RADNOR – Plans to extend the Radnor Trail along an old railroad encountered a problem after arsenic was discovered in the ground. Now city officials must determine the extent of the contamination and what to do with it – leave it there and monitor it in perpetuity, or remove it.
“As part of the trail we had to do some testing and we found arsenic,” said Steve Norcini, township engineer. “The purpose of this is to determine the horizontal and vertical limits of arsenic.”
The contamination was found along an unused railway line on Radnor Chester Road, near the end point of the current Radnor Trail.
The township has considered using the old railway to extend the existing trail in recent years.
Due to the contamination, the Radnor Council of Commissioners this week approved a motion to spend $ 55,480 to test the soil to determine the extent of the contamination.
But the question for some of the commissioners was how the arsenic ended up in the dirt.
Norcini said the trail will be located in an old railway bed from the turn of the 20th century.
“It’s not uncommon to find arsenic in some areas, so we found it. This is a higher level step for the construction of the trail, ”Norcini said.
According to Norcini, the township could either cover the contaminated dirt and leave it in place, or remove it and put in new dirt. Leaving him would mean he would still be in the ground.
The area should be classified to contain arsenic, and the township should have it tested forever.
“If we remove it, it’s a one-time cost. The area is safe and we can level and build a trail up to the proposed levels, ”Norcini said.
Norcini said the money the council cleared this week was only for finding out the extent of the arsenic. If and when the trial is built, the arsenic removal would be part of this future contract.
According to township documents for the meeting, the township received a remediation grant of $ 407,454. Current estimates for remediation are $ 235,000 to $ 535,000, depending on the amount of soil that needs to be removed.