Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

DELAWARE CITY PVC PLANT
NEW CASTLE, DE

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The Delaware City PVC Plant Site occupies 400 acres, consisting of a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacturing facility currently owned and operated by Formosa Plastics Corp. of Delaware and a surrounding contaminated groundwater plume. The plant was built in 1966 by Stauffer Chemical Company, which used earthen lagoons and pits to dispose of PVC waste and sludge. Stauffer Chemical sold the PVC plant to Formosa Plastics Corporation in May 1981. Groundwater, which was used locally for drinking water and agricultural purposes, was found to be contaminated with chemicals emanating from the plant. Soils associated with earthen lagoons were also found to be contaminated. EPA placed the site on the Superfund Program’s National Priorities List in 1983.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site’s long-term remedy included pumping and treating contaminated groundwater; excavating contaminated materials and soil for off-site disposal; properly capping the buried sludge pits; and connecting affected businesses and residences to the public water supply. Construction of the remedy took place between 1988 and 2001. Groundwater treatment and monitoring are ongoing. 

 

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What Is the Current Site Status?

EPA has conducted several five-year reviews of the Site’s remedy. These reviews ensure that the remedies put in place protect public health and the environment, and function as intended by Site decision documents. The most recent, 2014 Five-Year Review (PDF), concluded that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment. The next five-year review is scheduled for 2019.

The PRP has completed the investigation of the groundwater plume east of Schoolhouse Road and is beginning to develop a Feasibility Study that will evaluate options for addressing this contamination. The Feasibility Study is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2019.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.

For more background, see Institutional Controls.

IC’s restricting groundwater are not in place as part of the Record of Decision. However restrictions are in place by an Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Memorandum of Agreement. Additional Information about this agreement is available in the 2014 Five Year Review (PDF) (on page vii).

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