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a boardwalk is shown next to blue calm water with an industrial scene in the background
K&T Trail along Delaware River waterfront, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Photo: NOAA)

Draft Restoration Plan for Metal Bank Site Proposes Shoreline Restoration Projects

February 27, 2024

On February 27, 2024, The Trustee Council for the Metal Bank Superfund Site in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania released a Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment (PDF, 48 pages). The Restoration Plan recommends one habitat restoration project to compensate the public for natural resource injuries that were the result of contaminant releases at the site.

The Trustees are proposing to allocate restoration funds toward the implementation of environmental enhancements associated with the shoreline restoration component of the Tacony Boat Launch project. They propose to stabilize the riverbank at the Tacony Boat Launch site along the K&T Trail, to integrate a living shoreline into the design of the shoreline restoration, and restore freshwater tidal wetland.

This restoration plan is part of the 2021 Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) settlement with the Metal Bank Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs). According to available information, from 1962 to 1985, the site was used for scrap metal storage. For approximately five years, during the late 1960s and early 1970s, electrical transformer salvage operations were performed at the site. Some of the salvaged transformers contained oil-bearing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which were released to soils and groundwater at the site, eventually seeping into the Delaware River and contaminating river surface water and sediment. These releases caused injury to natural resources, including fish, benthic organisms, and benthic habitat.

In 2021, the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania finalized and executed a settlement agreement, whereby the PRPs were required to pay the Trustees $950,000 to be used for both Trustee-sponsored natural resource restoration, and past and anticipated Trustee costs, including restoration planning. Approximately $535,000 of the total settlement funds are designated for restoration implementation. This Draft RP/EA describes the Trustees’ assessment and restoration planning processes for this NRDA and the restoration alternative that the Trustees propose to compensate the public for the natural resource injuries associated with the Site.

Trustee Council members for this case include NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, acting through the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Fish and Boat Commission.

Public Comment Period

The Trustees are seeking public comment on the restoration alternatives evaluated in the Draft RP/EA. Public comment is open for 45 days until Friday, April 12, 2024

Send comments to:
Rich Takacs
Restoration Coordinator
NOAA Restoration Center - Northeast Region
Annapolis Field Office
200 Harry S Truman Parkway
Suite 460
Annapolis, MD 21401

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