Tuesday, October 6, 2015

$43M plan to dredge Pompton Lake’s polluted sediment

Details of a $43 million plan to remove 10,600 dump trucks' worth of contaminated sediment from the bottom of Pompton Lake have been submitted to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, James M. O’Neill reports in The Record.

It is expected to take three years to remove the contamination as well as tainted soil from the shoreline, according to the plan. The pollution came from a munitions factory DuPont once operated in the area.

Chemours, a DuPont spinoff that is responsible for cleaning up old DuPont sites across the country, expects work on the project to start next June.

Over the next few months, the EPA will review the plans, and Chemours may then be asked to make changes based on the EPA's comments, said James Martin, an EPA spokesman.

The plan is the culmination of years of study of the lake — and of discord between EPA and DuPont over how much sediment should be removed.

The mercury and other contaminants were carried off DuPont's former munitions factory in Pompton Lakes by Acid Brook, which drains into Pompton Lake.

The EPA wants the sediment removed because a toxic form of mercury can build up in fish, posing a health risk to humans who eat them. Exposure to mercury can damage nervous systems and harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune system.

The 200-acre Pompton Lake, bordered by Pompton Lakes and Wayne in Passaic County and Oakland in Bergen County, is a backup source to replenish a key reservoir that supplies drinking water to towns in both counties. The lake is used by residents for boating and fishing, but it is so contaminated that fishermen are warned not to eat their catch.

Read the full story here 

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