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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: GROWS Incorporated in Morrisville, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

This facility is one of EPA Region III’s high priority Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) ­­corrective action sites. The GROWS Landfill is a closed Municipal Waste Landfill.  As such, current and future access is restricted to required operation and maintenance activity.  The facility is fenced to prevent unauthorized access.  Current and future groundwater use is restricted to monitoring and maintenance activities.

The PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) routinely inspects the facility for compliance with its permit requirements (Solid Waste Permit No. 100148).   Groundwater is monitored as part of the Facility-wide monitoring required under the State Permit.  There are currently 22 groundwater monitoring wells; three upgradient wells and 19 downgradient wells.  The groundwater is monitored on a quarterly schedule, as prescribed by the State Permits. 

Leachate from the landfill is collected and transported by pipe to an on-site treatment system.  The leachate is either pretreated and discharges to the Morrisville Wastewater Treatment Plant (up to 650,000 gallons per day), or fully treated and discharged to the Delaware River. On January 8, 2001, EPA determined with Pennsylvania's help, that both the Human Exposures and Groundwater Environmental Indicators have been met. PADEP re-issued the Solid Waste Permit on February 9 , 2000, and the RCRA post-closure permit on December 22, 2003. EPA believes that the past actions and current/future requirements under the permits address the corrective action issues and, therefore, EPA is not contemplating additional work at this time. 

In September 2014, EPA issued a corrective action remedial decision (Final Decision) and a corrective action permit (Hazardous Waste Post-Closure Permit) which require GROWS to continue to comply with the terms and conditions of the PADEP Municipal Solid Waste Operating Permit No. 100148 and PADEP RCRA Post-Closure Permit No. PAD 000 429 589.  The PADEP permits place restrictions on  groundwater and land use (institutional controls) to prevent exposure to contaminated waste remaining at the facility.

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Site Description

Interactive map of GROWS Landfill, Morrisville, PA

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The Facility is located at Bordentown Road and New Ford Mill Road, Falls Township, Lower Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  It is situated on approximately 457 acres of land at a bend in the Delaware River.  The landfill areas occupy approximately 316 acres of the Facility.  It is surrounded by the Pennsbury Manor State Park and the Delaware River to the south, man-made lakes to the west and northwest, and industrial property to the east and northeast (Figures One and Two). 

The Facility is currently operating as a closed landfill.  The closure requirements are contained in PADEP RCRA Permit No. PAD 000 429 589 and PADEP Solid Waste Permit No. 100148.  All landfill areas have a final cover in place, consisting of a cap, drainage layer and vegetated soil cover.  Some of the older areas of the landfill have a clay cap while the remaining areas have a geosynthetic cap. The Facility has a comprehensive groundwater and surface water monitoring system.

EPA has evaluated the closure and post-closure measures taken at the Facility under the PADEP permits.  On-going groundwater sampling shows that releases from the Facility are controlled by the cap structures and leachate collection system.

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Contaminants at this Facility

EPA has determined that protection of human health and the environment has been achieved at the at  this landfill and will continue to be achieved at the facility within the meaning of Section 3004(u) of RCRA as long as the necessary operation, maintenance and monitoring activities are performed, as required by the Facility’s RCRA Post-Closure Permit, and Municipal Solid Waste Operating Permit, issued by PADEP to the Permittee and land and groundwater uses are restricted in order to minimize the potential for human exposure to contamination and protect the integrity of the groundwater monitoring system, landfill caps, and leachate collection system.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

The PADEP Solid Waste Permit and RCRA Permit impose land-use restrictions on the property. Current and future access is restricted to required operation and maintenance activity. The facility is fenced to prevent unauthorized access. Current and future groundwater use is restricted to monitoring and maintenance activities.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The facility is unused.

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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 however ongoing monitoring activities  at this facility are  directed by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) through the RCRA permitting program.

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