The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is continuing cleanup work at the former Exide facility in Laureldale, following the recent bankruptcy of the property’s corporate owner.
In May 2020, Exide Technologies LLC filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As a result of the bankruptcy settlement in October 2020, Exide dissolved, and the court established an Environmental Response Trust to address the environmental liabilities at the Laureldale site.
Contamination at the facility consists of elevated levels of lead and specific heavy metals in soils, sediment, and groundwater.
EPA and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection are working with the Trustee to allocate the limited amount of money in the Trust to maintain the facility and to ensure that human health and the environment are protected.
EPA is conducting a Superfund removal action at the facility and site evaluation to determine if hazardous substances pose threats which warrant prompt response actions to protect human health and the environment.
Five baghouses and associated ductwork containing high concentrations of hazardous substances are prioritized for removal response actions. The removal work is currently in the startup phase, which includes mobilizing personnel and equipment, working on health and safety and field sampling/air monitoring plans, and considering options for decontamination and demolition operations.
While that work is ongoing, EPA will continue to evaluate threats and determine whether additional response actions are required to mitigate imminent and substantial endangerment to the community.
EPA works to help facilities in need of cleanup to locate opportunities for safe and sustainable reuse. A Wisconsin developer, an affiliate of Phoenix Investors (“Phoenix”), has expressed interest in purchasing the former Exide Laureldale property and redeveloping a portion of it into a warehouse distribution center and potentially some light manufacturing.
If Phoenix were to purchase the property, the cleanup and redevelopment of the site will proceed under the PADEP Land Recycling Program, also known as the Act 2 program. Phoenix will determine the feasibility of acquiring the property after the completion of EPA’s evaluation of the property.
A public/virtual meeting will occur by the end of the summer to present the activities and status of the former Exide facility.