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EPA recognizes Bucks Superfund site for excellence in reuse

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Aug. 2, presented Heritage Conservancy in Doylestown with its Excellence in Site Reuse Award for outstanding work in the reuse of the Croydon TCE Superfund Site.

The award is part of EPA’s commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative (SRI), launched in 1999 with the goal of returning formerly contaminated lands to long-term sustainable and productive reuse for communities across the country.

“Today, we get to talk about the incredible opportunities that Superfund sites offer for rejuvenating properties and revitalizing neighborhoods once they are cleaned up,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio.

Before the agency’s Redevelopment Initiative, sites were cleaned up but not necessarily put back into productive use. By considering reuse early in the site cleanup process, the Redevelopment Initiative helps ensure that desired future uses are compatible with site cleanup remedies and removes barriers that could keep areas vacant or underused.

The Croydon TCE Site, located in a 3.5 square mile area within the southernmost portion of Bristol Township, includes residential, commercial and industrial properties.

The Site was listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in June 1986, after elevated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in groundwater. EPA’s cleanup remedy included connecting impacted residents to public water and constructing a groundwater extraction and treatment system to clean up the contamination.

Returning Superfund sites back to productive use has resulted in dramatic changes in communities by improving the quality of life, raising property values, and providing needed services to communities.

Heritage Conservancy acquired 80 acres of the Croydon Site in 2016 and operates a preserve that is one of the last remaining coastal plain forests in Pennsylvania. The preserve provides publicly accessible green space in a developed area and is inhabited by many mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.

Overall, approximately 1,000 Superfund sites are in reuse today – more than half the number of sites on Superfund’s National Priorities List.

As part of the commemoration, EPA is releasing SRI’s 20th Anniversary Report: