Philadelphia Sustainability Awards ABSCO Scrapyard

The former Absco scrapyard project, at which remedial activities designed and conducted by REPSG made possible the site’s rehabilitation as a mixed-use commercial/residential development, has been nominated for a Philadelphia Sustainability Award.

The remediation and disposal of over 15,000 tons of contaminated soil from this site in the Old Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia represents a significant milepost in the overall larger push towards land reclamation and smarter urban design in Philadelphia. In a city where contaminated land often poses a barrier to meaningful redevelopment, the ABSCO project exemplifies the integral role that REPSG’s services play in the area’s economic revitalization.

The partners participating in the effort to reclaim this part of Old Kensington were both public and private entities. The Philadelphia Sustainability Award nomination states that: “The project is also a model of public-private partnership, with public financial and legislative support, regulatory flexibility, and community input all guiding a project that will still be financially viable…” What makes these partner’s participation so interesting is the convergence of so many different interests for the purpose of furthering one goal; smart, sustainable development.

For a company such as REPSG, whose business model hinges on development, having successful public participation in this project bodes well. In a climate where there is an increasing demand from local residents, both as public participants and as end consumers, for environmental responsibility and smart growth / sustainable redevelopment projects, such a transparent and publicly supported process is certainly worthy of note and even, as in this case, an award.

REPSG is proud to have had the opportunity to be part of the former Absco scrapyard project. It is projects like this that are renewing the former “Workshop to the World” in a newly sustainable, environmentally responsible way.

For more information on the ABSCO Scrapyard project please visit the EPA Newsletter.

New EPA Lead Rule In Effect

Effective March 31, 2008, the US EPA Administrator has signed into effect the “Lead; Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program” active rule (40 CFR Part 745).

Under section 402(c)(3) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the EPA is addressing leadbased paint hazards created by renovation, repair, and painting activities that disturb leadbased paint in target housing and child-occupied facilities.

The EPA defines ‘‘Target housing’’ (TSCA section 401) as: “any housing constructed before 1978, except housing for the elderly or persons with disabilities (unless any child under age 6 resides or is expected to reside in such housing) or any zero-bedroom dwelling.” Under this new rule, a child-occupied facility is defined as “a building, or a portion of a building, constructed prior to 1978, visited regularly by the same child, under 6 years of age, on at least two different days within any week (Sunday through Saturday period), provided that each day’s visit lasts at least 3 hours and the combined weekly visits last at least 6 hours, and the combined annual visits last at least 60 hours.”

You may be potentially affected by this action if you perform renovations of target housing or child-occupied facilities for compensation or dust sampling. Child-occupied facilities may be located in public or commercial buildings or in target housing.

Potentially affected entities may include, but are not limited to: building construction, specialty trade contractors, real estate, child day care services, elementary and secondary schools, other technical and trade schools, and engineering services and building inspection services.

This listing is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be affected by this action. Other types of entities not listed in this unit could also be affected.

This rule establishes requirements for training renovators, other renovation workers, and dust sampling technicians; for certifying renovators, dust sampling technicians, and renovation firms; for accrediting providers of renovation and dust sampling technician training; for renovation work practices; and for recordkeeping.

To learn more about this rule please visit and search under docket number EPA–HQ–OPPT–2005–0049. Please visit the EPA’s lead program website for more information on lead issues; or call the National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD.

Read Across America

In March 2008, Jenny Reynolds and Suzanne Shourds, Environmental Risk Analysts with REPSG, participated in a Read Across America day at a local community grade school.

The week-long series held at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Southwest Philadelphia concluded with in-class readings of Dr. Seuss favorites. Ms. Reynolds read “Green Eggs and Ham” to one of the first grade classes, and Ms. Shourds read “To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street” to one of the fourth grade classes.

PA Uniform Environmental Covenants Act – UECA

On December 18, 2007, Governor Rendell signed Act 68, the Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (UECA), into law. Under UECA an environmental covenant will be required whenever an engineering or institutional control is used to demonstrate the attainment of an Act 2 remediation standard.

This applies for any cleanup conducted under an applicable Pennsylvania environmental law and will require all previously established activity and use limitations to be “converted” into environmental covenants within 60 months. This law took effect on February 16, 2008. In practice, PADEP has been requesting that draft covenant language be filed as part of remediation workplans and will be withholding approval of final No Further Action or release of liability for UECA-applicable sites until an approved covenant is submitted.

From a client perspective, this means potential delays while the PADEP figures out how they will implement these requirements. REPSG has also noted that the language requirements of UECA are causing the PADEP to give scrutiny to technical fate and transport modeling and thorough site characterization.

Links to information on UECA are provided below and will be updated as information is available. Please contact Charlene Drake at (215) 729-3220 with any questions on how Act 68 will affect your business.

Helpful Links

To learn more about UECA, please visit the PADEP’s website.

Biennial Reporting Alert

Compliance Advisory Enforcement Alert
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP” or “the Department”) is initiating a site remediation program to enforce monitoring reporting requirements.

Who is affected by this initiative?
According to the NJDEP official alert (issued in September 2007) parties that will be subject to planned enforcement actions are “those who are responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of a remedial action that includes an engineering and/or institutional control, and submitting a biennial certification and report to the Department, but who have failed to do so.”

Why is NJDEP targeting this violation?
According to the Department, its receipt of biennial certifications and monitoring reports is the only means by which the Department is able to ensure that long-term monitoring and maintenance takes place, and that the implemented remedy remains protective at the site over time. Due to the volume of such sites, with respect to available Departmental resources, the Department relies on self-monitoring and reporting by responsible parties. It is critical that monitoring the protectiveness of the remedy occurs, particularly in the event that the property use changes to one that is inconsistent with the restrictions specified in the remedy, increasing the potential for exposure.

To learn more about this initiative, please visit the NJDEP’s Compliance and Enforcement Site, or download the official alert.