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Standard Chlorine of Delaware, Inc.

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Site Description

The Standard Chlorine of Delaware, Inc. site (aka Metachem), a 65 acre site in New Castle County, DE, was used to make chlorinated benzene compounds from 1966 to 2002. In the 1980s, over 569,000 gallons of chlorobenzenes and related chemicals spilled on the site, contaminating the groundwater, soil, sediments, surface water, and nearby wetlands. In 2002, the site's owner declared bankruptcy and abruptly closed the facility, leaving an additional 40 million pounds of chlorobenzenes and related chemicals in insecure tanks, pipelines, process vessels, and treatment systems. The State issued and maintains a fish consumption advisory on nearby Red Lion Creek for PCBs and dioxin.

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • EPA developed innovative plans for consolidating and separating the chemicals, and determining which materials had to be handled as waste, products or recyclables. It then returned over 500,000 gallons of chemicals to commerce, saving millions in disposal costs. Properly disposed of over 150,000 gallons of waste chemicals.
  • In September 2004, after other cleanup methods were considered not feasible, EPA published an amended cleanup plan. The new plan included incinerating 1.3 million gallons of bulk liquid chemicals in a permitted, off-site facility.
  • EPA is designing a subsurface barrier around the source of groundwater contamination to prevent further contamination of nearby wetlands and Red Lion Creek.
  • EPA is studying the nature and extent of contamination in the chemical plant and other areas not previously investigated by EPA.
  • Since 2002, EPA's Superfund Removal program and the State of Delaware emergency response personnel have worked to stabilize the site and reduce the threat posed by the hazardous materials remaining onsite.
  • In 1995, EPA issued its first cleanup plan for the site.
  • In May of 1996, EPA issued Standard Chlorine a Unilateral Order for implementation of a portion of the work outlined in the March 1995 Record of Decision (ROD).
  • EPA continues to monitor the site to ensure there is no immediate threat to human health or the environment, other than those currently being addressed by EPA's Superfund Removal program, pending the start of long-term cleanup work.

Current Funding Status

  • EPA has provided more than $25 million for site stabilization and soil and groundwater cleanup actions at the site.
  • EPA's Superfund Removal program will continue to address any immediate threats to human health and the environment at the site.
  • The site did not complete the design phase in Fiscal Year 2004; therefore, construction funding was not needed.

For more information on the projects at this site, please read the Standard Chlorine of Delaware, Inc. Fact Sheet on the Region 3 Superfund Web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • EPA has provided more than $25 million for site stabilization and soil and groundwater cleanup actions at the site.
  • Separated 2.3 million gallons of mixed chlorobenzenes, easing their onsite storage and eventual removal from the site.
  • Returned over 500,000 gallons of chemicals to commerce, saving millions in disposal costs. Properly disposed of over 150,000 gallons of waste chemicals.
  • Decontaminated process vessels and equipment, enabling safe shutdown of costly boilers and treatment systems.

 

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