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Superfund Site Report: PAOLI RAIL YARD
  • Map Locating Superfund Site
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  • Site Description
    Stage of Clean-up: Construction Underway

    Conditions at proposal (January 22, 1987): The Paoli Rail Yard covers about 30 acres in Paoli, Chester County, Pennsylvania. The yard consists of an electric train repair facility owned by Amtrak and operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). Routine maintenance and repair of railroad cars involve PCB-containing electrical equipment. The yard is surrounded on three sides by residential communities and on the fourth by commercial facilities. Until February 1986, people used the yard as a shortcut to the station and commercial properties. In the late 1970s, both EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (PA DER) inspected the Paoli Rail Yard. This inspection, coupled with subsequent State investigations, led PA DER to issue an order in 1979 requiring Amtrak, SEPTA, and Conrail to determine the extent of contamination and correct any problem areas. The companies took actions primarily involving collection of samples, some cleanup, and further study. In November 1985, analyses of samples taken in July 1984 by a consultant to the companies were provided to EPA. They indicated a severe PCB problem, with soil contamination as high as 3 percent and to depths of up to 3 feet. In December 1985, a team consisting of staff from EPA, the U.S.  More...

    Sources of Contamination:
    • Storage - finished product
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  • Threats and Contaminants
    Valley Creek sediments are contaminated with PCBS. PCB contamination in the on-site soil ranges as high as 9 percent and occurs as deep as 3 feet. The yards of several residences in the area also were found to be contaminated. Car shop workers had elevated levels of PCBS in their blood. Direct contact with the soil is the main health threat to the general public. This threat has been substantially reduced by limiting access to the site by fencing, installed in 1986, and by soil excavation in 1989. The State banned fishing in nearby Valley Creek when PCBS were found in fish and creek sediment. Valley Creek flows through Valley Forge National Historic Park.

    Contaminants Detected

    Air Soil Other
    AROCLOR 1254XX   
    AROCLOR 1260XX   

    Groundwater and Drinking Water

    Were drinking water wells shut down due to contamination? No
    Are drinking water wells potentially threatened? No
    Aquifer discharges into: A drinking water aquifer
    Population served by water wells in the aquifer: 10,001 - 100,000
    List ground water uses.
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  • Pre-Cleanup Rankings
    EPA Hazard Ranking System scores for PAOLI RAIL YARD:

    Less Hazard National Average More Hazard
    0%         50%         100%

    Overall site:
    Surface water migration:
    Ground water migration:

    Rank Superfund sites in the U.S., PENNSYLVANIA, or in CHESTER County by EPA Hazard Ranking Scores.

    *Note: EPA's Hazard Ranking System is designed to screen and prioritize sites for the Superfund program, based on limited data available at time of listing. These scores are not based on a comprehensive risk assessment of the site and do not reflect conditions after initiation of cleanup work.
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  • Site Information
    Site Name: PAOLI RAIL YARD
    EPA ID: PAD980692594
    Address: RR SERVICE SHOP
    PAOLI, PA 19301
    Other Names: CONRAIL PAOLI
    Site Ownership: Other
    Category of Site: Other
    Date of Final Listing on the NPL: August 30, 1990
    List Standard Industrial Classifications (SIC) associated with current and past activities at the PAOLI RAIL YARD Superfund site.
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  • Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) Involvement
    Number of PRPs currently associated with this site: 4
    Hazardous waste received from off-site generators/transporters? No
    Number of past and present PRPs who contributed less than 1% of the waste: 0
    Number of owners/operators which are also municipalities: 0

    List Potentially Responsible Parties identified by U.S. EPA as associated with the PAOLI RAIL YARD Superfund site.
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