by Spencer Helm
The former site of C & D recycling in Foster Township, PA has been deleted from the EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL). This site was used from 1963 to 1984 to reclaim metallic copper from old copper cables. This process resulted in hazardous waste and the contamination of soil and water. From 1984 until 2016 the site was being restored, requiring the disposal 80,000 tons of soil, along with another 10,000 tons of other contaminated media, and the demolishing of structures and reseeding to prevent soil erosion. Sites can be deleted from the NPL with state concurrence when they have been entirely restored to their natural state, and no further response is necessary. Because all site clean-up goals have been met, the EPA opened for comment on deleting the site from the NPL, and after receiving no resistance from the public, has gone through with this decision.
While the fact that the EPA saw this project through to the end is admirable, it is unfortunate that this situation arose in the first place. The tendency of the US to outsource hazardous refining and recycling processes to developing nations is very much a policy of “shallow ecology”.