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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Chem Clear Incorporated (Formerly: PECO Energy Company) in Chester, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

The Exelon Corp. (formerly Philadelphia Electric Company) Facility in Chester, Pennsylvania is a 90 acre site located along the Delaware waterfront in Chester, Pennsylvania.  Of the 90 acres, the seventeen acres that were once leased to a former resin manufacturing plant and hazardous waste recycler were investigated and remediated under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action Program.  This parcel of land was heavily contaminated and required extensive investigation and remediation. The remaining 73 acres, which were less contaminated and were prime for redevelopment, were addressed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) under the Consent Order and Agreement with the Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act (“Act 2").   The PADEP Act 2 program enabled Exelon to expeditiously address and remediate the less contaminated areas to facilitate the redevelopment the property.  EPA, PADEP, and Exelon worked together to remediate the entire site. 

Under the direction of the EPA RCRA Corrective Action Program, contaminated surface soil were excavated and disposed offsite.  The excavated areas were backfilled and capped with topsoil and/or gravel.  In addition, PECO installed a shoreline remediation system that consisted of a groundwater extraction well system and a groundwater collection trench along the Delaware River to recover free product and to prevent petroleum sheens from forming on the river surface.  Several monitoring wells were installed to assess and evaluate the effectiveness of the remediation.  Exelon continues to operate and maintain the groundwater remediation system.  Furthermore, institutional controls are in place that restrict any future use of the site that would adversely affect the effectiveness of the remediation or compromise the protection of human health and environment.

Under the PADEP Act 2 Program that addressed the remaining 73 acres, Exelon excavated impacted soil and backfilled the areas with topsoil and/or gravel.  Certain areas were also lined with a geo-textile cap prior to the backfilling.  The former coal-fired power plant was converted into a high-tech office building.  The remediation was completed to site-specific and background standards for nonresidential use of the site.  As stated in the PADEP Consent Order and Agreement, any future redevelopment that will change the nonresidential use of the property to residential use must be remediated to the Pennsylvania Statewide Health residential standards.

On August 21, 2002, EPA issued a Corrective Action Final Decision that include Institutional Controls on groundwater use and land use. 

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Site Description

Interactive map of Chem Clear Incorporated, Chester, PA

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The Exelon Corp. (formerly Philadelphia Electric Company) Facility in Chester, Pennsylvania is a 90 acre site located along the Delaware waterfront in Chester, Pennsylvania, approximately 20 miles south of Philadelphia. The Chester waterfront has been industrial since the 1800s. In the past Exelon used the property to generate electricity from a coal-fired plant. Exelon also leased several parcels of their property to various industries that included the former Chem Clear facility. Exelon has since closed the coal-fired plant and sold the majority of site to a redeveloper. Currently, a few acres of the site are being used by Exelon for an electricity substation.

In May 2001, Exelon sold most of the property to Preferred Real Estate Investments (Preferred).  The property is a Keystone Opportunity Zone.  Preferred converted the old coal-fired power plant into a high-tech office building.  The building has approximately 396,000 square feet of Class A office space.  In 2007, Preferred sold the property to the development firm, Bucinni and Pollin.  In 2010, a new major league soccer stadium was constructed on the east side of the property.    

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Contaminants at this Facility

The contaminants of concern within the seventeen acres included BTEX (hydrocarbons: benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene) and PAHs (poly aromatic hydrocarbons), LNAPLs (light non-aqueous phase liquids: hydrocarbons that float on water), Semvolatile Organic Compound (SVOCs) and some metals. 

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional /Engineering Control Summary
Restrictions or Controls that Address: Yes No
Groundwater Use
Residential Use
Vapor Intrusion
Capped Area(s)
Other Engineering Controls
Other Restrictions

    As part of the Facility Lead and Post Closure Agreements, there is an institutional control restricting the use of groundwater on the entire facility. Also PECO will continue to operate and monitor groundwater remediation as part of these agreemeents.

    As part of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) Consent Order, any future residential development on the site must meet the Pennsylvania Statewide Health residential standards.

    Refer to latest long term stewardship site inspection report at this link Documents, Reports and Photographs

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    The facility is under continued use.

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    Site Responsibility at this Facility

    RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 3 with assistance from PA DEP.

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