Remediation plan set to clean up carcinogen

A remediation plan to clean up a cancer-causing chemical in Chadds Ford is ready for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. So said Chadds Ford Township engineer Joe Mastronardo.

Mastronardo made the comment during a presentation on the hazard at the supervisors’ Feb. 26 workshop.

Chadds Ford Investors, the developer for the Wegmans’ project, and a previous property owner are funding the plan and the work to clean up soil and groundwater contaminated by tetrachloroethylene — also referred to as TCE — a carcinogenic compound used in the dry cleaning industry. The township has no financial responsibility for the cleanup.

The TCE came from the dry cleaner’s location on Route 202 across from Hillman Drive. That site is designated as part of the southeast leg of the loop road system around the intersection of routes 1 and 202.

The dry cleaner’s property was not on public sewer, and Mastronardo said the highest TCE concentration was found near the septic system. He added that the township’s goal is to get all commercial properties onto the public sewer system to help prevent such occurrences.

Monitoring wells have been dug in the area and the levels of TCE are what Mastronardo called “below human level” and that fish and wildlife are not affected.

Supervisors’ Chairman Keith Klaver previously said the contamination is contained and not spreading.

Chadds Ford Investors has retained RT Environmental Services of King of Prussia to draft and submit the plan to DEP and then perform the necessary work of removing the contaminated soil and transporting it to a secure site. RT will also submit periodic reports and the final report to DEP. That agency will monitor the work and decide when the site is clean.

Mastronardo said the full cleanup could take 14 months to two years and could delay use of a proposed green space that is to be the future home of the Chadds Ford Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The township will not issue any certificates of occupancy for new retail buildings planned as part of the project, nor will it take dedication of the loop road until DEP gives its OK.

Mastronardo also said the timetable for the cleanup should not affect the timetable for building the supermarket. The developer hopes to have that built and open by Thanksgiving 2015.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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