William Street 0

William Street Environmental Disaster

William Street 0 Comments
437 signers. Almost there! Add your voice!
Maxine K. signed just now
Adam B. signed just now

Immediate Action Required | Demolition Scheduled to Begin Monday, April 12, 2021

This is a very serious matter and requires immediate community action. Do not delay! As you may or may not be aware, the abandoned property located at 307 William St. (and additionally formally known address of 301 William St.) in the borough of Downingtown was owned by PECO and was the Former Downingtown Manufactured Gas Plant Site in the early 1800s through 1909. Between 2000-2003, groundwater investigations as noted in the Environmental Covenant for 301 and 307 William Street indicated the presence of well-known cancer agents benzene and naphthalene in the site groundwater at concentrations above the Residential Used Aquifer MSCs (All citations and documentation can be found on WSED.info). The last resident who lived at 301 William died of cancer directly associated with benzene and naphthalene exposure. Yes, it’s really that serious, neighbor.

As noted in the Environmental Covenant the property was deemed to “not be disturbed below 3 ft. due to environmental spills” (Found on Page 3 of the Environmental Covenant found on WSED.info); however, we know this has not been honored and the Environmental Covenant has been breached, because on April 1, 2021, PECO dug 6 feet down to cut off utilities and sewer lines associate with 307 William St and dust, mud, and debris are still currently present on sidewalks and streets as we speak.

In addition, it is important to note, Act 2 Remediations had to be performed on properties in March and October 2000 on Mary St and Whelen Ave homes due to water runoff contamination in previous years, costing these homeowners tens-of-thousands of dollars.

What does this mean to residents that live around this contaminated site?

Water runoff and “dust” (as referred to in the Environmental Covenant) of the disturbed property are toxic and will affect all neighboring residents. Water runoff getting onto your property, into your water supply, and dust of the property getting on and into your cars, traveling through the air on a day you open your windows, can have a catastrophic result. Again, the chemicals and agents that are found in this property soil are cancer agents.

Downingtown Borough has no mention of the purchase or possible acquisition of this property as noted in the 2019 to present borough council minutes (Located on WSED.info). And now…there is a work scheduled to demolish without proper advance notice. These measures should be done according to the Compliance Reporting, stated on Page 3 of the Environmental Covenant from April 2009. Ask yourself, “How is equipment delivered, police parking notices posted, all before permits are secured?” It is because these deals are being done behind closed doors without public disclosure at borough resident's expense.

PECO sent a letter on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 to Chelsea Fazzino (PA Dept. of Environmental Protection) stating that “PECO is currently working with Downingtown Borough to procure the necessary demolition permits and property transaction details. We anticipate the demolition work to be conducted during the 2nd quarter (which begins on April 1, 2021) of 2021.” On Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 there was a backhoe delivered to the 307 William St. Downingtown address. On Thursday, April 1st, 2021 there was work being done on the property to remove the sewer lines where there was a significant disturbance of the soil below 3ft. with no environmental oversight. It was raining on that day (which creates water runoff) and residue of the contaminated soil still remains on the sidewalks and the street being trekked into your homes and vehicles.

Enforcing Parking Permits on Mary Street Residents

There has been ‘talk’ from the Borough of Downingtown, wanting to demolish the property, disturbing the toxic soil even more, and putting in a parking lot that will require residents located on Mary Street with multiple vehicles to use this lot and require annual/monthly parking fees costing residents hundreds of dollars annually. Adding a parking lot to a suburban residential neighborhood ruins property values, becomes a meeting place for crime, and requires residents to trek back and forth through inclement weather to their respective homes located blocks away. This is not a decision we want being made behind closed doors without those who it affects the most being able to have a voice.

What Can You Do?

As a community, we cannot just stand by and let this ‘just happen.’ The people in these positions do not have YOU and YOUR FAMILIES best interest in mind with this type of behind-closed-door deals.

You can begin by helping spread the word regarding the William Street Environmental Disaster by immediately visiting WSED.info and signing this petition. All links, documentation, and constituent contact information can be found on WSED.info. Please...share the petition with friends and family, on ALL your social media outlets, including any local Facebook community pages, requesting others to sign and contact the respective Borough Council Members and State Representatives to demand an immediate stoppage to this development. Your time and promptness is truly CRUCIAL. They include:

  • Chrissy Houlahan, US Representative
  • Phil Dague, Mayor
  • Anthony Gazzerro, President
  • Alex Rakoff, Vice President
  • Dr. Angela Howard, Councilperson
  • Ann Feldman, Councilperson
  • Lauren Van Dyk, Councilperson
  • Brad Horstmann, Councilperson
  • Josh Maxwell, County Commissioner
  • Marian Moskowitz, County Commissioner
  • Michelle Kichline, County Commissioner

Their contact information can be found on WSED.info

What are Our Expectations?

  • The immediate halting of any permit issuing and work being performed on that property
  • Immediate release of ALL environmental documentation on the property to be made public to all borough residents
  • The Borough must provide ALL recorded documentation on procurement of property from PECO
  • Immediate hiring of a Third Party Agency to investigate the purchasing and procurement of these properties and why the public was not made aware of this project
  • A Third Party Observer to inspect and oversee any and all remediations that must be first made public

Please immediately visit and share WSED.info for more information.


A Mutually Concerned Neighbor

Share for Success