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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Harley-Davidson Motor Company Incorporated in York, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

The final remedy for the facility is complete and consists of the clearance of munitions and explosives of concern (MEC) from designated areas, continued pumping and treating of groundwater in two areas and establishment of two technical impracticability zones in these areas, implementation of land and groundwater use restrictions, and compliance with a Post-Remediation Care Plan. More information on EPA’s proposed remedy can be found in the Statement of Basis. The Final Decision to implement the final remedy for the facility became effective on February 20, 2020.

The Facility is informing the community of environmental activities at the facility via periodic newsletters and a website,

Cleanup Background

Environmental investigations of the Facility began in the 1980s when groundwater beneath the Facility was found to be contaminated with primarily chlorinated organic compounds. A groundwater pump-and-treat system began operating in 1990 to reduce both contaminant concentrations in groundwater and groundwater flow to Codorus Creek. Facility investigations culminated in Supplemental Remedial Investigations for both soils (approved by EPA and PADEP in March 2010) and groundwater (approved by EPA and PADEP in summer 2018).

The groundwater pump-and-treat system was expanded into the Southern Property Boundary Area in fall 2018 to prevent off-site contaminant migration and mitigate potential vapor intrusion into off-site buildings.

Human exposures to contamination and migration of contaminated groundwater are both under control at the Facility; these environmental indicators were updated in September 2019

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Site Description

Interactive map of Harley-Davidson Motor Company Incorporated, York, PA

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Harley-Davidson has manufactured motorcycles at the Facility since 1973.  Previous owners include the United States Department of the Navy, which operated an ordnance plant on the property (often referred to as the “Former York Naval Ordnance Plant”). Reportedly, the Former York Naval Ordnance Plant manufactured non-explosive ordnance items, such as guns and gun mounts.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Primary contaminants include trichloroethene, tetrachloroethene, trichloroethane, and chromium.  Exposure routes to contamination from the Facility include groundwater infiltration into surface water via Codorus Creek and the intrusion of vapors into buildings from groundwater beneath and adjacent to the Facility.  The groundwater-to-surface water pathway has been mitigated by operation of the pump-and-treat system in the West Parking Lot.  The vapor intrusion pathway has been assessed in the northeast and southeast property boundaries and been either mitigated or found to be below levels of concern.  Although surface and subsurface soil is contaminated in several areas of the Facility, exposure to these areas is not considered of sufficient duration or probability (i.e. soils are covered with pavement) to constitute a significant pathway of concern. 

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional controls include restrictions on residential land use and groundwater use, procedures for any intrusive activities, and vapor intrusion investigations and/or vapor mitigation for future building construction. Engineering controls include continued operation of the groundwater pump-and-treat system, maintenance of caps to prevent direct contact to remaining soil contamination and limit infiltration, and maintenance of the existing vapor barrier beneath the Eden Road Logistics Center.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

Harley-Davidson continues to use the majority of the property to manufacture motorcycles.  The 58-acre area known as the West Campus was sold to the York County Industrial Development Authority in July 2012 and ultimately purchased in 2017 by NP York 58, LLC, who constructed a 775,000 square-foot distribution center on the property known as the Eden Road Logistics Center.

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Site Responsibility at this Facility

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (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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