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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Honeywell Incorporated PCD in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

Groundwater monitoring that continues at the facility has shown that most wells exhibit a decreasing or stable trend, with only RW-03 exhibiting an increasing trend among wells with trichloroethene (TCE) concentrations above the  maximum contaminant level (MCL). This well is downgradient of the potential source area near MW-06A that continues to be investigated in 2018.

Due to the eastern portion of the warehouse area being demolished in 2017 and converted into an outdoor courtyard area, the sub-slab depressurization system (SSDS) was shut down throughout most of 2017. Upon completion of construction activities, the SSDS was reconfigured and restarted in December 2017. Sub-slab sampling continued throughout 2017, and indoor air sampling was added in December 2017 once construction activities were complete and the SSDS had been restarted. The TCE concentration in one of the two remaining warehouse indoor air sampling locations exceeded EPA’s vapor intrusion screening levels; however, the exceedance was likely due to slab disturbance and construction activities during the demolition and the lack of air exchange as no HVAC system had been restarted since completion of construction activities in the area. No exposures to any indoor air contamination exist in this area as the warehouse is presently unoccupied; corrective measures will be taken prior to any occupancy of this area to ensure that no unacceptable exposures to contamination occur.

Soil within the vicinity of MW-06A was investigated in 2017 to identify any potential source area that could be contributing to elevated TCE concentrations detected in this well. Two soil boring samples contained TCE concentrations that exceeded EPA’s industrial RSL; further investigation and delineation of these areas are planned for 2018.

Surface water sampling performed in October 2017 continues to demonstrate that concentrations of TCE in Pine Run Creek near the facility are below Pennsylvania Ambient Water Quality Criteria, with TCE concentrations higher upstream than downstream of the facility, suggesting that contamination from the facility is not adversely impacting stream water quality.

Cleanup Background

From 1992 to 1993 the facility conducted a Remedial Facility Investigation that found elevated levels of primarily chlorinated volatile organics in groundwater beneath the facility. In 1995 a consent order between EPA and Honeywell implemented the components of the 1994 Statement of Basis and Final Decision, which required the facility to pump and treat the groundwater beneath the facility until MCLs were achieved.

In 2012 EPA approved the temporary shutdown of the groundwater pump-and-treat system to investigate the feasibility of monitored natural attenuation (MNA) to remediate the lower levels of contamination remaining in groundwater beneath the facility. A 2013 Static Conditions Report showed that concentrations in most wells continued to decrease, the plume had not appreciably migrated further downgradient, and favorable natural attenuation conditions were present beneath the facility. EPA approved this report, which included a two-year extended monitoring period to further assess MNA feasibility, in May 2014.

After a more comprehensive round of groundwater monitoring in May 2014, high concentrations of trichloroethene were discovered at MW06A. Because of this well’s location close to and just upgradient of the building, a vapor intrusion investigation was begun in November 2014 that included the collection of sub-slab and indoor air samples from several areas within the building. No indoor air samples exceeded protective screening levels, but several sub-slab samples exceeded screening levels. In April 2015, a sub-slab depressurization system was installed in the building to mitigate the sub-slab contamination.

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Site Description

Interactive map of Honeywell Incorporated PCD, Fort Washington, PA

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The 67-acre site was owned and operated by Honeywell Inc. from 1965 until 1986.  During this time, Honeywell manufactured instruments and control systems for industry. In 1986, the facility was sold to 1100 Virginia Drive Associates. Honeywell continued to lease a portion of the facility for manufacturing of electronic controls and mechanical valve assemblies until March 1993, when all of Honeywell’s manufacturing operations were transferred to other locations.  Honeywell continued to lease a portion of the facility for office space until 2006. The facility was subsequently sold to Liberty Property Trust in 2006 and is currently being leased to other parties.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Groundwater beneath the facility is contaminated with trichloroethene (TCE) along with lower levels of other chlorinated ethenes. Groundwater is not used for any purposes at the facility; therefore, the primary potential exposure route to this contamination is through vapor intrusion into indoor air. Several areas of the facility continue to be monitored to ensure that indoor air is not being adversely impacted by vapors from contaminated groundwater.

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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

    No formal institutional controls have been applied to the facility at this time; however, it is likely that institutional controls prohibiting the use of groundwater beneath the facility and restricting land use at the facility to non-residential purposes will be implemented in the future.

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    The facility continues to be leased to several commercial and industrial tenants.

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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.

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