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Philadelphia, Authority to Pay $8.4 Million in Lower Darby Creek Cleanup
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 06/13/2019

Wednesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the City of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority have agreed to pay $8.4 million for the agency's past and future cleanup costs at a portion of the Lower Darby Creek Area Superfund Site, located in both Darby Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and the City of Philadelphia, just north of the Philadelphia International Airport.

The site includes two separate landfills: the Clearview and Folcroft Landfills. The Clearview Landfill is on the east side of Darby Creek near the intersection of 84th Street and Lindbergh Boulevard. The Folcroft Landfill is located two miles downstream on the west side of Darby Creek and within the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

The proposed settlement, filed in federal court by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the EPA, addresses the portion of the Superfund site referred to as Operable Unit 1, which includes the Clearview Landfill, the adjacent Eastwick Regional City Park, and parts of the Eastwick neighborhood.

Past costs include a remedial investigation and feasibility study, design work, and cleanup actions to address contaminated residential properties, and polychlorinated biphenyls contamination at the landfill. Future costs include capping the landfill, reinforcing the streambanks, and leachate collection and treatment.

The agreement was reached under the federal Superfund law -- also known as the Comprehensive Environmental Responsibility, Compensation, and Liability Act -- which requires landowners, waste generators, and waste transporters responsible for contamination at a Superfund site to clean up the site or reimburse the government or other parties for cleanup activities. See https://www.epa.gov/superfund.

Clearview Landfill operated from the 1950s to the 1970s and closed in the mid-1970s. Wastes accepted at the landfill reportedly included municipal, demolition, and hospital wastes. Waste disposal practices contaminated the soil, groundwater, and fish tissue with hazardous chemicals.

The proposed consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval. For more information about this site and its cleanup, see www.epa.gov/superfund/lowerdarby.

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