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EPA Environmental News

Contact: Ruth Podems (215) 814-5540
September 8, 1998

EPA Reimburses New Castle County for Landfill Cleanup Costs

PHILADELPHIA - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently reimbursed New Castle County, Del. $1.2 million for the cleanup of the Army Creek Landfill, located two miles southwest of the city of New Castle.

The payment comes under the terms of a mixed funding agreement, by which the EPA agreed to use Superfund money to reimburse the county 40 percent of the landfill's
eligible cleanup costs which totaled $3,120,016.

Reimbursement was withheld on approximately $37,500, reducing the payback by approximately $15,000, pending documentation of some New Castle County receipts.
EPA will continue to reimburse New Castle County 40 percent of its water treatment plant operational costs through 2004.

The mixed funding agreement included 18 parties, as well as New Castle County, who were responsible for cleaning up the Army Creek Landfill site. The county agreed to
construct and operate a water treatment plant adjacent to the 60-acre landfill to clean up ground water contamination originally found in residential wells located in the adjacent Langollen Estates housing development.

Mixed funding agreements avoid costly litigation and expedite cleanup of Superfund sites by enabling cooperative liable parties and EPA to share costs. EPA later pursues uncooperative liable parties for the money reimbursed to those who cooperated.

Army Creek Landfill is an abandoned sand and gravel quarry that was operated by New Castle County from 1960 through 1968, for disposal of 1.9 million cubic yards of
municipal and industrial waste. In 1972, ground water contamination was discovered in the adjacent Langollen Estates housing development. Subsequent investigation of the underlying Potomac Aquifer revealed a plume of organic and inorganic chemicals spreading from the landfill, including benzene, methylene chloride, cadmium, chromium,
mercury and nickel.

Construction of a pump and treat system, to extract the contaminated ground water and clean it, was completed in 1994. They system is preventing the spread of contaminants from the landfill. Following a review to ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup solution, EPA will delete the site from the National Priorities List of hazardous

The federal Superfund is financed with a tax on crude oil and 42 commercially used chemicals for cleanup of the nation's most severely contaminated hazardous waste
sites. Congress has not reauthorized collection of the tax since 1986. EPA relies on its aggressive enforcement activities and remaining trust fund monies to finance cleanup. EPA estimates, however, the fund will be depleted within two years.