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HEALTH CONSULTATION

BOYERTOWN SCRAP
BOYERTOWN, BERKS COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA


SUMMARY

At the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) prepared this Health Consultation (HC), under a Cooperative Agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), to determine if contaminants had migrated from the Boyertown Scrap site, Boyertown, Berks County, to off-site groundwater and to determine if a public health threat exists from the groundwater contamination.

PADOH and ATSDR conclude that there is insufficient data to indicate that groundwater contaminants have migrated off the site. PADOH and ATSDR also conclude that the site does not represent an apparent health hazard to on-site or near-site residents or to an on-site worker. PADOH and ATSDR recommend resampling of on-site and near-site home wells to confirm the results of previous sampling and to assure that the conclusions in this document remain valid and protective of public health.


BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

The Boyertown Scrap Metal Site is on State Route 562, approximately three miles west of Boyertown, in Berks County, Pennsylvania (Figures 1,2).

The site consists of a 13-acre parcel with a brick and frame shop building and an adjoining office on site. The site is currently used as a welding shop by one individual and as a storage area for junk cars by another. A gravel parking area is adjacent to the southern and eastern sides of the shop building. The southern and eastern sides of the site are fenced with chain-link or wooden fences. The entrance gate is located at the southeastern corner of the shop. The northern half of the property is wooded and a steep slope is located in the extreme northern section of the site. Other than terrain, access is not limited to the northern part of the site. The remainder of the site slopes southeastward at approximately 5 % [1] (Figure 4). Farm crops and open fields are the only features across Route 562 for a distance of several thousand feet [Figure 2].

The site was a scrap and salvage yard from the mid-1930s until 1982. The operational history of the on-site facilities and land utilization was largely unknown. Following a fire that broke out at the site, EPA discovered thirty-three leaking 55-gallon drums 200 feet north of the shop building and removed them in May 1982. Items removed consisted of: 11 drums of inorganic liquid waste, 20 drums of organic liquids, and 2 drums of organic solids. An area approximately 100 feet long by 100 feet wide of contaminated soil was also excavated. Two soil samples collected from the excavated area, during a 1993 site inspection sampling event, indicated contaminants present at levels three times greater than background [Appendix].

Three on-site or near-site wells (HW-2, HW-3, HW-4) are located downgradient from the excavation area [Figure 4]. HW-2 is located on site at the Welding Shop which was operated by one individual [1]. HW-3 and HW-4 are located near the site to the southeast.


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