It’s so confusing when developers decide to blame the blogger, isn’t it? I feel so Erin Brocavitch….
And I am confused because this developer refers to his neighbors in General Warren so I have to ask does he no longer live in Lower Merion Township?
As a “newcomer” resident of Chester County, am I supposed to be the perfect Victorian woman and be seen and not heard?
No, I haven’t written lovely large checks to the wonderful and deserving East Whiteland Fire Company, does that make me a bad person?
I do not write the flyers going out. I have expressed my opinions on my blog. Opinion is not against the law is it? The First Amendment still exists right?
Maya van Rossum is one of the most ethical and dedicated and smart women I have ever met, I am honored to know her. She is the Delaware Riverkeeper and it is her job to know about these sites like Bishop Tube.
The ultimate irony for me is I am a cancer survivor. I do not wish cancer treatment on anyone. Ever. That is why TCE terrifies me. So is that making me a bad person for caring?
The other thing is I have never said don’t develop the Bishop Tube site. I have said do lots and lots of clean-up based on past news articles and other documents and things like first hand accounts from former Bishop Tube employees and why is that bad? I have said I thought it was too much proposed density and why not an alternate, non-residential use but that is my opinion, yes?
So I am sorry the developer thinks I am being unfair, I think I am being justifiably concerned, and is that bad?
My my my. My late father always said a lot of real news was buried in the Saturday paper. And here we have it.
File under April Fools’ from the Pennsylvania DEP?
At this point I can’t decide who is sleazier, can you? Developers with their perpetual sets of the emperor’s new clothes or the state agencies who are supposed to protect us?
I wonder what does the EPA think? I realize they are a Federal agency but do they care? Or are residents on their own with TCE across the country and the damage it does? The damage TCE has done already?
So yeah, Pennsylvania DEP, people ARE watching you. Remember Limerick? Remember how people rose up and demanded the DEP actually do their jobs and not just push paper around?
And while we are calling people out on toxic Bishop Tube and the fact that way too many in authority have known for DECADES about this site, should we not call out State Representative Duane Milne and State Senator Andy Dinniman?
This is a deadly, toxic site and it needs to be cleaned up properly. Those three hot spots which are the only ones that supposedly are going to get cleaned up are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg and the Pennsylvania DEP knows it, don’t they?
Pay attention to the post containing documents above, old documents tell interesting tales don’t they?
As of now there is a meeting hosted by East Whiteland Township on Bishop Tube on April 19. Note the careful wording of the notice because they have invited all the below parties to show up and hopefully all the below parties will show up considering the fact that some of them are now contacting residents right? I think this meeting is a demonstration of good faith on the part of East Whiteland Township. Here’s hoping all invited show up to the party, can’t we all agree?
Bishop Tube was postponed until February 27 Zoning, and somehow I doubt many residents impacted by Bishop Tube will be at the networking event this evening, but if I lived in General Warren Village I would go (but I digress).
Above is the legal notice for Bishop Tube in front of East Whiteland Zoning. I will note there is NOTHING posted on East Whiteland’s website about this February 27th meeting yet…but hey why stay on top of sunshine on a sunny day, right?
Anyway, I am supportive of the folks in General Warren Village, and even the Malvern Borough residents who will be directly impacted by this plan, so I am posting the following information written by a resident over there:
On Monday, February 27 at 7:15 there will be a township meeting to discuss the Bishop Tube Site project. Here is a brief overview from what we have learned so far.
Bishop Tube is the old manufacturing facility that is located at the end of Village Way and is accessed by Malin Rd and route 30, near the Giant Shopping Center. O’Neill Properties, who own this property now, wants to develop the site to include 228 town homes. They would be in rows of 3 to 7 in length and they are asking for a variance from the township for the rows that are greater than 6. In addition, they are asking for variances to change the natural slope in the land. This would be to excavate the area and provide an area for the new housing to be built. In order for the sloping to work they would need to add a retaining wall around the east side of the property, along the creek. The highest point of the retaining wall would be 18 feet. At the meeting, we couldn’t tell from the drawing how this would look or impact the residents on that side of the Village.
Within the property there are three areas where the previous owners reported the release of Trichloroethylene (TCE), which is a chlorinated solvent and is used commercially as an industrial degreaser. These areas would be cleaned up by soil excavation and would then become green areas. They discussed removing 6,700 cubic yards from the site as part of this cleanup effort. They also noted that the remedy for cleanup would be selected by DEP in 2017.
Another area of concern for Village residents is that they want to add emergency vehicle access from Village Way through to the new neighborhood. They are saying this would be needed because of the number of homes in the new development and because if there was a train derailment on the Malin Rd side, emergency vehicles would have to use Village Way to access this new neighborhood.
Please come to the meeting on Monday. Your presence will help us show a concern for our neighborhood and hopefully help the township make the right decision. Here are some of the questions that we have so far… Once that dirt is being excavated what is the impact to the air quality and ground water?
Will there be any additional ground testing to determine if other areas of the property have been impacted by contamination of TCE or other products?
What are the overall impacts to living in proximity to this cleanup effort?
How will the retaining walls look from our community?
Are we guaranteed that their will only be emergency access from Village Way?
So I wonder, are Benson Companies still doing the building? They are in spotlight in Chester County again, and not in a positive way for their planned development in Howellville in Tredyffrin aren’t they? I also wonder why so many units have to be shoved into/onto a toxic site? What about the potential issues down the road? Building slab on grade with no basements doesn’t necessarily mean any leftover chemicals that escape clean up will be encapsulated, right? And where are the DEP and EPA on this clean-up? Or is this all just going to disappear considering the new administration in Washington DC doesn’t seem to place much value on things that concern every day people?
Density. How much do we need? Do we live in Chester County so we can feel like we live in King of Prussia, Bensalem, and development ridden Mongtomery County up the 422 corridor???
None of this development is ever done with consideration to existing residents who pay taxes in an area. None of this development is ever done with keeping all the OTHER plans in a municipality and neighboring municipalities in mind. All of these developments show up on flat, out of context plans on a monitor at a zoning or planning meeting as if the are some sort of Valhalla complete with Elysian Fields.
Bishop Tube is no joke. It’s literally a deadly toxic site. So before they approve HUNDREDS of living units with variances that a lot of residents feel will further squeeze a getting over-developed township AND a school district and not for the positive, how about someone show folks that the place is cleaned up? Or publicly state (including to the media) exactly where the clean up is?
By Christine Dunn Providence Journal Staff Writer Posted Jul 24, 2015 at 7:31 PM
PORTSMOUTH — With their designer kitchens and baths, private elevators and balconies with soaring views of
Narragansett Bay, the luxury condominiums at the Carnegie Tower have undeniable glamour.
But the 22-story tower, which opened in the summer of 2009, turned out to be a losing prospect for developer J. Brian O’Neill.
The 79-unit tower opened when the housing market was in freefall, and in 2012, 77 of the condos remained unsold….Within a few months after the opening, several prospective buyers sued to get their deposits back. And in 2012, O’Neill had to refinance to avoid a planned tax sale of 77 tower condos by paying the Town of Portsmouth more than $2 million in back taxes.
The final blow came in January, when the Pennsylvania-based builder turned over an estimated 68 of the condos to his creditors in a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure transaction.
Ok so look at that tower? Remind you of anything else? Perched on 202 at 29 in East Whiteland perhaps? Royal Worthington? Everything looks the same no matter where it is. Myabe if I was a Stepford wife I would be more appreciative, but I am not.
But what is more concerning is the occupancy as in truly how many live there and in other surrounding developments. I also do not believe Eastside Flats in Malvern Borough is filled to capacity and what about that tower like thing on route 3 near Matlack? The Pointe or whatever? Any of the townhouse developments around? Atwater?
Pick a development. Pick a developer. There are so many, and that is kind of the point. Is there a real need or an artificially created need? Look at an O’Neill development proposed for Haddonfield, NJ? Residential, mixed use, and a drug rehab? Look at the density of that plan. It’s not just here – at it’s most watered down, developers all have a formula for profit, they just keep applying the same formulas everywhere they go. Toll Brothers is another example. Pulte. Ryan. Benson. And so on and so forth
This is how the vision of completed Worthington goes. Does this look like the Chester County you want to see? It looks like the King of Prussia mall!
All of these living units add people to our roads. They add kids to the school district. And no one ever talks about how that affects residents…until it is too late and communities are faced with a crisis.
I have no problem with developments that are thoughtfully planned with an existing community in mind. Only you RARELY see that.
Bishop Tube is a scary hot mess. And obviously there are still issues keeping the site secure because I just found a 2017 You Tube video about Bishop Tube. I never trespassed when I photographed. I shot from the street only.
The people who need to pack the room on Monday, February 27 are the ones with legal standing as this is a zoning matter. So that is at it’s most specific, General Warren Village residents, and on the border Malvern Borough residents. But I also encourage anyone who can, to go out and supportthese residents. That is the best thing a community can do when not all have standing. Packed board rooms send a message.
Stand up for your communities. If you don’t you will always get the short end of the development stick. Bishop Tube needs to be cleaned up before development occurs. It also needs less density.
Here is the January notice:
This photo was taken in 2010, long before I lived in Chester County. It was taken by d.coleman in June of 2010. I found it on Flickr. This is a screen shot of photo with attribution and description as found in yellow. Photographers have been photographing Bishop Tube for years and I hear that high school kids find their way onto the site as well?
Look, O’Neill to an extent is a visionary…and a gambler. But I think to succeed where he has succeeded you can’t have one with out the other. And yes, he has been extraordinarily generous with East Whiteland’s fire company, but why is it no one in East Whiteland (much like Tredyffrin and elsewhere in Chester County) can seem to hit a pause button on development or to actually fight for residents so that development is not so painful? Because residents are the ones who pay the piper after the first blush of ratables is concerned. Residents deal with the traffic, infrastructure issues, basic services and first responder (police/fire/EMT) issues, overcrowding in schools.
There are so many developers, so many plans. But we live here too. And it is time for municipalities to hear us. Here is hoping residents totally pack the zoning hearing board on Monday February 27 at 7:15 PM at East Whiteland Township. And I hope the residents of General Warren Village represent.
The bottom line is something is going to get built on Bishop Tube. It’s a gross, toxic eyesore. But what gets built, how the remediation goes, and so on still has to do with how the community feels. If residents do not turn out, they will lose one of the few opportunities they have left to have a say.
My opinion is O’Neill can do this if he wanted do it with less density. Or he could offer another use for the property that wouldn’t impact residents so horribly. But people have to turn up and speak out. Because look at it this way: if this plan gets approved and sold to yet another developer, the community needs to lock in the plans to the best that the community can get and stomach. And most importantly to ensure the remediation is done the best it can be, right?
I went to Malin Road and stood outside the fences of Bishop Tube today. Totally creepy and deserted. I was glad to see an unmarked police car do a drive by a couple minutes after I got there, the place gave me the willies.
I took photos from outside the fencing on the road. What a weird feeling to be out on such a gloriously beautiful day, yet there was the overwhelming creepiness of the Bishop Tube Site, all abandoned and the only way to describe it was the place seems to radiate negative energy. Don’t see how that feeling will be eradicated by plastic townhouses marching row after row. The site doesn’t appear to be particularly secure and given what appears to be vandalism, nor does itappear as if it has been for years has it?
Staring at the site, I couldn’t help but wonder where the PA DEP was on this? I can find on the Internet where they were in the past, but not in the present. Or the EPA, which is so screwed up just read THIS and THIS and THIS. Here let me share this:
The scene was otherworldly. A river tinted orange by a toxic brew of heavy metals, including lead, arsenic, and other pollutants. Three million gallons of wastewater from an abandoned gold mine in rural southwestern Colorado flows slowly downstream. Communities are shutting off drinking water collection. Vacationers are being warned to avoid contact with the contaminated water.
The cause? None other than a mistake by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The Wall Street Journalreported details on the incident Sunday, noting that the spill was initially downplayed by the EPA, and that it was much larger than first reported. Most importantly, as of Sunday, the mine is still releasing wastewater at a rate of about 500 gallons per minute. The pollution incident is ongoing.
This latest toxic release is yet another example of the EPA spectacularly failing at its primary mission. As I’ve expressed in this space before, the government is not particularlycompetent at environmental remediation and management.
When you read things written by critics of the PA DEP, it is often not much better. Look these government agencies have good intentions but they all seem to get in their own way and in the end are the accomplishing their goals of protecting all of us?
The Pennsylvania DEP has been criticized for its poor record of providing information on fracking-related contamination to state residents. In April, a Pennsylvania Superior Court case claimed that due to the way DEP operates and its lack of public record, it’s impossible for citizens to know about cases where private wells, groundwater and springs are contaminated by drilling and fracking.
“The DEP must provide citizens with information about the potential harm coming their way,” John Smith, one of the attorneys representing municipalities in the lawsuit, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “If it doesn’t record and make available the violations records then it is denying the public accurate information, which is unconscionable.”
When is the last time the PA DEP or EPA took a good look at sites like Bishop Tube in Pennsylvania? These aren’t new sexy disasters, they are plodding along existing trouble spots so now that there don’t appear to be lots of government money floating around for clean up ( a la “Growing Greener“) who cares about these toxic sites like Bishop Tube?
I happened to check the court dockets on the Bishop Tube litigation mention in prior posts when I came home and there are a few more filings on the case of ordinary hard-working people vs, everyone involved around Bishop Tube. Here are the two most interesting:
Apparently although The Daily Local did that curtain raiser of an article a couple of weeks ago, no other media seems interested in a toxic superfund site in bucolic Chester County? Or are there media inquiries and other inquiries starting to foment and ferment behind the scenes?
Here are a couple of gems from all this legal stuff:
From the plaintiffs’ memorandum (2:15-cv-01919 (GJP) filed 8/10/15):
Page 4: “The Plaintiffs have alleged that, during the Defendants’ respective ownership and operation thereof, they discharged hazardous substances into the environmental which have migrated onto and into the Plaintiffs’ property including the Plaintiffs’ drinking water. It is further alleged that the Defendants have failed to remediate the contamination, the regulatory authorities have failed to require the Defendants to remediate the contamination and additional response work will be necessary.”
Page 6 “It is alleged in the Complaint that, during their respective periods of ownership and operation of the Bishop Tube site, the Defendants used or permitted the use of hazardous substances, including trichloroethylene (“TCE”), during the manufacturing processes for their seamless stainless steel and other products and that, as a result of the Defendants’ ownership and operations at the Bishop Tube site, hazardous substances, including TCE, were disposed into the environment, including the Bishop Tube site’s soils and groundwater. See Complaint,¶¶34-35. It is further alleged that subsurface migration of contaminated groundwater from the Bishop Tube site has and continues to contaminate the aquifer beneath the Bishop Tube site and beneath off-site premises including the Plaintiffs’ home. See Complaint, ¶36.”
Page 7 “Accordingly, in or about 1999, the PADEP took over response actions at the Bishop Tube site, which included periodic sampling of soil, surface water, groundwater, vapor intrusion pathway analysis and maintenance of monitoring wells in the contaminated aquifer as well as the installation of a soil vapor extraction and air sparging system designed to capture and remove contamination from subsurface soils at the Bishop Tube site. See Complaint, ¶¶42-43.
However, none of the Defendants have taken any steps to actively remediate the contamination that originated on the Bishop Tube site, which has and continues to migrate onto the Warren property and neither the EPA nor the PADEP have taken any steps to compel such remedial activity. See Complaint, ¶44. Further response action is necessary to abate the release of the hazardous substances at the Bishop Tube site which have and continue to migrate onto the Warren property. See Complaint, ¶45.”
A Notice of Intent to Sue was served on all Defendants as well as the EPA and PADEPon December 8, 2014, to which no one responded”
Page 11: “III. Plaintiffs’ RCRA Claim Must Not Be Dismissed
Johnson Matthey next argues that the Plaintiffs’ RCRA claim must be dismissed because it does not adequately allege an “imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment” and because the State is diligently addressing the contamination.
However, as described in detail above, the Complaint alleges that TCE contamination from the Bishop Tube site has migrated into the Plaintiffs’ well water. TCE is a volatile organic compound “used mainly as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts, but it is also an ingredient in adhesives, paint removers, typewriter correction fluids, and spot removers.
Trichloroethylene is not thought to occur naturally in the environment. However, it has been found in underground water sources and many surface waters as a result of the manufacture,use, and disposal of the chemical.” There is evidence that TCE affects the developmental and nervous systems in humans and is also carcinogenic. Specifically, there is evidence that TCE can cause kidney cancer and limited evidence for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and liver cancer as well as various tumors in animals. See United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxic Substances Portal for TCE, http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/substances/toxsubstance.asp?toxid=30 (last visited August 7,2015).
Accordingly, it is respectfully submitted that it is disingenuous for Johnson Matthey to claim that Plaintiffs have not adequately alleged sufficient imminent and substantial endangerment to health or the environment to sustain a RCRA claim.”
Page 13: “Conclusion
Simply stated, in support of their federal CERCLA and RCRA claims, the Plaintiffs have alleged that: (1) the Defendants, including Johnson Matthey, discharged hazardous substances, including TCE, into the environment at the Bishop Tube site which have migrated onto the Plaintiffs’ property and, specifically, into their drinking water; (2) that the Defendants have failed to remediate the contamination; (3) that the regulatory authorities have failed to require the Case 2:15-cv-01919-GJP Document 6 Filed 08/10/15 Page 12 of 13 10 Defendants to remediate the contamination; and (4) that additional response work will be necessary. Indeed, TCE is a carcinogenic. Based on the foregoing, it is respectfully submitted that the Plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts, which must be presumed true for purposes of this Motion, to withstand a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the FRCP”
From First Amended Complaint With Jury Demand:
Page 5: 37: “During their respective periods of ownership and operation of the Bishop Tubesite, the Defendants used or permitted the use of hazardous substances, including trichloroethylene (”TCE”), during the manufacturing processes for their seamless stainless steel and other products.”
Ok above are just snippets of the legal documents, quotes, excerpts. You can read for yourself the entire thing as they are uploaded in this post:
I did not create any of this it is all on the court record.
I am a cancer survivor. I would not wish that on anyone. I have also known people who have seen their children through cancer and trust me, it is too gut wrenching for words. In my opinion based on the research available to publicly peruse, this is site is toxic is it not? And then there is General Warren Village. Those residents deserve peace of mind don’t they? They have always been directly affected by Bishop Tube haven’t they?
I am a realist. This might be a creepy site but it is this chunk of land that developers are salivating over (don’t know if they are glowing in the dark from walking around it, however.) This site will be made into something although really it should be cleaned up and left alone since it is also my opinion that this site will take years to properly remediate, and can’t you agree that is reasonable?
But the thing is this: a plan like that not only affects people who want their piece of the American Dream and want to live in gorgeous Chester County who might purchase these cram plan slab on grade no basement wonders if they are built, but potentially every east Whiteland resident in the future, correct?
How can East Whiteland say for certain they would not ever become a party over litigation surrounding this site? They can’t, can they? And they have an obligation to current and future residents to see beyond the shiny promises of developers oh so familiar to them, see beyond and some new ratables down the road, and must put their heads down and see that this site is properly remediated and even get alternate land uses investigated, right? The bottom line is the owner of the land knows how to remediate this properly, they have the experience, correct?
Approving a development plan here while this litigation is ongoing and remediation isn’t complete can be considered a case of putting the cart before the horse, yes? And why is it all we hear is about the developer planning on “capping vapors” with the concrete slabs for the townhouses, yet the current litigation mentions aquifer again and again which is ground water, drinking water, and so on, right? A little different from vapors, right?
East Whiteland has a lot of development balls in the air and should we worry about how the land planning with all the developer driven zoning overlays are getting done?
East Whiteland, you have to do this right. Lives depend upon it. Please.
Abandoned Bishop Tube in Frazer PA as found on Abandoned But Not Forgotten Website
My late father always told me that I should check the Saturday papers for news that is meant to escape most and that if someone wants to slip important things past a populous, do it in the dead of summer.
Bradley and Paula Gay Warren filed a lawsuit filed April 19 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania against: Johnson Matthey Inc.; Bishop Tire Co.; Whittaker Corp.; Christiana Metals Corp.; Central and Western Chester County Industrial Development Authority; Electralloy Corp.; Marcegaglia SPA; Marcegaglia USA Inc.; and Constitution Drive Partners. According to the lawsuit ….the defendants used and disposed the environment of hazardous chemicals, including trichloroethylene, during the manufacturing of seamless stainless steel and other products.
“As a result of the defendants’ ownership and operations at the Bishop Tube site,” the lawsuit states, “hazardous substances, including TCE, were disposed into the environment, including the Bishop Tube site’s soils and groundwater. Subsurface migration of contaminated groundwater from the Bishop Tube site has and continues to contaminate the aquifer beneath the Bishop Tube site and beneath off-site premises including the plaintiffs’ home.”
In 1980, the lawsuit states, the Bishop Tube site was included in a liability information list by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Warrens seek the court’s assistance in making Bishop Tube’s subsequent owners “prevent any further endangerment and also all costs, including attorney and expert witness fees.”
Ok so can they go forward with land development discussions while litigation like this is pending? And read what the article is saying.
Bishop Tube was something I was aware of before I lived out here. They were marked by the EPA in 1980 , and was mentioned in an article in 1992 in the Philadelphia Inquirer when President George Bush (as in the father) was in the area touring tube plants.
Then in 2007 there was an article in The Daily Local
The Daily Local By ANNE PICKERING Posted: 06/02/07
EAST WHITELAND — The Bishop Tube Co., now abandoned, is located on a 13-acre tract off Malin Road south of Business Route 30. It started operations at the site in 1951 manufacturing platinum and other precious metals as well as stainless steel. The plant was classified as a redraw mill that reduced stainless steel tubes to specific diameters.
The plant came to the attention of state environmental regulators in 1972, when high levels of flouride were detected in Little Valley Creek, a stream that flows next to the plant, and was later traced to discharges from the plant. There were two operations at the plant that utilized hazardous chemicals in large quantities in the manufacturing of stainless steel tubing.
One was the pickling operation that used nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid and other acids and the other was the degreasing operation that used trichlorethylene (TCE). In the pickling operation, the stainless steel was immersed in large tanks of acid to clean it prior to fabrication. The degreasing was a final step and the finished pipe was immersed in a large vat of TCE, a solvent, to remove grease….
In a 1985 report by a firm hired by Christiana, BCM Inc., one of the earliest reports in the DEP’s files, the company found TCE in groundwater up to 20,120 parts per billion. After the plant was abandoned in 1999 and the state started its own investigation, it found TCE in groundwater at greater than 1,000,000 parts per billion, according to a 2002 Baker Environmental Inc. report.
Trichlorethylene is one of the most pervasive pollutants found in contaminated sites across the country. According to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Ok so I found this report online from I think ATSDR:
On June 11, 2007, ATSDR received a petition to conduct “public health assessment activities” for the community surrounding the former Bishop Tube manufacturing facility in East Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania…..The 13.7 acre Bishop Tube site (Site) is located on the east side of Malin Road, south of US Route 30, in Frazier, East Whiteland Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania….
…..In June 2007, East Whiteland Township petitioned ATSDR requesting that the agency perform a “public health assessment” to gauge the impact the former Bishop Tube manufacturing facility has had on the health of former employees and residents who live in the neighborhood surrounding the facility. ATSDR spoke with a former Bishop Tube employee that worked at the facility as a mill wright and in plant maintenance. He reported experiencing acute TCE toxicity symptoms, including a “drunk feeling” and a tingly feeling on his skin.
This former employee is now being treated for asthma which he never suffered from before. ATSDR did refer the former employee and an additional former employee to the regional Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) at the University of Pennsylvania for expertise in environmental and occupational health medicine. This former employee also informed ATSDR that (1) many employees from the facility have nueromuscular conditions and cancer, (2) his father worked at the facility and has Parkinson’s disease and respiratory problems, and, (3) hydrofluoric acid and nitric acid fumes were a problem at the site, in addition to asbestos in piping and the poor ventilation at the facility.
So…Ok look but the thing is this – that health report thing says a LOT about Bishop Tube. The site has been targeted as toxic and been investigated a bunch of time since 1972 correct? A cancer cluster was alleged in March 2007 by the community correct? Community folks reported 1-2 cancer cases in every household correct? A plume of contaminants from on-site has spread and is in the groundwater and local wells, correct? A creek flows through there. Traces of the crud have been discovered a mile away, correct? There has been activity to clean up the contaminants at the site, but is it REALLY complete? Until it is complete, crud will continue to move in the plume, correct?
Ok so in 2008 another article was in the local papers – here it is in The Phoenix
By ANNE PICKERING, Special to The Phoenix Posted: 08/23/08
EAST WHITELAND — An agreement has been reached with one of the former operators of the Bishop Tube Co. that will lead to the start of groundwater testing off site, possibly in the residential neighborhoods close to the former plant.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has been pursuing former owners of the now-defunct plant to get them to pay for cleanup of the soil and groundwater at the heavily contaminated site….Johnson Matthey operated at the site in the 1960s and sold the plant in 1969. The company no longer manufactures stainless-steel tubing.
….In the course of stainless-steel tube manufacturing, TCE was used as a degreaser. At the time, it was thought to be harmless, but it leached into the groundwater and soil over the years and contaminated area wells. Everyone in the vicinity has municipal water. One family down from Bishop Tube drank the contaminated well water for a number of years before a filter was installed.
A connection between cancer and exposure to TCE is suspected but not proven, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a federal public health agency.
The current clean water standard for TCE is five parts per billion.
Tests of groundwater at Bishop Tube have found levels of TCE as great at 20,000 parts per billion. The levels of TCE in Little Valley Creek are thought to be between 30 parts per billion and 70 parts per billion…..
TIF equates to what are you going to give a developer in breaks to build:
Tax increment financing, or TIF, is a public financing method that is used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure, and other community-improvement projects in many countries, including the United States. Similar or related value capture strategies are used around the world.
Malin Road Development – former Bishop Tube Site – Sketch Plan S. Malin Rd & Route 30 – RRD – Residential Revitalization District – to permit 264 townhouses
I have heard long term residents say this site shouldn’t be developed and well, yeah I concur. What the heck does East Whiteland need with another 264 townhouses on top of all the other development coming down the pike? Especially HERE?
And again, if there is active and current litigation involving this site and the heath hazards how is this even progressing right now?
If you live near Bishop Tube, I hope you attend the meeting. Anyone living in East Whiteland should contemplate attending. This is not a site where they can pour concrete on the ground and say all contaminants are capped. It might not mean anything to us in our lifetimes, but as a society of human beings I think we owe it to future residents to voice concern.
As a cancer survivor this is a very real fear: to move into an area with a lot of Super Fund sites that aren’t really all settled and cleaned up. When is the last time anything was comprehensively tested at Bishop Tube?
Law360, Philadelphia (July 18, 2014, 5:09 PM ET) — A Pennsylvania court ruled Thursday that the owner of a contaminated tract of Chester County land could not appeal a Department of Environmental Protection letter ending an agreement in which the landowner agreed to take measures to rehabilitate the site in exchange for protection from liability. The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board said that the letter the DEP sent to Constitution Drive Partners LP — which purchased the site of a former precious metals and steel processing facility in 2005 — was not appealable because the letter itself had no effect on the company.
When CDP bought the former Bishop Tube site in East Whiteland Township, it reached an agreement with DEP to take certain steps to remediate the existing soil and groundwater contamination, according to the opinion.
Then, in 2011, an independent contractor hired by CDP damaged piping and protective covering on a soil vapor extraction and air sparging system while conducting salvage operations on the site.
According to the opinion, CDP said that DEP had agreed that the repairs could be delayed until DEP was prepared to operate the system or the company intended to start redevelopment work on the site.
But in January, DEP sent the company the letter citing the 2011 damage and accusing the company of breaking the 2005 agreement….The case is Constitution Drive Partners LLC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, case number 2014-019-M, in the Environmental Hearing Board.
The last thing on this for this post is this startling 2007 Daily Local article:
EAST WHITELAND — Keith Hartman and Dave Worst have many things in common.
They were both born in the 1950s, two years apart. They both grew up in General Warren Village, the modest, working class subdivision located south of Lancaster Avenue near the intersection of Route 29, and named for the historic General Warren Inne.
Like many of their neighbors in General Warren, Hartman and Worst worked at the nearby Bishop Tube Co.
Most significantly, the two men know of former Bishop employees who suffer from potentially fatal illnesses that they believe may have been caused by their exposure to trichlorethylene (TCE), a suspected carcinogen, during their tenure at the plant….
Hartman and Worst can also run off a list of fellow Bishop Tube workers who either died from cancer or nerve diseases, or currently suffer from them.
“The sad thing is I wish we knew then what we know now,” said Hartman in a recent interview.
Over the past several months, the Daily Local News has examined the story of a former manufacturing plant that has left a legacy of pollution in East Whiteland.
The Bishop Tube Co. was a plant that was abandoned by its owner possibly because of fear over liability for the pollution it created….In 2005, Brian O’Neill of O’Neill Property Group purchased the site for $700,000 through his affiliate, Constitution Drive Partners, and signed an agreement with the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to jointly clean it up. The plan is to keep the buildings and convert it for light industrial use.
How did “the plan is to keep the buildings and convert it for light industrial use” become 264 townhouses?
If ever there was a time for a municipality to hit the PAUSE button, this could be that project, right? This is the potential for all sorts of yikes. And apparently this isn’t an O’Neill project any longer? It is a Benson project? As in the guy who was going to build behind Linden Hall in Frazer on Route 30 and save it? Only it is a little held up in DEP approvals or something?
But according to this the actual land hasn’t changed hands? So who is responsible for what??
Thanks for stopping by.
PS Remember the 2001 Inquirer article? When Sam Katz was going to put a sports center in? He never did and that is what they did with the former bubblegum factory/Superfund site in Havertown – they built a new YMCA.
By Susan Weidener and Sandy Bauers INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Posted: March 21, 2001
Using public and private financing, a development company owned by Sam Katz, the former Philadelphia mayoral candidate, wants to build a $17 million sports center on a contaminated industrial site along Route 30 in Chester County.
The center, with ice-skating rinks, indoor soccer fields and a wellness center, would be on the former Bishop Tube manufacturing site in Frazer, in East Whiteland Township.
Abandoned two years ago, the 17-acre property – a brownfield, or environmentally contaminated site – is near the Route 202 high-tech corridor….
Katz would set up a nonprofit, tax-exempt entity that would qualify for public money, including low-interest loans or bonds and grants, to clean up the site and build the facility……This is the first brownfield site Katz has proposed developing.
The land would remain in the hands of the Central and Western Chester County Industrial Development Authority (IDA), an affiliate of the Chester County Development Council, a private, nonprofit organization………
East Whiteland is the only township in Chester County with a building moratorium. The 18-month moratorium is set to expire in February 2002. Township officials declined to comment on the Katz project, saying that they had not heard about it nor seen the proposal.
East Whiteland experienced its peak growth in the 1950s. In the last 10 years, census figures show, the population has grown 11 percent, from 8,398 to 9,333.
If the sports facility were built, it probably would draw from an area much wider than the township…..
Robins said planners envisioned a state-of-the art building, designed with “green technology,” incorporating recycled materials, passive heating and other techniques that would “have a minimum impact on the environment.”
“What we like is, one, here’s a site that for the most part, is a scar on the environment. By making it a green building, not only do we correct that imbalance, but we also take it to the positive side. The building starts to give back,” Robins said.