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 574,000 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 for PCBs and dioxin on nearby Red Lion Creek.
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 8.4 million pounds of chemicals to commerce, saving approximately $11.1 million in disposal costs and properly disposed of over 1.4 million pounds of waste chemicals.
- EPA is studying the nature and extent of contamination in the chemical plant and other areas not previously investigated by EPA.
- 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).
- 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 on-site.
- In 2005, EPA published an amended cleanup plan. The new plan includes incinerating (PDF) (521 K, 2 pp) 1.3 million gallons of bulk liquid chemicals in a permitted, off-site facility. $6.26 million in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2005 Remedial Action Funding was approved for this liquid chemical disposal and physical disposal will begin early in 2006.
- In September 2005, EPA completed the design of an underground barrier around the source of groundwater contamination to prevent further contamination of nearby wetlands and Red Lion Creek. $4.2 million in FY05 Remedial Action Funding was approved for this project and physical construction will begin in early 2006.
- 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 $42 million for site stabilization and soil and groundwater cleanup actions at the Site, including a total of $10.26 million in Remedial Action funding in FY05.
- EPA's Superfund Removal program is addressing the Site's immediate threats to human health and the environment.
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.
- EPA has provided more than $42 million for site stabilization and soil and groundwater cleanup actions at the Site.
- Returned over 8.4 million pounds of chemicals to commerce, saving approximately $11.1 million in disposal costs. Properly disposed of over 1.4 million pounds of waste chemicals.
- Arranged for the sale of most on-site structures and equipment, contingent upon its removal from the Site by the buyer. Approximately 20% of the plant facilities have been removed so far and work is ongoing.