2011 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Fri, 13 May 2011 11:18:06 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] Havertown PCP and TCE sites, Pennsylvania
A History of The TCE, Superfund Site

Opinion by Dr. Michael H. Levin
Haverford-Havertown Patch (PA)
May 12, 2011

From 1947 - 1991 National Wood Preservers (NWP) operated a wood preservation facility at a site east of the gum factory site that Haverford acquired by condemnation through Eminent Domain. About nine (9) different chemical compounds were mixed with diesel oil and impregnated into wood in a pressurized charge vessel.

The preservatives themselves, as well as diesel oil, spread onto the soil and settled into the ground water beneath the site then flowing generally east with groundwater toward West Chester Pike in the valley of Naylor’s Run beneath about 77 houses in the vicinity of Rittenhouse Circle.


Now - nearly three decades - after the EPA began remedying the Havertown PCP Site, another site has slowly come into existence conterminously with the PCP Site at the very nearly the exact same location, only this site has not yet been approved, nor even nominated, as a Superfund Site but is known as the TCE Havertown Site for another principal chemical component, trichloroethylene ...

At the federalized Haverstown PCP site, EPA recently disclaimed responsibility for the presence of trichloroethylene which it states is not a wood preserver compound or for removing it from the water which carries it, although the agency will test for it beneath and in some houses above the Superfund Site. In the event it is found in air samples the Agency will supply a TCE vapor venting system, which operates similarly to a radon removal system, venting basement sub- slab gases before these enter the air within the house. Permanent maintenance and electrical operation of the system would be the homeowner’s responsibility.


For the entire column, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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