by Michael Levin, Ph.D., F.A.A.A.S.
January, 2006

With much fanfare, after EPA capped National Wood Preservers’site, the Agency installed compressed air pumps in extraction wells and began pumping groundwater from beneath the site during the summer of 2001 as part of its “presumptive” remedy (one based upon some generic probability, not actuality that it would be effective).  Five years later on November 17, 2005 EPA started to spread the bad news; extraction of contaminants has not noticeably reduced a soup of chemicals beneath the site, pockets of still greater contamination are still being found at the site, and contamination is more widespread than previously identified. Haverford is being prepared for contamination to be left in place with a 30 mil black polyethylene cap over it and PADEP must accept responsibility of the site (wherever its extent) in 2013.  It is becoming clear EPA would rather seal contamination into the site than clean it up with its future costs.  With this approach,  the problem never goes away.

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