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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Merck Sharp and Dohme Corporation in West Point, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

Merck is currently under a Consent Order issued in September, 1994, with the EPA. The contaminants of concerns are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) (including chloroform, Tetrachloroethylene (PCE), and trichloroethylene (TCE)) in groundwater. The Facility currently operates 12 pumping wells with activated carbon systems to treat the groundwater and to sustain hydraulic control of the groundwater plume. The treated groundwater is recycled through the facility and is used for manufacturing and potable water purposes.

Merck connected 58 local residents to a public water supply system.  For the residents who choose to remain on well water, Merck tests their wells quarterly.  Water from all these wells meet the Federal drinking water standards.  Under a Consent Order, Merck publishes a yearly Information Bulletin for the community. Merck will continue to monitor offsite residential wells to ensure that the current remediation continues to control and remediate the groundwater contamination.

In September, 1998, EPA gave Merck permission to discontinue the in-situ vapor extraction system.  Merck will continue to monitor the groundwater to ensure that the groundwater plume remains stable is not migrating offsite.

Merck continues to maintain the cap for the former onsite landfill.  The landfill remains non-operational. The original soil cap for the landfill was asphalted in 1999 and the area was converted to a parking lot for truck trailers.  The cap eliminates any direct exposures to the wastes in the former landfill.

On September 23, 2002, EPA determined that both the Human Exposures and Groundwater Environmental Indicators have been met. 

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Site Description

Interactive map of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation, West Point, PA

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The Merck Facility is approximately 400 acres in size and located one mile south of Lansdale in Upper Gwynedd Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.  At this location, Merck manufactures pharmaceutical products and conducts research for new product development.                  

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Contaminants at this Facility

The contaminants of concerns are VOCs (including chloroform, PCE, and TCE) in 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

    Under September 1994, Consent Order, carbon systems used to treated groundwater are monitored and tested quarterly to ensure grounwater meets Federal Drinking Water Standards for residents using well water.

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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

    The 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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