At a BoRit asbestos area Community Advisory Group (CAG), EPA representatives spoke to members concerning asbestos removal in the area around Wissahickon Park in West Ambler, PA. CAG members asserted that the area surrounding the park is run-down and full of low-income housing because of the asbestos contamination of Wissahickon Park. They feel that removal of the toxin would help to improve the safety and value of the neighborhood. Another member of the CAG suggested that the borough of Ambler would be bettered if the site of the BoRit plant were cleaned up for redevelopment.
In addition to the asbestos issues, the ultimate fate of the site was also up for debate. The West Ambler Civic Association hoped to see a Boys and Girls Club at the site, but the Wissahickon Waterfowl Preserve, already an owner of a portion of the site, would prefer to keep the area wild for native and migrating birds. Whitpain Township has considered building a BGC at the site, but it will not draw up a budget until the EPA’s clean-up work is complete.
Some CAG members requested that a third party oversee the EPA’s work in the asbestos clean-up efforts and the stabilization of the stream that runs through the site. The EPA representative said that would be unusual but he would discuss the matter with his supervision. Further discussion of plans for the site will continue at the CAG’s next meeting on November 5, 2008.