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Landis burying remains of gas-making operation

December 03, 1998|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Members of the Waynesboro Borough Council said Wednesday they will hold a public meeting for residents who live near the sprawling Landis Gardner tool company when the company buries for good the site of a once thriving gas-making operation.

Lee layman, plant engineer, and Bruce Mack, a company environmental engineer, told the council Wednesday that their company wants the state Department of Environmental Protection to officially sign off on the five-acre that was once Waynesboro Gas Company. The company made a natural gas product from coal and oil in three large in-ground cylinders until it shut down in 1958. Landis bought the gas company property in 1966.

In the years since, Landis, with state approval, cleaned up the site by removing the cylinders and 2,500 yards of contaminated dirt under them. "We got down to bedrock," Layman said. The holes left by the excavation were covered with clean soil, he said.

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Mack said it's doubtful if any significant amount of contaminated soils remain on the site. He also said trying to dig it up again to remove what little contaminants remain would cause more environmental damage than leaving them there. Fumes could be stirred into the atmosphere with new digging, he said.

None of the council members seemed concerned about further environmental damage if the site is left alone.

Mack said he doesn't believe the state will require anything other than an approved cover over the site, a fence around it and deed restrictions to govern what can be built over it.

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