Ambler, Pennsylvania - A suburban Philadelphia Superfund site where asbestos from a nearby plant was dumped for decades is entering another phase of clean-up, according to an article in the Montgomery News.
The location known as the BoRit asbestos site is located in Ambler Borough, Upper Dublin, and Whitpain Township, just outside the border with Philadelphia. According to the EPA, the site “was used to dispose of asbestos-containing material from the early 1900s to the late 1960s that came from a nearby asbestos-manufacturing plant.” The EPA explains that the site is divided into three parcels: an asbestos waste pile, a reservoir owned by Wissahickon Waterfowl Preserve, and a former park and playground owned by Whitpain Township.
This week, crews began to stabilize to stabilize the stream bank and reservoir, which EPA authorities say were extremely contaminated. Stabilization was accomplished by installing concrete mats along the creek bed at Rose Valley Creek, the article explains.
The next step, officials say, is to cover the former park area with a fabric liner, two feet of clean fill, six inches of top soil, grass, and straw mats that will control erosion. The cover is designed to protect human health and to prevent any further asbestos exposure, which can cause asbestosis and mesotheli oma cancer. The EPA hopes the cover will be complete by January or February 2013.
Local residents have long been worried about what remains at the site and have kept close ties with the EPA to determine the dangers that lurk at BoRit. The agency has done significant testing in the past.
“Activity based sampling of the soil, air, groundwater, surface water and sediment was collected between 2009 and 2011 along private properties adjacent to the BoRit site, and the results of those samples are being quality checked and compiled to prepare for upcoming risk assessments,” confirmed Ruth Wuenschel, Superfund community involvement coordinator for the EPA.
When all the data analysis is complete, she added, the EPA will complete additional risk assessments to determine the potential human and ecological risks of asbestos exposure at the BoRit site.