Gettysburg, PA

Gettysburg, PA

The City of Gettysburg is home to an estimated 7,633 residents, and it’s located in Adams County, PA.

This report will help you become better acquainted with Gettysburg and the surrounding area by addressing the following questions:

  • Are there any hazardous sites in Adams County, PA?
  • How clean is the air in Adams County, PA?
  • What’s the average radon level for homes in Adams County, PA?
  • Is the water in Adams County, PA safe to drink?

Hazardous Sites near Gettysburg, PA

There are four Superfund sites in Adams County, PA. Superfund sites, like Hunterstown Road in Straban Township, PA, are areas that have been contaminated with hazardous substances. If not for the cleanup efforts orchestrated by the EPA, these sites could endanger people living in nearby communities.

The EPA uses the Hazardous Ranking System (HRS) to quantify the risk a contaminated site poses to human health and the environment. Sites assigned HRS scores of 28.5 or greater qualify for placement on the National Priorities List (NPL), and are eligible to receive federal funding for cleanup efforts.

Before the EPA deletes a site from the NPL, it conducts reviews to ensure the cleanup was sufficient. As a result, some sites remain on the active site list long after cleanup activities are complete.

For more information about the Superfund sites located in the Gettysburg, PA area, be sure to review the map and background information provided below:

Map Legend:


A. Hunterstown Road (HRS Score: 48)

The Hunterstown Road site, where wastes from several companies were disposed at six different areas on the site, is located in Straban Township, PA.

Contaminants found at the Hunterstown Road site include:

  • Antimony
  • Barium
  • Chromium
  • Lead
  • Mercury

B. Shriver's Corner (HRS Score: 46)

The Shriver's Corner site, where drums of waste were accepted from the nearby Westinghouse Elevator Co. Plant Superfund site, is located in Straban Township, PA.

Contaminants found at the Shriver's Corner site include:

  • Chromium
  • Lead
  • Voc
  • Metals
  • Zinc

C. Westinghouse Elevator Co. Plant (HRS Score: 36)

The Westinghouse Elevator Co. Plant site, where elevator and escalators were manufactured from 1968 through 2013, is located in Gettysburg, PA.

Contaminants found at the Westinghouse Elevator Co. Plant site include:

  • 1,1,1-Trichloroethane
  • Trichloroethene
  • 1,1-Dichloroethene

D. Keystone Sanitation Landfill (HRS Score: 34)

The Keystone Sanitation Landfill site is located in Union Township, PA.

Contaminants found at the Keystone Sanitation Landfill site include:

  • Aluminum
  • Antimony
  • Arsenic
  • Barium
  • Benzene

Air Quality in the Gettysburg, PA Area

The two most widespread forms of air pollution are ozone (smog) and particle pollution (soot). Exposure to these harmful pollutants, for even just a short period, can have adverse effects on your health.

Thanks to data collected by air monitoring equipment located across the country, the American Lung Association (ALA) is able to assess and track our air quality using three metrics:

  • Ozone
  • Short-term Particle Pollution
  • Year-round Particle Pollution

In their 2019 annual report, the ALA rated the air quality in Adams County, PA as follows:

Ozone Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: A-F

Particle Pollution

Grading Scale: Pass/Fail

Radon Levels in Gettysburg, PA Area

Air quality inside your home can be impacted by a number of factors, including the presence of hazardous substances in building materials (asbestos, lead, formaldehyde, etc.) and local radon levels.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas you cannot see or smell. It can build up inside your home and negatively impact your indoor air quality as well as your health.

To provide a guideline, the EPA assigned one of three zones to each U.S. county and county equivalent:

  • Zone 1 (higher radon levels)
  • Zone 2 (moderate levels)
  • Zone 3 (lower levels)

The average indoor radon reading in Adams County, PA is predicted to be higher than 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), so the county has been assigned EPA Radon Zone 1.

EPA Radon Zone

The EPA Recommends acting to reduce your home's radon level if it's measured at 4 pCi/L or greater. So, if you're thinking about purchasing a home in Gettysburg, PA, you should strongly consider having a radon test performed.

Water Quality in Gettysburg, PA Area

In accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the EPA sets regulatory limits for drinking water contaminants known to cause adverse health effects.

The following Adams County, PA water provider(s) violated the maximum allowable level for one or more regulated contaminants:

Filter ValueWater SystemContaminantHealth Effects
42001Arendtsville Muni Water SysNitrateInfants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. 
42001Bonneauville Muni Water AuthCombined UraniumIncreased risk of cancer, kidney toxicity 
42001Bonneauville Muni Water AuthGross Alpha, Excl. Radon and UIncreased risk of cancer
42001East Berlin Area Joint AuthNitrateInfants below the age of six months who drink water containing nitrate in excess of the MCL could become seriously ill and, if untreated, may die. Symptoms include shortness of breath and blue-baby syndrome. 
42001Gettysburg Muni AuthArsenicSkin damage or problems with circulatory systems, and may have increased risk of getting cancer
42001Lake Meade Muni AuthCombined UraniumIncreased risk of cancer, kidney toxicity 
42001New Oxford Manor MHPGross Alpha, Excl. Radon and UIncreased risk of cancer
42001New Oxford Munci AuthDi(2-Ethylhexyl) PhthalateReproductive difficulties; liver problems; increased risk of cancer 

In addition to setting enforceable standards for harmful contaminants, the EPA also established guidelines to assist public water providers in managing the taste, odor and color of their drinking water.

To find out more about what’s in your drinking water, contact your utility company and request a copy of the latest Consumer Confidence Report.

Sources and Methods

Hazardous Sites: Identified using a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hazardous sites detailed on represent sites contained on the National Priorities List (NPL) as of November 25, 2019.  The NPL is the list of national priorities among the known releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants throughout the United States and its territories.  All site-related data was sourced from the EPA.

Air Quality: Grades for ozone, short-term particle pollution, and year-round particle pollution were obtained from State of the Air 2019, a report compiled by the American Lung Association.

Radon Zones: Radon zone designations were obtained using a public use dataset provided by the EPA (September 11, 2019).

Water Quality: Drinking water violation data was sourced from the Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS), a public use database provided by the EPA.  The dataset included violations submitted to the database as of the third quarter of 2019.


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