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Pennsylvania Ag News Headlines
DEP Identifies PFAS Source in Bucks County
Pennsylvania Ag Connection - 11/13/2019

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced Tuesday that it has identified a source of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination at the Ridge Run PFAS HSCA Site as part of its investigation in East and West Rockhill townships, Bucks County.

DEP began its initial investigation in 2016 after being notified that one public supply well was found to contain combined concentrations of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) that exceeded the Health Advisory Level (HAL) established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of 70 parts per trillion (ppt). The supply well, which previously serviced several dozen homes, was taken offline and those previously served by it were connected to a nearby water supply. Between September 2016 and 2018, DEP focused its investigation on private drinking water wells, sampling over 150 homes in the area. DEP initiated an interim response action in 2018 to address the 14 homes that were found to be impacted above the HAL.

Throughout 2019, DEP's contractor installed monitoring wells in the area and performed soil, sediment, surface water, and groundwater sampling at 1419 Bethlehem Pike in West Rockhill Township. The investigation confirmed the presence of PFOS and PFOA contamination at this address, which historical records indicate was the location of a tire fire in 1986 that was extinguished with firefighting foam. DEP has since identified this location as a source of PFAS and its property owner and/or operator, Bergey's Realty Co. and/or Bergey's Retread Technologies, as a potentially responsible entity under the Pennsylvania Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act of 1988.

"We understand these investigations can take longer than expected and that the process can be frustrating to those living with impacts," said Southeast Regional Director Pat Patterson. "We appreciate the community's assistance in this investigation and their ongoing patience and coordination. While this is an important step, we still have much work to do."

DEP will work with its contractor and attempt to engage with the newly identified potentially responsible person to determine what additional sampling may be needed to further understand the extent of contamination and options for remediation. DEP continues to work with those homeowners with private drinking water wells above the HAL on the installation of in-home treatment systems to remove PFAS from their water.

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