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October 2 Hearing Set On Berks County Lead Site Cleanup

The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting and hearing on October 2, to outline its plan to clean up lead-contaminated battery casings and soil at three adjoining residential properties on Mt. Laurel Road in Alsace Township, Berks County.

The 7 p.m. meeting will be at the Alsace Township Office, 65 Woodside Ave., Temple.

“This meeting provides an opportunity for the public to ask questions and voice any concerns about our proposed cleanup plan,” DEP South-central Regional Director Lynn Langer said. “The Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA) authorizes DEP to take action and create a plan to return this site to a sound environmental state.”

In January 2011, DEP was informed of suspected battery casings at a Mt. Laurel residence. Two months later, investigations showed battery casings in random locations around other residences’ yards.

DEP staff observed casings in the front yards and along the unnamed tributary to Laurel Run that crosses the three properties. The battery casings appear to have been used, most likely in the 1970s, as fill material.

DEP collected several initial surface soil samples, the results of which indicated that lead was present at elevated levels. In February 2012, the agency conducted further investigation to fully characterize the soil, surface water and stream sediment contamination at four properties; those results showed elevated levels of lead at three of the properties. The surface water and stream sediments of the unnamed tributary were determined not to be contaminated with lead.

DEP’s proposed response is to excavate and remove the battery casing material and contaminated soil. The area will be graded and grass will be planted to restore the affected areas.

During the hearing, the public will have an opportunity to present up to five minutes of oral testimony about the agency’s proposal.

For anyone unable to attend, written comment should be submitted by Nov. 23, when the administrative record will close, to Dave Hrobuchak, PA DEP South-central Regional Office, 909 Elmerton Ave., Harrisburg, PA 17110.

DEP will provide a written response to all significant testimony or written comment provided during the public hearing and public comment period.

Those who wish to present oral testimony can register by calling Hrobuchak at 717-705-4843 or signing up the night of the hearing.

Individuals in need of an accommodation as provided for in the Americans with Disabilities Act should contact Hrobuchak or make accommodations through the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at 1-800-654-5984 (TDD).

As required under HSCA, the administrative record will be open for review and comment until Nov. 23. It can be reviewed, by appointment, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at DEP’s South-central Regional Office at the address above. Call 717-705-4843 to make an appointment.

The administrative record may also be reviewed from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Alsace Township Office by calling 610-29-5324 to make an appointment.


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