Michael H. Levin, Ph.D., F.A.A.A.S.

1.  The site is a portion of the Superfund Site since 1982, National Priority List #542, administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The remedy status is incomplete. No vapor intrusion studies into closed structures have been performed.

2.  The entire gum factory property was taken by Eminent Domain in the Fall of 2009 with compensation of $1.2Million.  An undisclosed amount of additional compensation is being sought by the owner from Haverford Township in Common Pleas Court. Legal fees for acquisition and subsequent lease from Haverford Township to the YMCA have not been disclosed.

3.  An early draft lease of the real property is initially for 25 years, then additional terms of 10 and 15 years have been proposed and are in negotiation between Haverford Township and the Philadelphia YMCA; preliminary terms have been disclosed in point form, but not finalized, nor agreed upon between the two parties. The lease has been updated without informing residents of Haverford Township.  An early draft of the proposed lease has been summarized, but nuances - more than equally important in a legal agreement -  have not.  A Release of Liability for environmental factors has not been released; such protections to Haverford Township are not likely to afford complete protections against subsequent Civil Suit for environmental harm by parties.

4. In the event of building abandonment, it would be desirable for Haverford Township to have such a structure erected by lessee removed from the site.

5.  The number of potential users of a YMCA to be erected at the site is unknown; large numbers of prospective original users of a private recreational building - proposed as 72,000 square feet by the YMCA at the site — have not come forward to declare their interest in the YMCA project.  Proposed yearly fees of nearly $1,000 per family, may dampen enthusiasm.  Additionally, private medical insurance policies now include health club memberships at many local area health clubs as well as others throughout the country at no additional yearly cost.

6.  An additional add-on to the initial pump and treat remedy is now being tried near the site, however, no report has been rendered of its efficacy or whether it will or can be applied at the gum factory site in the foreseeable future, defined as ~50+ years.  This leaves the question whether the gum factory site can ever be cost effectively remedied as a whole or even in part.

7. Despite the existence of highly qualified scientific personnel in the Delaware Valley area, Haverford has not seen fit to hire any of them to determine suitability of a highly contaminated toxic waste site with wood preserver waste as a site for a public building.  No such contaminated toxic waste site has ever been identified by EPA among the ~107 such Superfund Sites contaminated with wood preserver waste throughout the country.

8.  The vapor intrusion issue will continue to bedevil any enclosed building with architectural and environmentally necessary construction at the gum factory site, continuous building remediation, fail-safe environmental engineering of remedies, and constant air monitoring and analysis, the costs of which are currently unknown, unpredictable and potentially unbounded. Volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and semi-volatile organic compounds which might enter building air from  below ground as well as from ambient air in the vicinity cause human disease, chromosome damage, alteration of DNA, and cancer in both short and long-term exposures at or below permissible exposure limits (PEL’s) or action levels (defined as one-half of a PEL).

9.  EPA has completely and admittedly failed to address vapor intrusion from the ground, among other things, even though the Agency has capped such toxic waste to protect public health in other parts of this Superfund Site

10.  The administrative handling, remedies, day-to-day operations, of the Havertown Superfund Site, Number 542 (AKA Havertown PCP Site (sic); on the National Priority List have left much to be desired and are less than scientifically competent since inception primarily because the remedy has been driven by a race to the lowest possible cost.  In a heavily urbanized area, this is inexcusable.