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NVF Yorklyn

EPA Region 3 (Mid-Atlantic)

Yorklyn, Delaware
New Castle County

EPA ID# DE0000122218

1st Congressional District

Last Update: November 2007
EPA will provide future updates on an as-needed basis.

Other Names


Current Site Status

The NVF Company continues to work under a Removal Consent Order at their Yorklyn facility to prevent the migration of zinc and mercury from the No. 1 Mill area into the Red Clay Creek. Actions have been taken to stop all active wet operations in the No. 1 Mill, remove the zinc solutions from approximately 33 process vats, replace leaking underground piping and remove approximately 150 bottles of chemicals. In order to conduct the remaining cleanup, 9 of the 16 buildings which comprise the No. 1 Mill must be demolished in order to remove processing liquids from abandoned vats and potentially contaminated soil. Demolition is required since the buildings are structurally unsound and in advanced stages of deterioration.

Demolition and the additional removal actions have been delayed when it was determined that the buildings may be eligible for the inclusion on the Historic Register and requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) must be met prior to demolition. EPA has been working with the Delaware State Historic Preservation Office (DE SHPO) on conducting the necessary steps for mitigation of the historic buildings prior to any further work. A Memorandum of Agreement has been signed between EPA and the DE SHPO which documents what historical preservation actions must be taken prior to the final cleanup. A historical preservation group has been formed to assist in the NHPA actions. Upon completion of the historical documentation, the necessary demolition will occur and the remaining zinc contamination removed. Due to interest from local historical groups, two of the buildings are being evaluated for stabilization rather than demolition. The demolition work may be delayed until Spring of 2005.

Site Description

The NVF Yorklyn facility is located at the intersection of Route 82 and Yorklyn Road in Yorklyn, Delaware, approximately two miles south of the Pennsylvania and Delaware state line. The Red Clay Creek borders the Site on the northern, eastern, and southern sides. The NVF Yorklyn facility originally encompassed an area of approximately 88 acres, with the area surrounding the Site rural and lightly residential. Recent sales of portions of the site have occurred. The NVF Company has been manufacturing vulcanized fiber products at the facility since 1904.
Site Responsibility
This Site is being addressed by a Potentially Responsible Party under an EPA Superfund Removal Order.
NPL Listing History
This Site is not on the National Priorities List.

Threats and Contaminants

EPA has identified elevated concentrations of zinc and mercury in the soils, sediment, groundwater and surface water at and around the No. 1 Mill area of the NVF Yorklyn facility and portions of the Red Clay Creek adjacent to the No. 1 mill. Concentrations of zinc and mercury in the Red Clay Creek sediments exceed both chronic and acute levels considered by the National Ocean Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources (DNREC) as presenting risk to aquatic organisms.

Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.

Cleanup Progress

In November 1995, the EPA Water Management Division requested that the Removal program conduct an assessment of the Site to determine if on-going NPDES violations and releases of zinc from non-point sources were impacting the Red Clay Creek. At that time, DNREC requested that EPA postpone the assessment and allow DNREC to develop a strategy with NVF Company for Site cleanup. In May 1996, DNREC requested that the EPA perform the assessment to determine the impacts to the Red Clay Creek. In May 1997, a removal assessment was conducted and it was determined that a threat to public health, welfare, and/or the environment exists due to the actual release of hazardous substances from the Site. Subsequently, NVF Company and EPA entered into an Administrative Order by Consent on June 30, 1998 to conduct a removal action to eliminate or reduce the release of zinc, mercury and other hazardous substances into Red Clay Creek from the NVF Yorklyn facility. NVF has completed an Extent of Contamination Study to further evaluate the contamination located in the soils and groundwater at and around the No. 1 Mill, identify the potential sources of the zinc contamination and eliminate the further release of zinc into Red Clay Creek.


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