Description of the Site
From approximately 1921 until 2001, TCCA owned and operated a facility at the Property to repair or maintain railroad tank cars. Operations at the facility included the rebuilding, repair, alteration, and conversion of rail cars; major and minor fabrication and welded repairs to tanks; and sandblasting and painting of railroad cars. TCCA’s former industrial operations at the facility produced hazardous wastes and liquids containing hazardous substances that were placed in a lagoon, and later into buried tanker cars, at the Property. In addition, sandblasting grit containing lead was used and disposed of at the Property. When TCCA ceased operations in 2001, the lagoon, tanker cars, and sandblast grit were left in place on the Property.
The EPA initiated a Superfund removal site evaluation at the Site in 2006 and selected to conduct a Removal Action. This action included the identification of above- and below-ground tanks; securing tank-openings and piping systems to prevent releases of hazardous substances; and sampling, characterizing, removing, and disposing off-Site liquids in the tanks. It did not, however, remediate all known contaminants on the site. Residual contaminants in soil and groundwater were left behind. BL Companies, on behalf of the Township, currently is in the process fully delineating these impacts. Once fully delineated, the residual impacts will be actively remediated, as needed, and then capped with several feet of clean fill material.
SEPTEMBER 2023: Creation of Walnut Avenue Master Steering Committee (Ad hoc advisory committee)
The Springfield Township Walnut Ave Master Plan Steering Committee was established in September 2023 by the Board of Commissioners to guide the planning process for the redevelopment the former Tank Car site into a new public park. This site is located at 1725 Walnut Avenue in Oreland. The objective of the Committee will be to assist with the creation of a master plan and the selection of an architecture firm. The Steering Committee is comprised of members from the Park and Recreation Advisory Committee and three neighbors of the Walnut Avenue property.
MAY 2023: Parks & Recreation Committee hears Introductory Presentation on 1725 Walnut Avenue Master Site Park Plan
On May 3, 2023, the Springfield Township Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee hear a presentation from Township staff on the 1725 Walnut Avenue Master Site Park Plan project. The presentation offered a summary of the property, environmental remediation and assessment that has taken place on the site to date, and outlined the process of developing a park plan for the property. The Committee will continue to meet on the 1st Wednesday of every month to discuss and draft the Master Site Park Plan for 1725 Walnut Avenue.
APR. 2023: Parks & Recreation Committee appointed as Steering Committee to Create a Master Site Park Plan
In late 2022, Springfield Township was awarded $25,000 in grants funds from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) for the creation of a Master Site Park Plan for the 1725 Walnut Avenue property. The creation of a master site park plan will help the community develop a comprehensive vision for the type of park that the Township will construct at 1725 Walnut Avenue in context of its location, natural resources, and visions of the community. The planning process will take place over the course of several months with many opportunities for residents to participate.
Regular updates on the creation of the 1725 Walnut Avenue Master Site Park Plan will occur, in addition to other items of business, during the monthly meeting of the Springfield Township Park and Recreation Advisory Committee. These meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month (excluding July and August) at 6:30 pm in the Springfield Township Administration Building (1510 Paper Mill Road, Wyndmoor, PA 19038). Please note that there will be separate public meetings dedicated to promoting community engagement regarding the master park planning process over the course of the coming months. All meetings and agendas will be posted on the Township website at www.springfieldmontco.org.
MAR. 2023: Approvals Received, Additional Funding Secured
In late March 2023, the Township received confirmation from County officials that all necessary reviews have been completed and that the Township and its environmental engineer for the project, Pennoni Associates, have been approved to proceed with the abatement and demolition of the existing on-site structures. Additionally, Springfield Township was notified on March 17, 2023 that the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development has awarded over $930,000 in Local Share Account funds for the redevelopment of the former Tank Car site into a public park. To minimize the cost of the abatement and demolition work to the Township, the next step in the project will proceed once the grant agreement for the new funding has been executed (expected in March/April 2023). The abatement and demolition work is now anticipated to begin in early summer 2023.
DEC. 2022: Building Abatement & Demolition Plans Submitted for Review
Working with our Environmental Engineer for the project, Pennoni Associates, Springfield Township developed plans and bid documents that would allow the Township to secure contractors through a public bidding process. These documents have been submitted for review to Montgomery County for approval. As one of the funders for this work, County officials must conduct a historical and environmental review of the proposed work and project site before the abatement and demolition work can begin. That work is anticipated to start in late spring 2023.
JULY 2022: Contract Awarded to Prepare Building Abatement & Demolition Plans
The Springfield Township Board of Commissioners awarded a contract for the preparation of bid plans to abate and demolish the remaining four on-site structures at the property (this is not a contract to do the actual abatement or demolition). The consultants will supervise the abatement and demolition work once those contracts have been awarded. Work on the abatement and demolition of the structures is not expected to begin until spring 2023.
MARCH 2022: Act 2 Report Submitted to PADEP
Upon completion of the year-long quarterly water and soil sampling, BL Companies submitted a formal Remedial Investigation Report and Clean Plan to PADEP as part of the Act 2 Land Recycling Program. Act 2 is a voluntary clean-up program designated as an "extra step" to ensure that brownfield sites are thoroughly remediated.
SEPTEMBER 2021: Office Building Demolished
In the interest of public safety, the office building at 1725 Walnut Ave. was demolished. The demolition work was conducted by a qualified professional in a controlled fashion as to limit any disturbance that might arise from the work. A Hazardous Materials Inventory conducted by BL Companies identified all known hazardous materials in the building and procedures for ensuring the containment of those materials, mostly old-fashioned fluorescent lighting and floor tiles, was in place during the demolition.
JULY 2021: Environmental Water & Soil Sampling Continues
The environmental assessments being undertaken by BL Companies, on behalf of the Township, continues at the site. 3rd quarter assessments are expected to take place in October 2021.
FEBURARY 2021: Commissioners approve additional deep-water monitoring well
At their regular business meeting, the Board of Commissioners authorized the installation of an additional deep-water monitoring well at the site. The additional well was recommended by BL Companies, the environmental consultant currently contracted by the Township to guide the community through the State's Act 2 clean-up process and conduct Environmental Assessments (which includes soil and water sampling).
LATE 2020: Environmental Water & Soil Sampling Begins
In late 2020, the Board of Commissioners granted BL Companies the authorization to conduct additional environmental assessments of the property as part of the Township's Act 2 plan to ensure that the site is cleaned-up and suitable for redevelopment by the Township into a public park. This assessment includes regular deep water monitoring and soil sampling over the course of the coming months.