Three related questions have been combined for response: 1) Evergreen has a specific charge, which you are pursuing in a professional and rigorous way. But you are still governed by that definition. How can we work together to make that real in this case in Philadelphia? Every violation of EJ involves different agencies acting narrowly and ignoring the big picture as not their job. Please work with us to change that here. 2) EPA does not define environmental justice – especially when it’s long been an agency accused of environmental racism itself. The movement defined it in the 17 Principles of Environmental Justice here: – principle #7 is particularly relevant. 3) Here is the EPA definition of Environmental Justice. To the best of my knowledge it has not been revoked. Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across this nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.

Throughout the Remedial Investigation Phase of our Act 2 requirements, we have continued to involve the public in various ways and remain committed to finding ways to meaningfully engage the public in future meetings, both in our own public meetings and through participation in Hilco community meetings. We have not and will not intentionally discriminate against any group of people in our public... read more

This process needs to change to involve the public in the development of all reports, as required by Act 2 law- not just commenting after reports are produced. Reports completed since 2006 with virtually no public involvement should be reopened and revised based on public comments that find any inadequacies in the reports. We should be able to call for revision of previously approved reports if new information is found. The Public Involvement Program should allow for proactive, two-way consultation between Evergreen and the community about the clean-up, throughout the development of the reports and the clean-up itself.

Evergreen is in the process of receiving questions from the public concerning the approved Remedial Investigation Reports. These reports will be revised if new information is found concerning the conclusions of the Remedial Investigation Reports during this process. The comments received to the Remedial Investigation Reports will also inform the fate and transport evaluation, risk assessment, selection of remedial... read more

Is your remediation process (Act Two and beyond) guided in accordance with the Environmental Rights Amendment (ERA), (Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution), which states: “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.”

Section 101 of the Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act, which established Act 2, specifically includes language how Act 2 helps to achieve the objectives of Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. The future cleanup activities of the Site will be completed in accordance with the Act 2 program requirements, also supporting these... read more

In today’s presentation (Evergreen note: question refers to the August 27, 2020 Public Information Session), related to lead, the presenter described that ‘it is a complex process’ for ‘choosing the standard’ associated with lead contamination levels and its subsequent categorization. Why does the entity responsible for contamination clean-up (and their supporting team) have the option to choose their standard for clean-up? Who is the authority having jurisdiction who reviews the selected standard? Are other standards more stringent? If so, why were those standards not used for these contaminants in this case?

There are three choices for clean-up standards that can be applied to any Act 2 site: Statewide Health, Background, or Site-Specific.  The choice between the three standards is up to the remediator, but each one has strict guidelines and processes that must be followed to demonstrate to the PADEP (who has jurisdiction and responsibility to review the selected standard) that the standard is appropriate and has been... read more

How do DEP and Evergreen determine what is safe?

This question was sent to PADEP who provided the following response: DEP establishes Act 2 Statewide health standard cleanup values for soil and groundwater, known as Medium-Specific Concentrations (MSCs), using a variety of risk- and health-based methods. For instance, many groundwater MSCs are adopted from U.S. EPA’s drinking water standards. Other MSCs are calculated by DEP to protect human health at... read more

But the state of PA actually uses a blood lead level double what the federal CDC updated in 2012.

This question was sent to PADEP who provided the following response: DEP’s published Statewide health standard nonresidential direct contact numeric value for lead in soil, 1000 mg/kg (milligrams lead per kilogram soil), was based on a target blood lead level in adults of 20 mg/dL (micrograms lead per deciliter of blood). Evergreen derived a site-specific direct contact numeric value in their 2015 risk... read more

I understand that the cleanup is happening under a voluntary act 2 opt in? What were the benefits to opting into this program?

The information provided below was largely obtained from the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Overview of the Land Recycling Program Fact Sheet, which can be accessed through this link: DEP Fact Sheet. The Land Recycling Program (which actually includes Acts 2, 3, 4, 6 and 68, but is commonly referred to as “Act 2”) encourages the recycling and redevelopment of old industrial sites, such as the... read more

Have you submitted draft cleanup plans to DEP? Can we receive a copy of the Cleanup Plan?

A draft Cleanup Plan has not been submitted to the PADEP. Remedial Investigations must be completed prior to submitting Cleanup Plans and other Act 2 reports that follow Remedial Investigations in the Act 2 process. Upon completion of Remedial Investigation Reports (RIRs) for each of the Areas of Interest, the subsequent Act 2 reports can then be submitted. The Cleanup Plan(s) will be prepared and submitted... read more