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Halby Chemical

Fact Sheet: August 1995

Impact of Proposed Budget Cuts on Clean-up Activity

The purpose of this fact sheet is to update concerned citizens about the impact of a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on the Halby Chemical Site. This bill will cut 34 percent of EPA's 1996 budget and drastically impact the scheduled clean-up work at the site.

Who is Affected?

The Halby Chemical Site is located near the Port of Wilmington, in New Castle County, Delaware. Citizens living or working near site will be directly affected by the proposed suspension of clean-up work at the site.

What Natural Resources are Affected?

Air, soil, sediment, ground water, and surface water, as well as the Christina River will be affected. Site operations have contaminated on-site soils and surface water, sediments, and ground water both on-site and in the tidal marsh area east of the property. Runoff from the contaminated soil drains into the Christina River.

What will Happen to the Site?

EPA is currently conducting both short-term and long-term clean-up actions at the site. However, if the House bill takes effect as written, EPA must stop work on the long-term clean-up action. Because the parties responsible for the site contamination are conducting the short-term clean-up action, it will continue. However, EPA may not be able to supervise the short-term work. EPA had also planned to decide how to clean up the air, sediment, ground water, and surface water contamination this fall. At this time, EPA is unable to judge when the long-term clean-up work might resume at the site or when the other clean-up decisions might be made.

What Hazardous Wastes will Remain On-site?

Ammonia, carbon disulfide, arsenic, and zinc, are present in the soil, sediments, ground water and surface water on the site. Tidal action is causing some of the contaminants to enter the Christina River. If the House bill takes effect as written, EPA will not be able to begin work to remove the contamination from the site or to design the necessary equipment to prevent contamination from entering the river.

What if There's an Emergency Release at the Site?

If there is an uncontrolled release of hazardous wastes from the site due to fire, vandalism, flood, etc., local authorities will respond first, followed by state hazardous waste personnel. If these units request EPA assistance, regional managers will decide whether people and equipment are available to respond.

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