Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

DOUGLASSVILLE DISPOSAL
DOUGLASSVILLE, PA

Redevelopment

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

The 52-acre Douglassville Disposal Superfund site in Douglassville, Pennsylvania, operated as a waste oil recycling facility from 1941 to 1986. Site operators kept waste oil sludge in on-site lagoons, which washed into the Schuylkill River during flooding in 1970 and 1972. Site operators mixed waste oil sludges into site soils, called landfarming. The operators stored about 700 drums, many leaking, at the site from 1979 until 1982. Site investigations detected contaminants in on-site groundwater, surface water, soil and river sediments. EPA added the site to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983. Cleanup activities included dismantling the on-site tank farm and processing equipment, as well as constructing a soil cap over the former waste lagoon and the landfarm areas. Groundwater monitoring continues at the site. Currently, the site provides space for recreational activities including hiking, biking and hunting. The Schuylkill River Greenway Association has also extended its Schuylkill River Trail to the site, creating a walking trail on site along the abandoned railroad.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2018, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. View information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup. For more background, see Institutional Controls.

Institutional controls have been placed on certain parcels on and near the site. The institutional controls restrict disturbance of the soil and soil cover; prohibit water well drilling; and prohibit residential land use.

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