Clearview Landfill Activities Update

A familiar picture:  Flooding in Eastwick due to the Isaias Tropical Storm in August 2020.  Flood risks have been a recurring problem since the development of Eastwick housing project (Photo courtesy of CBS News)
A familiar picture: Flooding in Eastwick due to the Isaias Tropical Storm in August 2020. Flood risks have been a recurring problem since the development of Eastwick housing project (Photo courtesy of CBS News)

Initial Army Corps of Engineers study on Eastwick flood control

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 3 released its latest update on the Clearview Landfill remediation project on October 26, 2020.

They advised that extensive test samples since the Isaias tropical storm last August 4 showed no contamination in Eastwick as a result of that flooding.  Remediation activities continue in some residential yards but is related to contamination from the landfill and had been identified prior to Isaias.   A final report is due out this month.

In a set of prior developments, following the August flooding, a virtual town meeting took place later that month organized by community leaders and City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson.  He announced that an intergovernmental/community taskforce would begin meeting regularly to follow up on the decades-old Eastwick flood risks problem and their impact on property values in lower Southwest. 

At the September meeting of the Community Advisory Council for the Lower Darby Creek Superfund Site,  Joel Dohm of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advised that an initial study they had undertaken in cooperation with Philadelphia Water Department had been completed and would pave the way for a much more detailed feasibility study of various approaches to prevent flooding.  Dohn went into detail about the construction of a levee along Darby Creek.  That waterway poses the dual danger of flooding due to heavy rainfall across its 77 square mile watershed, plus the upward flow of water from the Delaware River which is subject to the Atlantic tidal rise and fall.

In response to community questions, Dohm estimated that construction of such a levee, if approved and funded might well take up to another seven years.   

EPA noted that since October 8, 2020, two residential and one open space property have been remediated.  They will work on four additional residential properties and one open space property by the end of 2020 and add six more during 2021.

Back to the EPA monthly briefing facilitated by Community Involvement Coordinator Gina Soscia and Remedial Project Manager Josh Barber, normal construction activity for the cleanup of the landfill will continue until the winter cessation from December 18 to March 21.   Planting of trees on the landfill cover and in the City Park is scheduled for the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Barber indicated that EPA is ready to conduct post-storm sampling to evaluate potential contamination in floodwaters.

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