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September 2, 2003
Volume 33, Number 245
Division of Air and Waste Management

Contact: Marjorie Crofts, Management and Support, phone: (302) 739-4764
or Melinda Carl, Communications, phone: (302) 739-4506

New Fact Sheet on Cleanup Activities at Metachem Available; See the Metachem Link on DNREC Website: www.dnrec.state.de.us

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have released an eleventh fact sheet on the cleanup operations at Metachem Products LLC.

The Fact Sheet provides the public with an update of recent design activities for the soil/sediment and groundwater cleanup and the chlorobenzene removal and separation project operations.

Additional soil and data sampling results from the 2003 study show that the chlorinated benzene compound contamination in the soil piles and upland areas around the facility has not spread to adjacent areas since 1993; however, the study concludes that since 1993, contamination in nearby wetlands has spread downward and laterally in the sediments.

This new area of contamination does not pose any additional impacts to human health. EPA is studying the feasibility of using in-situ chemical oxidation at the site. This technology involves injection of oxidants just below ground level to break down and clean up the contamination.

Groundwater testing data during the last several months show the groundwater plume is stable and not expanding in the Columbia aquifer system and that the Potomac aquifer remains unaffected. Groundwater samples from Columbia aquifer wells, located across Red Lion Creek and across the tributary west of the site also show no contamination.

The chlorobenzene removal and separation program began 24 hours per day, seven days per week July 17, 2003. As of Aug. 27, 2003 over 675,000 gallons of chlorinated benzene compound mixture has been separated into two separate chlorobenzene mixtures and solidified. The operation continues to separate nearly 10,000 pounds of mixture per hour and is expected to continue for the next six months.

The fact sheet can be obtained in several ways. It is available on DNREC's web site at www.dnrec.state.de.us by clicking on the "Metachem Cleanup" link on the front page. DNREC has also set up a listserv so that those interested can have the fact sheets electronically mailed to them. To sign up, go to www.dnrec.state.de.us/dnrec2000/ and select "DNREC Direct." Check "DNREC Metachem List" and then select "Join Checked Lists." For those without access to a computer, you may request that a copy of each fact sheet be mailed to you by calling Gayle Govorko at (302) 739-4764 and signing up for the Metachem mailing list.

In addition to DNREC's web site mentioned above, EPA has also established a web site: www.epaosc.net/Metachem. There is also a hot link to this site from DNREC's site. EPA's web site includes pictures of major activities that have occurred each week since Metachem announced the plant's closure along with weekly status reports of site activities.

For additional information, contact Marjorie Crofts, (302) 739-4764.

 

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