Downtown building in full demo as part of EPA clean-up

YORK — Demolition work is in full swing on a vacant building in downtown York as part of the ongoing contamination clean-up project undertaken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The building is located in the northeast corner of West Seventh Street and North Platte Avenue.

This is the next phase of the EPA’s effort to address PCE contamination in the downtown area of the city — which was a result of the leaching of industrial dry cleaning chemicals into the soil, many years ago.

Work has been going on for years in York, to clean up two contamination plumes. That work escalated last year with remediation stations created on Platte Avenue.

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According to the EPA, the agency will install “an in-situ thermal remediation system at the site to heat, remove, capture and treat soil contamination from tetrachloroethylene (PCE) after the building is demolished. This is a change to the original plan to vertically install the in-situ thermal remediation system inside the building. The demolition is necessary because EPA identified previously unknown site conditions which made the vertical installation of thermal remediation wells inside the building unsafe for EPA and workers.”

This building has stood as part of the downtown landscape for decades, so it is striking as it is quickly being taken down Tuesday night, April 30. While everyone knew it was marked for demolition, it is another thing for many to see it being actively and quickly removed.

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