Environmental Site Assessment Phase One – 2014


2113 East York, Philadelphia, PA 19125

4.0 – Site Reconnaissance and interviews:

4.1     Description of Current Property Use:

4.1.1           The Property is currently owned by A-Frame Construction Company.  Subject site consists of an 1800 square foot, 1 story building, with a 10’ x 20’ backyard area.  The location was formerly an automotive repair shop.  The building is currently being used by A-Frame as storage for other projects; it is being slowly rehabbed to eventually be a restaurant.  The building is located at 2113 East York Street, the southeast corner of East York Street and Martha Street.  The property dates back to 1872.

4.2     Description of Adjacent Land Use:

4.2.1 – Adjacent Lands Include:

The property is located in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. Kensington has historically been a working class neighborhood, with a mix of factories and modest two story row homes.  This particular part of Kensington has a mix of factories, row homes, and breweries.

A-Frame’s office is next door at 2111 East York Street, west of the location. Heading west beyond that are residential row homes.

Looking southeast, across the York Street, is a machine and grinding business, Feehery. The other buildings on that side of the street are row homes.

To the east of the location on York are row homes and at the far-east corner of York Street and Frankford Avenue, lies a vacant lot with abandoned vehicles and trash.

The rear of the building, moving north, along the west side of Martha Street, borders another unused warehouse building that was formerly an auto repair shop. There is a small yard with spare auto parts and trash.

Farther up Martha Street on the west side, are a commercial print shop, Devilfish Ink, picture framing shop, Blue Velvet, and lastly, a brewery, Philadelphia Brewing Company. The brewery was formerly owned by Yards Brewing from 2001 to 2007.  That location has been a brewery dating back to 1839 when it was known as the Weisbrod and Hess Brewery.

Along the east side of Martha Street, lies a series of large, vacant buildings that was once a part of the Weisbrod and Hess Brewery. At the end of east side of Martha Street is a large stone parking lot used by the employees of the Philadelphia Brewing Company.  There is a small building in the middle of the parking lot that is being renovated into a small, craft distillery called Row House Spirits.

4.2.2 – Adjacent Industries Include:

A-Frame Construction
Feehery Machine and Grinding
Devilfish Ink
Blue Velvet Framing
Philadelphia Brewing Company
Atlantis Bar

4.3     Site Investigation:

4.3.1 – General – An on-site inspection was conducted by Shane Walsh, on April 2, 2014.  The inspection included a survey of the grounds and review of surrounding land uses.

4.3.2 – Survey of Grounds – The four sides of the building are primarily brick, paved over with concrete.  The south and east side of the building are connected to a sidewalk.  The west side of the building is attached to a commercial building, 2111 East York Street.  2111 was once a part of 2113 East York Street, in the past, when it was an automotive repair shop.  The north side of the building has a small yard, approximately 10’ x 20’.  The yard has patchy grass and some construction trash.

4.3.3 – Hydrocarbon Fuels – My investigation indicated one possible sign of heating oil storage.  There is a discoloration in the concrete floor in the northwest corner of the structure.

4.3.4 – Asbestos – There were no signs of Asbestos as there were no tiles in the ceiling of the building.  It is suspected that Asbestos tiles were used, based on the prior use of the building.

4.3.5 – Lead – Lead-based paint is suspected, as the building has not been renovated in decades.  Paint is chipping on all walls, inside and outside of the building.

4.3.6 – Drinking Water – Drinking water is provided by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWC).  My investigation found an open hole in the floor of the property, in the southeast corner of the building.  There was a water pump leaking water into the hole.

4.3.7 – Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) – My inspection indicated no known or suspected EMF problems.

4.3.8 – Polychlorinated BiPhenyls (PCB’s) – Lighting fixtures (ballasts) within the building are a mix of old and new models.  The newer ballasts do not contain PCB’s.  The older ones in the ceiling are suspected to have PCB’s based on the age of the previous use of the building.  All ballasts containing PCB’s should be replaced through the manufacturer.

4.3.9 – Radon – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection tested 336 basements and 90 first floors between 1990 and 2011.  The testing concluded that in the 336 basements a max result of 243.0 picocuries per liter was found, with an average of 3.1 picocuries per liter.  The testing concluded that in the 90 first floors a max result of 7.3 picocuries per liter was found, with an average of 1.4 picocuries per liter.  This data represents radon concentration measurements conducted under “closed-house” conditions.  This type of data would in general show higher results compared to a measurement made over an entire year, under “normal living” conditions.  We report the “closed-house” condition testing results because they represent the vast majority of testing conducted in the Commonwealth.  For reference, the U.S. EPA has established their action level at 4.0 picocuries per liter, and they have estimated that the national average indoor radon concentration at 1.3 picocuries per liter. The average indoor concentration in Pennsylvania basements is about 7.1 picocuries per liter, and 3.6 picocuries per liter on the first floor.

4.3.10 – Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI) – My investigation indicated no known presence of urea, formaldehyde or other volatile organic carbon emissions.  Although, it is suspected that there is Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation on the property, due to the buildings’ past use and age.

4.3.11 – Petroleum and Hazardous Materials Storage – The building dates back to 1872 and is possibly a part of the old Weisbrod and Hess Brewing Company.  The property has changed hands over the years.  Most recently it was an automobile repair shop.  My investigation found the presence of liquid petroleum, propane, gasoline, tractor hydraulic fluid, heavy-duty restoration cleaner, various paints, cleaners, additives, glosses, stains, varnishes

4.3.12 – Pesticides – My investigation indicated no known presence of pesticides, although I did find empty pump spray bottles.

4.3.13 – Sanitary Sewerage – My investigation indicated no now problems with the Municipal Sewage Collection System.

4.3.14 – Stormwater – A municipal drain gutter is located out on the street east of the property.

4.3.15 – Wetlands – There were no ponds, standing water or wetlands observed onsite.

4.3.16 – Solid Waste Disposal – Solid waste from the property is deposited into a dumpster supplied and picked up by Waste Management, INC.  Evidence of fugitive litter was witnessed on the sidewalk, street and backyard area of property.

4.3.17 – Tanks – My investigation indicated that three underground storage tanks have been removed in the past year.  There is an area of concrete in the northwest corner of the building that is discolored and would need to be tested further.

4.3.18 – Endangered Species – There were no endangered species observed on subject site during the investigation.

4.3.19 – Noise – There were no indicators of excessive noise or sound above 75 dbA during my investigation.  Noise was limited to typical city side street background noise.

4.3.20 – Sick Building Syndrome – My investigation indicated no evidence of sick building syndrome.

4.3.21 – Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) – During my investigation, minor mold and mildew was witnessed on the walls inside the structure.  Interviews with employees indicated no symptoms of IAQ problems.

4.3.22 – Natural Resource Protection Areas (NRPA) –

4.3.23 – Water Resource Protection Area (WRPA):

4.3.24 – Historical and Cultural Management – There were no known relevant historical or cultural issues associated with the subject site.