Fitzpatrick Calls on Direct Intervention from the Environmental Protection Agency and Calls for a Multiyear Investigation to Test Asbestos Levels at the Rockhill Quarry
SELLERSVILLE, PA.—On February 20th, 2020, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) wrote to the EPA urging for direct intervention by the agency and asks for an independent environmental investigation. In the letter, Fitzpatrick outlines six tests that are crucial for testing the impacts of naturally occurring asbestos (NOA) and how much of the NOA made it into the residential areas.
“Nobody deserves to be the test subjects of the government. Everyone here deserves full government transparency and protection,” said Fitzpatrick. “I have written to the EPA previously asking for their oversight - the EPA has previously told me that under the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP), they would not intervene because a quarry is not considered residential enough. What the EPA fails to see is that this quarry was closed for decades and now the quarry is located within a residential area.”
This would not be the first time the EPA has intervened in a site outside of the scope of NESHAP – in 2003, the EPA received a petition to intervene in the El Dorado Hills site in California that was similar to the Rockhill Quarry, the area was located within a residential area. Currently, the group hired by the quarry is using modified testing procedures that have been deemed unacceptable by the EPA and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) standards on multiple Superfund sites because it removes asbestos fibers from samples. In the letter to the EPA, the Congressman requested that the Agency do the following:
- Conduct an unbiased NOA geologic investigation that meets the standards and protocols that would be acceptable by the USGS.
- Perform on-site Activity-Based Sampling (ABS) of air that targets the activities that will be conducted during quarrying operations.
- During ABS sampling, perform construction area and site perimeter air monitoring.
- Perform a Baseline Survey to assess the existing conditions offsite.
- Design and implement a risk-based perimeter and ambient (offsite) air monitoring program
- Prepare and implement a rigorous dust control and track-out plan to minimize dust emissions and prevent the track-out of asbestos onto public roads.
“I am calling for this investigation because the majority of these tests and calculations requested from the EPA will need data collected over the span of several years to appropriately test for asbestos levels,” said Fitzpatrick. “It is time for the EPA to put bureaucracy aside and take a look at how this is negatively affecting residents– this quarry is in-fact in a residential area and impacts thousands of people just within a 5-mile radius.”