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DEP Proposes Remediation Plan for Soil, Groundwater, and Surface Water Contamination at Bishop Tube Site

09/24/2021

Norristown, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), under the authority of the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, is proposing a remedial response action to address soil, groundwater, and surface water contamination, and an impacted residential drinking water supply at the site of the former Bishop Tube facility in East Whiteland Township, Chester County.

Several industrial businesses manufactured stainless steel tubes at the 13.7-acre Bishop Tube HSCA Site from the 1950s until 1999. Trichloroethylene (TCE) is considered the primary site-related contaminant of concern because its concentrations within soil, groundwater, and surface water are generally higher than other chlorinated solvents at the site and it poses the most substantial threat to human health and the environment. TCE is a commercial-grade solvent that was commonly used as a degreasing agent for manufactured metal parts. Besides being a known carcinogen, prolonged exposure to TCE can result in serious neurological, cardiac, reproductive, and developmental health problems.

DEP is proposing to remediate the site to a combination of background, statewide health, and site-specific standards in accordance with the Land Recycling Program. After considering several courses of action, DEP is proposing a combination of in situ chemical injections, soil mixing, engineering practices, institutional controls, and long-term monitoring to address the soil, groundwater and surface water contamination. The residences with the impacted well would be connected to an existing public water line.

The injection of chemical oxidants creates a chemical reaction that destroys harmful contaminants and produces harmless byproducts. It is commonly described as “in situ” because it is conducted in place, without having to excavate soil or pump out groundwater for aboveground cleanup.

“The combination and implementation of these proposed measures would protect public health and the environment,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “This plan is also more cost-effective than other considered alternatives. The total estimated cost of the proposed final remedial response action is $8.1 million.” 

The administrative record for public comment will be open from September 25, 2021 until January 3, 2022. Persons may submit written comments into the record during this time only by sending them by mail to Dustin A. Armstrong, Department of Environmental Protection, 2 East Main Street, Norristown, PA  19401, or by email to RA-EP-SEROECB@pa.gov. Please include “Bishop Tube Public Comment” in the subject of the email.   
 
In addition, persons may present oral comments at a virtual public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, November 9, 2021, beginning at 6:30 PM. Individuals who wish to present testimony must email RA-EP-SEROECB@pa.gov a minimum of 24 hours in advance to register. A link will be provided upon registration. Verbal testimony will be limited to three (3) minutes for each witness. Video demonstrations and screen sharing by witnesses will not be permitted. DEP asks that each organization designate one speaker per group and reminds those presenting that time may not be shared or relinquished to others. All comments, whether delivered orally during the virtual hearing or submitted in writing carry equal weight and consideration with DEP. For those wishing only to listen, access information to the hearing will be posted to the Virtual Public Hearing web page found at https://www.dep.pa.gov/PublicParticipation/Pages/Virtual-Public-Hearings.aspx

The administrative record, including the Analysis of Alternatives and Proposed Response Document, which contains the information that forms the basis and documents the selection of this response action is available for public review. An electronic copy is available to review on the DEP’s website www.dep.pa.gov/bishoptube. A hard copy of the administrative record is located at DEP’s office at 2 East Main Street, Norristown, PA  19401 and is available for review Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm. Please contact Dustin Armstrong at 484.250.5723 to arrange for an appointment. Additional copies are available for review at East Whiteland Township’s Municipal Building.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jamar Thrasher, jthrasher@pa.gov, 717-319-1758
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