Thursday, November 5, 2015

Borough garage property under review by EPA - Public comment welcomed

(The information in this post was copied from THIS REPORT.)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is conducting a first Five-Year Review of the UGI Columbia Gas Plant Superfund Site located in Columbia. Columbia Borough has purchased the former gas plant property and is reusing the property for the Borough's vehicle maintenance garage and road salt storage facility. EPA inspects sites regularly to ensure that cleanups conducted remain fully protective of public health and the environment. The review will be finalized by May 2016.  


 The property was used as a boat dealership from 1979 until 1994.

UGI Columbia Gas Plant is a 1.5-acre site located in a light industrial/residential area 400 feet northeast of the Susquehanna River in southern Pennsylvania. From 1851 to 1949, Columbia Gas used the site for gas manufacturing. In 1932, ownership of the property was transferred to Pennsylvania Power and Light (PP&L) and subsequently transferred to Lancaster County Gas Company in 1949. Lancaster County Gas merged with UGI Corporation which owned the site until 1979. The property was used as a boat dealership from 1979 until 1994 when it was repurchased by PP&L.  

During the years of active gas manufacturing operations at the site, overflows from an on-site tar separator were directed to an open ditch that led to the Susquehanna River. Records show that local fishermen complained to the gas plant that their boats were being covered with tar.  The site was added to EPA's National Priorities List on May 31, 1994. 

Are there risks at the site now?
The main waste streams generated during the historic production of gas from coal at the site consist of coal tar and spent gas purifying materials. The primary sources of contamination at the site are coal tar and sludge in the gas holder and the relief holder, coal tar contaminated sediments in the Susquehanna River and coal tar in the sub-surface soil and bedrock. Groundwater flowing through the contaminated subsurface soil and bedrock has become contaminated with VOCs. Hazardous substances associated with the coal tar and purifier wastes include VOCs, PAHs, heavy metals, and cyanide. People or animals who touch or swallow contaminated materials may be at risk.

Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the Centers for Disease Control.


The current site status.  The migration of contaminated ground water is not stabilized.

How to Comment
You may comment on the proposed five year review verbally or in writing. You may also ask questions or provide site information.  Please refer to Old City of York Landfill.
Submit your comments verbally or by email or mail to:
  • Gina Soscia, Community Involvement Coordinator
  • Phone: 215-814-5538
  • U.S. EPA, Region 3
    Community Involvement and Outreach Branch
    1650 Arch Street (3HS52)
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

Five-Year Reviews generally are required by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or program policy when hazardous substances remain on site above levels which permit unrestricted use and unlimited exposure. Five-year reviews provide an opportunity to evaluate the implementation and performance of a remedy to determine whether it remains protective of human health and the environment.
EPA is performing the first Five-Year Review of the remedy’s protectiveness. The review will be finalized by May 2016


  1. There are risks with soil contamination in the yards of our,,,,
    junkyards, look in your neighbors and make sure they aren't SCRAPIN,,,, !
    WHICH in English means illegal collection of metal material to scrap.

  2. Some people on south 2nd at need to mind there own business