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EPA to hold public meeting Tuesday, Feb. 13 on proposal of Hockessin Groundwater Site to National Priorities List

DNREC and Delaware’s Division of Public Health will participate

Contact Information: 
Roy Seneca (

PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 2, 2018) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, with support from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), will hold a public meeting on the proposed listing of the Hockessin Groundwater Site to the National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is EPA’s list of sites eligible for remedial action financed under the federal Superfund program. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m. at Hockessin Memorial Hall, 610 Yorklyn Road, Hockessin.

In 2002, DNREC took action to ensure that the public drinking water in the area – which is provided by the Artesian Water Company – is treated to remove contaminants and meets state and federal drinking water standards. Subsequently, DNREC requested additional assistance from EPA in 2016 to help fully investigate the area. The proposed listing will allow EPA to use Superfund authority and resources to work with DNREC to identify the sources of contamination and help resolve the groundwater concerns in the Hockessin area.

“Superfund cleanup in our communities continues to be a priority at EPA as we work to create a safer and healthier environment,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “This public hearing provides Hockessin-area residents a valuable opportunity to learn about the site and to provide comments on the proposed listing to the NPL.”

“Delaware values the collaboration with EPA on investigating the Hockessin Groundwater Site,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “The meeting on the proposed NPL listing offers reassurance to the Hockessin community that we will continue working together to identify the source for contaminants in the groundwater at the site.”

The primary groundwater contaminant of concern in the Hockessin area is tetrachloroethylene (PCE), most commonly used as a dry-cleaning solvent and industrial degreaser. PCE, a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) which can cause adverse human health effects, was identified in a commercial irrigation well, three residential wells, and several public supply wells in the Artesian Water Company’s Hockessin well field. DNREC’s previous actions included installing water treatment systems at the three residential properties impacted by the contamination.

DNREC is working with several potentially responsible parties, and has completed numerous environmental investigations and remedial efforts at sites of potential concern to help determine the extent and potential source(s) of the contamination.

EPA will discuss the proposed listing of the site to the NPL at the public meeting. Representatives from the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the Delaware Division of Public Health will join EPA and DNREC to answer health-related questions.

EPA has opened a public comment period through March 19. Comments can be submitted online at: or by mail sent to:       

US EPA Docket Center
NPL Notice of Proposed Hockessin Groundwater Site
Docket ID # EPA-HQ-OLEM-2017-0604
Mail Code 28221T 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C.  20460

For residents with questions regarding the proposed listing, visit:  or contact: EPA community involvement coordinator Alexander Mandell, 215-814-5517, or by email at: .

For more information regarding the previous DNREC investigations at the Hockessin Groundwater Site, please visit: or contact: Timothy Ratsep, Administrator; Paul Will, Program Manager; or Christina Wirtz, Outreach Ombudsman DNREC Site Investigation and Restoration Section
Email:; or

Superfund Task Force. In May 2017 Administrator Scott Pruitt established a task force to restore EPA's Superfund program to its rightful place at the center of the Agency's core mission to protect health and the environment. Click here to learn more.