Valley Forge Asbestos Cleanup Coming

by Sokolove Law

The final chapter (hopefully) in the story of a former asbestos plant site is set to be written in Valley Forge, Pa.

Valley Forge was the site of the Continental Army’s historic 1777-1778 winter encampment during the American Revolutionary War. To commemorate this, the Valley Forge National Historical Park was established in 1976, covering 3,500 acres of Southeastern Pennsylvania. But for some 80 years, part of the site was also the property of Ehret Magnesia Co., and its successor the Keene Corp. Ehret built an asbestos factory there.

Now, in April, an environmental remediation firm will begin excavation on the asbestos-contaminated site, which encompasses 112 acres of the park. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, the site is contaminated, not only with asbestos, but also with lead, mercury, and arsenic. The cleanup firm will transport contaminated soil from the area to appropriate disposal facilities. The work will be completed and the site reopened to the public in the summer of 2014.

The site has a tortured history of industrial abuse, as noted here. From the 1890s until the 1970s, Ehret manufactured asbestos products for construction and the military. Among the products were asbestos insulation blocks and pipe insulation: one type of this insulation was Thermolite, which contained amphibole asbestos. This is a very dangerous asbestos type, and the only known cause of mesothelioma.

Unfortunately, Ehret was a major polluter, dumping its asbestos waste for 80 years with the permission of the state government. Incredibly, the problem was not addressed until 1997, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency closed off the contaminated area and took emergency action to contain the hazard.

Exposure to the asbestos from Ehret’s products can lead to asbestosis and mesothelioma cancer. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be eligible for a mesothelioma settlement. Contact Sokolove Law for a free case evaluation today.

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