MAC: Mines and Communities

Pennsylvania Superfund Cleanup to Cost $22 Million

Published by MAC on 2007-06-29

Pennsylvania Superfund Cleanup to Cost $22 Million

29th June 2007


The Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement that will ensure the expedited cleanup hazardous chemicals in the soil and groundwater of the Foote Mineral Superfund Site, in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

The settling defendant, Frazer Exton Development, which has expended about $7 million on cleanup actions already, will pay approximately $15 million to complete cleanup work of the site. In addition, Frazer Exton has agreed to reimburse the EPA for a portion of the cleanup costs incurred for response actions at the site.

Per the terms of the agreement, Frazer Exton will submit a work plan for the design of the remedial action. The remedial plan will include excavating and removing contaminated soils and other waste materials, long-term monitoring of groundwater to determine if the source control measures are effective in reducing contaminant concentrations, and implementing institutional controls to prevent residential use of impacted groundwater and preserve the integrity of the remedy.

The plan requires the approval of the EPA and allows Pennsylvania an opportunity for review and comment before the plan is implemented. The site in East Whiteland Township, Chester County, is a 79 acre property formerly owned by the Foote Mineral Company. The property was the location of Foote Mineral’s Frazer Facility, which produced lithium chemicals and processed a variety of ores.

As a result of the activities conducted on the site, the groundwater beneath the site is contaminated with boron, lithium, chromium, bromate, and organic chemicals, including carcinogens benzene and tetrachloroethylene.

The soils are contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons and hazardous wastes from the processing of ores as well as with low-level radiation believed to be residual from mineral ores.

The Foote Mineral Facility was closed in 1991 and the buildings were demolished. The Frazer Exton acquired the property in 1998, for the purpose of residential development, with knowledge of the contamination and with the agreement to assume the liabilities associated with cleanup of the site.

The site was added to the EPA’s National Priorities List in October 1992. Under the proposed settlement, the settling defendant will conduct the remedial action selected in the EPA’s March 2006 Record of Decision. The settlement was lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and is subject to a 30-day public comment period. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Department of Justice website at

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