A Fact Sheet on the Cecil Township ABB Property Agreement

A Fact Sheet on the Cecil Township ABB Property Agreement

June 3rd, 2019

For folks living in Cecil Township, the purchase of the ABB Property in Muse has been a great concern. After a dedicated public meeting, and countless public comments at standard supervisors meetings, it is clear that the sales agreement, in addition to the consent order and agreement with the DEP, has been very complicated to navigate. Luckily, many Cecil Township residents have dedicated massive amounts of their personal time to uncovering the complexities of the contamination site and the agreements, and in doing so have put pressure on the Board of Supervisors to increase transparency and make time to answer their questions and concerns. Still, the complex documents written up by lawyers has proven unclear, and CCJ has been working to access said documents in order to deliver key information to community members.

That being said, the following is a brief, but pertinent, fact sheet on the ABB Sales Agreement. It is important for folks to note the level of obligation the township has legally bound themselves to at this time, including ability to exit the agreement despite what folks in the community are pressing for.

Furthermore, it is extremely important for the future of the property including long term use and potential development that concerned community members keep pressing their questions, particularly during a potential DEP appearance.

Sales Agreement

On November 6, 2017, Cecil Township and ABB executed an agreement (“Sales Agreement”) for Cecil Township to purchase an 87-acre property (the “Muse Property”) from ABB.

  • The sale of the Muse Property from ABB to Cecil Township is contingent upon Cecil Township receiving Act 2 Release for all of the Muse Property, including but not limited to, soil, groundwater and surface water associated with the Property. In other words, if Cecil Township cannot obtain Act 2 Release, Cecil Township can terminate the agreement and ABB must reimburse all costs and expenses for Act 2 Work incurred by Cecil Township.

  • However, in the event that Cecil Township and ABB enter into a Lease Agreement pursuant to Section 4.4.7 of the Sale Agreement, then Cecil Township’s right to terminate the Sale Agreement pursuant to Section 4.5.3 shall be null and void.

    • Section 4.4.7 of the Sale Agreement allows Cecil Township to request, prior to the closing (transfer of deed), a ground lease with ABB for the Muse Property to allow Cecil Township to construct a public works building on a portion of the Muse Property determined by Cecil Township.

    • Unanswered Question: Has Cecil Township requested a ground lease in order to construct a public works building? Does it intend to in the future before receiving Act 2 release?

  • ABB granted Cecil Township an easement (Right-of-Way) across the Muse Property for Cecil Township to construct a road to the proposed public works building and the school located on an adjoining property.  

    • Unanswered Question: Does Cecil Township have plans to construct this road before receiving Act 2 release? If so, when?

  • Cecil Township is responsible for the first $450,000 of the Act 2 Work costs and expenses. Costs and expenses above $450,000 are ABB’s responsibility.

    • Unanswered Question: What does this look like in practice? Will Cecil Township pay for costs and expenses above $450,000 and seek reimbursement from ABB?

Consent Order and Agreement

On January 8, 2018, ABB and Cecil Township entered into a Consent Order and Agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”), which describes the obligations of each party to remediate the property.

  • Cecil Township Obligations

  1. Attain and demonstrate compliance with the Site-Specific Standard in accordance with the approved Plan and Act 2 by January 3, 2023; and

  1. Submit a Notice of Intent to Remediate (“NIR”) pursuant to Act 2 no later than November 13, 2017.

  • Cecil Township submitted a Notice of Intent to Remediate under Act 2 on November 13, 2017.

  1. Submit a Remedial Investigation Report no later than January 3, 2021.

  • Investigation is not yet complete.

  1. Submit a Risk Assessment Report (if necessary) no later than June 3, 2021.

  2. Submit a Cleanup Plan no later than December 3, 2021.

  3. Complete remediation in accordance with Cleanup Plan and Act 2 and submit a Final Report to the DEP by January 3, 2023.

NOTE:  It might be necessary to extend the above-listed deadlines.

  1. Limit the use of the Muse Property to commercial or industrial activity, excluding schools, nursing homes, and other residential-style facilities and recreational areas.

  2. Maintain any engineering controls on the Muse Property.

  3. Avoid disturbing subsurface strata and soils, except as may be necessary to install adequate foundation bearing support features. If such disturbance is proposed as part of Cecil Township’s development of the Muse Property, Cecil Township must, no less than 10 days before beginning the disturbance, submit to the DEP a Work Plan for management and disposal of subsurface strata and soils consistent with PA environmental laws. Cecil Township must properly manage and dispose all subsurface soils consistent with the Work Plan as approved by the DEP.

Contamination of the Property

According to the Consent Order and Agreement, the location and horizontal and vertical extent of the environmental contamination of the Muse Property have been assessed in the following environmental investigation reports. These reports are public documents that can be requested from the DEP.

  • Site Assessment and Environmental Compliance Audit Report (April 1990)

  • Report of Field Investigations (March 1994)

  • Phase III – Site Characterization Report (December 1994)

  • Phase IV – Remediation Pilot Test Program Report (September 1995)

  • Phase IV – Soil Remediation Report (April 1996)

  • Environmental Status Report (August 2003)

  • Waste Characterization Report (March 2009)

  • Final Closure Report – Solid Waste Landfill (August 2009)

  • Sampling and Analysis Plan – Southern Landfill Berm (August 2009)

  • Southern Landfill Berm Characterization Report (January 2010)

  • Groundwater Monitoring Reports (2001 – 2016)

According to the Consent Order and Agreement, there are no off-site groundwater monitoring wells. There are 22 on-site monitoring wells.

NOTE: Cecil Township must perform additional groundwater monitoring and soil sampling and submit a Remedial Investigation Report to DEP.

Special thanks to the working mother’s of Cecil Township who have dedicated countless hours of research, discussion, and attendance to following this issue.

For more information on the ABB Property and Muse Slate Dumps, or to get connected with CCJ, feel free to Contact Heaven Sensky at heaven@coalfieldjustice.org or 724-229-3550 ext. 103.