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$5.9M bill for Warrington cleanup

October 28, 2015

The Intelligencer
By Anne Freedman

Warrington Township on Tuesday approved a $5.9 million
agreement with the federal government that will pay for the removal of
contamination from private home wells caused activities at the Willow Grove
Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Horsham.

[…]

Timothy Bergere of Montgomery McCracken, who handled the
matter for the township, said the contamination was caused air station
personnel burning trash, old parts and solvents in fire pits and then putting
out the fires with foam.

[…]

The foam, which was “so high it touched the canopy of trees
sometimes,” seeped into the groundwater, leaving perfluorinated compounds
(PFCs) behind, Bergere said.

[…]

There is no known standard, he said, for the impact of PFCs
on people. “There’s not a lot of science to establish what the danger is or how
dangerous they are,” Bergere said.

[…]

The $5.877 million five-year agreement with the U.S.
National Guard Bureau will pay the entire cost of cleaning up the contamination,
and for any construction necessary to hook up residents to public water and
sewer, he said.

[…]

”We are a victim,” Bergere said. “This township is a victim
of the government contamination. At the end of the day, they left a legacy of
contamination and nobody should have to pay for that.”

[…]

The agreement provides for the government to reimburse the
township for all costs, and that if additional funds are required, an
additional agreement would be reached, Bergere said.

[…]

Bergere said the township initially approached the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency about the issue, which then ordered the
military to resolve the problem.

[…]

”It’s amazing the agency did it so quickly,” he said, noting
that Horsham has been dealing with the EPA about the same problem.

[…]

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