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Cleanup at former gas company site finished

March 15, 2007|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has approved the completion of cleanup efforts at the former Waynesboro Gas Co., which lists an address of 20 E. Sixth St.

"It's actually between Sixth Street and Ninth Street," Waynesboro Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said.

Officials first announced the plan for cleanup in late 1998 and found that soils were contaminated with lead, pesticides, solvents, heavy metals and other chemicals. The groundwater was contaminated with solvents and two compounds often associated with oil and gas sites, according to a copy of the DEP report.

Although early tests found trichloroethylene (TCE) in groundwater, a site remediator determined that TCE was "neither used nor stored at the site." Officials determined TCE "can be dealt with on a regional basis."

Liability remains for the TCE, the report stated.

Parts of the 2.7-acre site will carry deed restrictions in the future, including those that do not allow groundwater as a source of drinking water or irrigation water. Redevelopment of two sections of the property has been prohibited for residential uses.

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The Waynesboro Gas Co. made gas for furnaces and gaslights by burning coal, Hamberger said.

"The tar and a lot of the byproducts of the process ended up in the ground," he said.

The report approved by the DEP was prepared by Corporate Environmental Solutions under the supervision of a state-licensed geologist.

Nearby Quincy Township, Pa., is working with the DEP to find the source of TCE discovered in residents' wells. The chemical can cause a number of health problems, including cancers, if contacted for extended periods of time.

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