Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Dow Chemical (Formerly: Rohm and Haas Spring House Technical Center) in Spring House, Pennsylvania
On this page:
- Cleanup Status
- Site Description
- Contaminants at this Facility
- Institutional/Engineer Controls
- Land Reuse
- Site Responsibility
Continued monitoring shows that contamination levels are low, remain on-site, and have never been detected in the local municipal drinking water wells at the North Wales Water Authority. Therefore, groundwater is not a risk to human health or the environment from this site. The most recent groundwater sampling activities EPA has data for were performed in September 2009. Analytical results for tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) were below their respective Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) and continue to be below the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action Permit (CAP) action levels. A concentration of a target compound greater than ten times the MCL at a well within the facility is the action level in the Phase II remedy of the CAP.
Institutional control are established for this facility as a Corrective Action Permit. This type of institutional control is defined as an Enforcement Control which spells out the requirements of the facility to protect human health and the environment. Specifically, this permit uses a phased approach utilizing downgradient wells and maximum contaminant levels (MCL’s) as precursors to determine monitoring and/or pumping requirements.
In 1988, Rohm and Haas submitted a report summarizing soil sampling activities. Previously, there had been a spill near one of the buildings and, in 1986, contaminated soils were removed. The area was then capped with asphalt. This spill may be the source of the groundwater contamination. In 1990, Rohm and Haas began a voluntary groundwater pump and treat system.
In November of 1994, EPA modified the November 4, 1992, CAP to allow this Rohm and Haas facility to discontinue the pump and treat system while continuing to monitor the groundwater. Rohm and Haas turned off the pumps in September of 1996.
In November 2002, Rohm and Haas submitted a request to modify the RCRA CAP sampling requirements. These modifications were accepted by EPA Region III in March 2003. The modifications included substituting the traditional purge and bail sampling technique with diffusion bag sampling, eliminating five sampling wells, reducing sampling frequency of eight sampling wells, reducing the contaminants of concern to only tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE), eliminating wells which were not part of the CAP, replacing quarterly monitoring reports with quarterly memorandums and an annual report, and revising the conditions of the remedy for Phase II.
On November 10, 2006 Rohm and Haas submitted a request to modify the sampling requirements and eliminate wells from of the RCRA CAP. The reason for this request is because three current sampling wells are within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation right-of-way for their Rt. 309 widening project. The request was determined by the EPA to meet the definition of a Class 1 modification and accordingly on November 24, 2006, an approval letter was sent. Three monitoring wells (SHL-AA, SHL-W, and SHL-X) were abandoned on December 29, 2006.
Interactive Map of Dow Chemical, Spring House, Pennsylvania
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The Rohm and Haas site in Spring House is the corporate headquarters for the Research Division. It is located on a 140 acre campus like setting just west of the intersection of Route 309 and Norristown Road in Spring House, Pennsylvania. The Spring House site utilizes 110 acres as a research facility where Rohm and Haas conducts small-scale chemical and physical research on products such as coatings, adhesives, leather, paper, textiles, monomers, and polymers. Wastes which are generated by these laboratories are stored in permitted storage areas and disposed of off-site.
Contaminants of primary concern are tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE).
Institutional control are established for this facility as a Corrective Action Permit. This type of institutional control is defined as an Enforcement Control which spells out the requirements of the facility to protect human health and the environment. Specifically, this permit uses a phased approach utilizing downgradient wells and MCL’s as precursors to determine monitoring and/or pumping requirements.
The facility is under continued use.
RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 3 with assistance from PADEP.