actions, or short-term cleanups, to address immediate threats to human health and the environment. Actions in 1987, 1994, 2012 and 2014 included connecting impacted residences and businesses to public water, removing 117 drums of chemicals and 8,400 gallons of liquid waste, addressing vapor intrusion in on-site buildings, and excavating and disposing of contaminated soil.

For more information about the removal actions taken, please visit OSC website.

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