Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
The mission of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is to protect Pennsylvania’s air, land and water from pollution and to provide for the health and safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment. We will work as partners with individuals, organizations, governments and businesses to prevent pollution and restore our natural resources. This annual report summarizes the core functions that are made possible by the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Fund (HSCF). For more information, please visit the DEP Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program website.
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The HSCF, a special fund established under the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA) (35 P.S. §6020.101 et seq.), provides the funding for DEP to carry out a number of activities to address releases and threatened releases of hazardous substances to the environment. These activities include: investigation, cleanup and monitoring at contaminated sites, implementation of Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Program, and participation in the federal Hazardous Waste Program and in the Federal Superfund Program (coordinated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).
HSCA also provides DEP with enforcement authority to encourage parties who are responsible for releases of hazardous substances to conduct cleanup actions or enter into settlement agreements to facilitate response activities.
Message From the Secretary
The Bureau of Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields develops and manages the commonwealth's Site Remediation, Land Recycling (Brownfields) and Storage Tanks Programs.
The Site Remediation Division manages the response program for releases of hazardous substances through the state Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act and Federal Superfund Act; and the corrective action program for releases of petroleum products and hazardous substances from storage tanks.
The Land Recycling Program (Brownfields) develops and implements Pennsylvania's Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act (Act 2) regulations, remediation standards and technical guidance; promotes redevelopment of brownfields; and provides technical expertise in the areas of risk assessment, statistical analysis, vapor intrusion, biofuels, separate phase liquids and groundwater modeling. This program encourages the voluntary cleanup and reuse of contaminated commercial and industrial sites. For more information please visit DEP’s Land Recycling Program webpage.
The Storage Tanks Division regulates aboveground and underground storage tanks under Pennsylvania's Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act, including registration; invoicing and fee collection; and certification of third-party inspectors and tank handlers.
HSCA provides DEP with a means of protecting human health and the environment from contamination due to the releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances (generally speaking, toxic chemicals).
DEP coordinates actions under HSCA with other Pennsylvania and federal statutes that also address hazardous substances and contaminants, including, but not limited to, the Pennsylvania Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act, Act 2 of 1995 (The Land Recycling Act); the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act, Act 97 of 1980; the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 (federal Superfund law); and the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA).
DEP can use more than one tool to address a particular site, switching between funded or enforcement actions, voluntary cleanups and utilizing federal resources as needed to control or clean up site contamination and foster redevelopment. Exploring opportunities to coordinate HSCA-funded actions with private and/or federally funded actions allows DEP to achieve cleanups in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
HSCA provides DEP the authority to fund investigations, cleanups, and monitoring activities at abandoned industrial facilities and contaminated sites where the responsible party (RP) is unknown, unwilling, or financially unable to conduct the work. In these circumstances, DEP deploys state-procured contractors to respond to the site contamination. HSCA allows DEP to seek recovery of the costs it expends from the parties responsible for the contamination.
During the last fiscal year, DEP performed investigations of groundwater and soil contamination, replaced contaminated water supplies, removed and disposed of toxic wastes, implemented groundwater treatment actions, and conducted other response actions. DEP has addressed threats posed by toxic chlorinated solvents, toxic heavy metals, flammable materials, corrosive substances and radiological materials.
The map and button below contain information on the sites where DEP is conducting and funding investigations, cleanups, and monitoring activities. The information provides a description of the contamination and response actions at each site. It does not include all sites where DEP is conducting preliminary assessments or all potentially abandoned sites in Pennsylvania.
95 - DEP Investigations, Cleanups, and Monitoring Funded under HSCA
The Karnish Instruments site contained radioactive waste associated with radium-painted dials on aircraft instruments which contaminated soil and interior surfaces of an apartment property. The cleanup included building demolition and removal of materials and contaminated soil to a disposal site. The site was restored with backfill, topsoil, and grass seed, and a new apartment building was constructed, suitable for unrestricted use. The project’s completion in 2018 was the culmination of more than 11 years of effort among local municipal authorities, DEP, and its contractors.
HSCA provides DEP the authority to pursue enforcement actions and enter into settlement agreements to require the parties responsible for the release or threatened release to fund and perform the response actions.
The map and button below contain information regarding cleanup activities conducted by responsible parties. In cases where a responsible party is cleaning up a site, DEP oversees the required work to ensure it meets the requirements within Pennsylvania’s laws, rules and regulations. After initial contact with DEP, many parties elect to implement voluntary cleanups under the Land Recycling Act.
46 - Cleanup Activities by Responsible Parties (RPs)
DEP has developed voluntary Multi-Site Remediation Agreements (MSA) for responsible parties that have environmental liability at numerous contaminated sites within Pennsylvania. DEP is currently overseeing work performed under MSAs with owners of former manufactured gas plants, pipeline transmission companies, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. MSAs seek to provide consistency, efficiency, flexibility, and a cooperative atmosphere to address site cleanups.
Above is the former Mount Joy manufactured gas plant, which operated from about 1879 through 1951. Site investigation began in 2012, which showed contamination. In 2015, the site was remediated under DEP oversight.
DEP and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) addressed federal government cleanups at 1,099 active and former military sites under a Cooperative Multi-Site Agreement (CMSA) between 1998 and 2010. This agreement provided a framework under which the federal government inventoried and responded to active and formerly used defense sites (FUDS) with environmental contamination.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees the FUDS program. A list of the DOD FUDS that still need to be addressed is provided below.
19 - Federal Military Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) Still to be Addressed in Pennsylvania
U.S. Army Corps History of FUDS
DEP and the DOD have also executed a Defense and State Memorandum of Agreement (DSMOA). The DSMOA provides for the federal reimbursement of state oversight costs at eligible federal military cleanup actions.
HSCA funds water supply replacement activities at various sites to protect the public health from contamination resulting from hazardous substance releases. In many cases, DEP immediately provides temporary potable water supply replacements of private wells (e.g. delivery of bottled water) that are found to be contaminated and then follows up with permanent replacements (e.g. connecting home to a public water supply) once the contamination has been fully investigated and a comprehensive response plan has been developed.
DEP initiated a permanent water supply response at Rose Valley TCE (Trichloroethylene) site in Gamble Township, Lycoming County, and at Furlong Manufacturing site in Doylestown/Buckingham Township, Bucks County. DEP completed the Waynesboro TCE site in Washington Township, Franklin County, and the Railroad Drive TCE site in Northampton/Warwick Township, Bucks County during FY 2017-18. DEP is continuing to install a waterline at the Intercourse TCE Site in Leacock Township, Lancaster County.
During FY 2017-18, DEP continued temporary response actions, including supplying bottled water and maintaining whole house carbon treatment filtration systems at 18 sites. The total contract cost in FY 2017-18 for temporary water supply maintenance at these sites is estimated to be $184,000.
Above is the installation of a public waterline at the Railroad Drive TCE Site. HSCA provided funding to the Township for the 49 affected residences.
Section 902 of the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, Act 108, of 1988 (HSCA), authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to expend money in the fund for emergency responses, including response to spills and other uncontrolled releases and their cleanup. During FY 2017-18, no emergency response actions were initiated. However, one emergency response action occurred at the end of FY 2016-17 and was completed in FY 2017-18. The Griffin Property Home Heating Oil Release was therefore partially funded in FY 2016-17: $5,204 and FY 2017-18: $13,978. This work was performed in accordance with section 501(g) of HSCA which allows a response action to address the release of nonhazardous substances if there is imminent and substantial endangerment to public health and welfare or the environment.
“Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs)” include Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) which are part of a larger group of chemicals referred to as Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). PFAS are not found naturally in the environment and the risk they pose to human health have not been fully determined. PFOA and PFOS have been used in the manufacturing of cookware, carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food, and other materials that are resistant to water, grease, or stains. They are also used in firefighting foams and in a number of industrial processes.
DEP is investigating the Ridge Run PFAS site located in Bucks County, which is loosely bounded by East Rockhill Road, North Rockhill Road, Bethlehem Pike, and North Ridge Road, and includes portions of East Rockhill Township, West Rockhill Township, and Perkasie Borough. After one public water supply well was found to contain combined concentrations of PFOA and PFOS that exceeded EPA's current Health Advisory Level (HAL) of 70 parts per trillion, and another public supply well was found to contain combined concentrations slightly below the HAL, DEP immediately initiated an investigation of the surrounding area.
For more information on; What they are, impacts, DEP involvement, and Site-specific contamination, please visit the following link below.PFOA AND PFOS: WHAT THEY ARE
Section 510 of HSCA, Act 108 of 1988 (HSCA), authorizes DEP to issue Host Municipality Technical Evaluation Grants. These grants are available to the governing body of a host municipality for conducting an independent technical evaluation of a proposed remedial response at a HSCA site located in their jurisdiction.
In FY 2017-18, DEP provided no technical evaluation grants. For more information, please visit the link below.HSCA Host Municipality Technical Evaluation Grants
A principal goal of the Land Recycling Act is to promote the redevelopment of contaminated sites within Pennsylvania. The Land Recycling Act has three primary purposes: to provide for the remediation of contaminated sites utilizing risk-based cleanup standards, to return abandoned sites to productive use, and to preserve farmland and greenspace.
The four cornerstones of the Land Recycling Program are: 1) uniform cleanup standards based on health and environmental risks; 2) standardized review procedures; 3) relief from liability; and 4) financial assistance.
The establishment of uniform cleanup standards enables a person to clearly understand the extent and cost of site cleanup. Consistent reporting requirements and standardized review procedures provide a definite time frame for remediation. Relief from liability, which extends to future owners, addresses liability concerns that can impede site redevelopment and sale. Financial assistance, available to those who did not cause or contribute to contamination at the site, can reduce the cost of site assessment and remediation.
The HSCF provides financial assistance for brownfields redevelopment through transfers authorized under the Land Recycling Act and the Industrial Sites Environmental Assessment Act, Act 4 of 1995, as amended.
DEP approved 367 Successful Act 2 Cleanups submitted for actions during FY 2017-18. Over the 22-year history of the Land Recycling Program, DEP has approved over 6,687 actions.
The Currie Landfill in Millcreek Township contained numerous wastes which polluted the soil, groundwater and the nearby West Branch of the Cascade Creek that drains to Lake Erie. Prior to HSCA cleanup efforts, the West Branch of Cascade Creek ran through wastes contained in the landfill. The cleanup removed those wastes and reconstructed the stream channel. Another part of the waste area was consolidated to allow reused for commercial facilities. The remaining landfill area was capped to be used for athletic playing fields. The project was completed in 2015, which concluded more than 10 years of cooperative effort between local municipal authorities, stakeholders, the DEP, and its contractors.
HSCA authorizes the commonwealth to fully participate in the federal Superfund Program, implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the federal Superfund law. The federal Superfund Program allows EPA to either require a responsible party to clean up the site or fund the cleanup itself. If EPA funds the cleanup, federal law requires states to pay 10 percent of the remedial cost and to operate and maintain the remedy on a permanent basis or until the cleanup standard is achieved. If a responsible party addresses the site, DEP is provided the opportunity to review and comment on investigations and cleanup plans, and to recover its administrative costs. Further information on the federal Superfund Program is available at www.epa.gov
As of July 1, 2018, Pennsylvania has 94 sites on EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is a list of sites of national priority with known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the U.S. and its territories. EPA is currently proposing to list two additional sites. Pennsylvania has the third-largest number of NPL sites in the country, behind New Jersey with 114 sites and California with 98. Due to Pennsylvania’s active participation in the Superfund Program, EPA, in cooperation with the state, has remediated and removed 31 sites from the NPL.
The chart above shows the remedial progress of Pennsylvania sites.
The map and the button below contain a list of Pennsylvania’s Active NPL sites and the status of their remediation activities. The information includes the proposed and listed sites and certain deleted sites with continuing operation and maintenance obligations.
113 - Pennsylvania Active Sites on the Federal National Priorities List
DEP receives federal funds from EPA to manage the hazardous waste regulatory program under the federal RCRA statute. This program includes permitting, inspection and enforcement at regulated facilities. This EPA grant requires the commonwealth to pay 25 percent of the cost of personnel and operating expenses. The HSCF funds the 25 percent match. Regulated facilities where releases of hazardous waste have occurred are subject to the RCRA corrective action program. EPA sets goals to have RCRA-regulated facilities under the corrective action program achieve control of contamination and complete corrective actions. Pennsylvania has 355 sites subject to RCRA corrective action. The table below identifies the number of sites reaching each goal established by EPA. Further details on the individual sites are available from the EPA website, Measuring Progress at RCRA Corrective Action Facilities.
|Total Sites||Human Exposure Controlled||Groundwater Migration Controlled||Remedy Selection||Construction Complete||Final Cleanup Achieved|
In 2004, DEP and EPA signed a “One Cleanup Program” agreement, which establishes a framework for coordinating voluntary cleanups under the Land Recycling Act and federal statutes, including RCRA. This agreement is designed to promote the cleanup and redevelopment of sites subject to RCRA corrective action by resolving both federal and state liability for cleanup at the same time.
In addition to funding the DEP hazardous waste regulatory program, HSCA provides for financial assistance to municipalities who host commercial hazardous waste disposal facilities. The HSCF also provides funds for pollution prevention financial assistance and household hazardous waste collection and disposal under the Small Business and Household Pollution Prevention Program, established by Act 190 of 1996.
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Hazardous Site Cleanup Fund
Complement:             220 employees
Organization:             Central Office – Bureau of Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields - Harrisburg
Southeast Regional Office – Norristown
Northeast Regional Office – Wilkes-Barre
Southcentral Regional Office – Harrisburg
Northcentral Regional Office – Williamsport
Southwest Regional Office – Pittsburgh
Northwest Regional Office – Meadville
DEP's Bureau of Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields organizational chart is depicted below.
As of July 2, 2018, there are 233 positions on the HSCF complement and, of those positions, 220 are currently filled and 13 are vacant. These positions include professional, scientific, administrative and legal job titles within the DEP organizational areas shown below.
|Bureau of Waste Management||26||2|
|Bureau of Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields||23||1|
|Office of Administration & Management||3||0|
|Office of Chief Counsel||6||0|
HSCA Project Activities and Expenditures
State Expenditures Under the Federal Superfund Program
DEP Investigations, Cleanups, and Monitoring Funded under HSCA:                                        95
Cleanup Activities by Responsible Parties (RPs):                                                                             46
Federal Military Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS) Still to be Addressed in PA:               19
Pennsylvania Active Sites on the Federal National Priorities List:                                            113
Violations and Civil Penalties:
The link below contains a list of the violations DEP cited under HSCA during FY 2017-18. The list also includes civil penalties assessed during FY 2017-18 for any violations cited under HSCA. DEP collected no civil penalties for transportation and management fees not paid in FY 2017-18.
Violations Cited and Penalties
NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, all information is reported for DEP's FISCAL year 2017/18.
Additional ResourcesHSCA Key Abbreviations
Please visit other DEP HSCA related websites.
Brownfield success stories Playlist
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