Wednesday, August 20, 2014

NJDEP says no to DuPont cleanup modification request

The town of Pompton Lakes, with the DuPont plant site in the distance and Pompton Lake in the foreground.
                                                                                                                                         Record File Photo
The town of Pompton Lakes, with the DuPont plant site in the distance and Pompton Lake in the foreground.

New Jersey environmental officials said Tuesday they will not grant DuPont’s request to change its plan to deal with contaminated air inside Pompton Lakes homes sitting above polluted groundwater, The Record reports.

"Residents had been worried that if DuPont’s request to change its plan were granted, it would prevent some residents from getting vapor mitigation systems installed on their homes to remove the polluted air.

"Groundwater beneath the neighborhood of about 450 homes is contaminated with the cancer-causing solvents TCE and PCE, which had migrated for decades off of DuPont’s former munitions plant nearby. DuPont and state officials had known about the contamination since 1985, but never tried to clean it up because they thought it posed no hazard. In 2008, however, testing indicated that the solvents were vaporizing up through the soil and into some of the neighborhood’s basements.
"DuPont agreed to install vapor mitigation systems on homes in the plume at no cost to residents, even if air and soil testing showed no elevated levels in the homes. So far 329 homes have had systems installed.

When the state relaxed its residential screening levels for PCE gas in soils and in air last year, DuPont asked the DEP and federal Environmental Protection Agency to adjust its work plan to reflect the new levels.

That, the Record reports, generated dismay in the affected neighborhood, “because residents thought it might make it more difficult to obtain the vapor mitigation systems or even that they would be removed from some homes,”

”Some questioned whether changes might also shrink the size of the plume area and therefore the number of homes that qualified for the systems."
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Related environmental news stories:
DuPont wants cleanup eased
DuPont wants relaxed standards for cleanup of Pompton Lakes Superfund site
EPA joins probe of tainted wells
EPA Will Regulate Some TCE Uses Unless Industries Take Voluntary Action

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