Pennsylvania Representative Allyson Schwartz urged the EPA to include the site of a former asbestos factory on the National Priorities list.
The factory, located in Ambler, has been closed since 1962 but community groups argue that the risks of asbestos contamination are still present. In a May 8 letter to senior EPA officials, Schwartz asked that the 38-acre site be included on the NPL as EPA administrators are assessing the Hazard Ranking System score. A site is placed on the NPL if it is releasing or threatens to release hazardous material into the environment.
Schwartz received a petition with more than 4400 signatures from her constituents who requested the sites addition to the NPL. The petition, which first began circulating in November 2007, was organized by members of a community advisory group. It also noted that 76 households in the surrounding area reported an asbestos related disease or death.
During the late 19th century, the Keasbey and Mattison Company, built an asbestos processing factory in Ambler which would operate until 1962. The contaminated area was divided into two sections with one being declared a superfund site while the other has yet to be remediated.
A recommendation regarding the site will likely come later this year.