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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Akzo Chemicals, Incorporated, Delaware City, Delaware

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The Akzo Nobel Chemicals, Inc. (Akzo) Facility is located in Delaware City, New Castle County, Delaware. The property is bordered on the west by Route 13, on the north by the Conrail Railroad tracks, on the east by Schoolhouse Road, and on the south by Formosa Plastics, American Mirrex and Route 72 (Wrangle Hill Road).

Cleanup Status

In 2007, engineered caps were installed over the white resinous material found in the soil in the Barren, capped Landfill and some adjacent low-lying areas. These caps were installed to eliminate exposure risks posed by elevated levels of hexavalent chromium, nickel and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) in the soil/resin.

Groundwater (GW) contamination was identified beneath a former Carbon Disulfide manufacturing plant (eastern side) where PCE and trichloroethylene (TCE) levels exceeded State and federal Drinking Water standards. Akzo submitted a Corrective Measures Study (CMS) to EPA that summarized alternatives proposed for remediating contaminated soil and groundwater at the Facility. In February 2012, Akzo submitted an In-situ Chemical Oxidation Treatability Study Work Plan to EPA (later revised in November 2012) which proposed testing whether chemical oxidation would effectively break down PCE/TCE in the GW plume. Akzo began implementing the treatability study in July 2013 through January 2014. The findings of the Treatability investigation were submitted to EPA in March 2015.  

On June 8, 2017, EPA issued a Statement of Basis (SB) for the Facility which described the information gathered during the environmental investigations on- and off-site of the Facility and presented a proposed Final Remedy for the Facility. EPA's Final Remedy for the Akzo Study Area and the off-site groundwater plume consists of: 
1. Establishment a Technical Impracticability (TI) Zone on the Akzo Study Area encompassing the groundwater plume consisting of metals. Long-term monitoring of groundwater will confirm plume stability and any contaminant trends.
2. Monitored natural attenuation (MNA) of the chlorinated volatile organic compound (cVOC) groundwater plume that includes a small area of he Akzo Study Area and an off-site area.
3.  Institutional controls for implementation of land and groundwater use restrictions. Because contaminants remain in the Landfill and Barren Areas and in GW at levels above what EPA considers acceptable for residential use, EPA's Final Remedy requires land use restrictions to restrict activities that may result in human exposure to those contaminants. EPA proposes that such restrictions be implemented and maintained through institutional controls.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Akzo Chemicals, Incorporated, Delaware City, Delaware


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The Akzo Nobel Chemicals, Inc. (Akzo) Facility is located in Delaware City, New Castle County, Delaware. The property is bordered on the west by Route 13, on the north by the Conrail Railroad tracks, on the east by Schoolhouse Road, and on the south by Formosa Plastics and Bilcare Research, Inc., and Route 72 (Wrangle Hill Road).

Akzo was constructed and began production in 1960 under original ownership of the Stauffer Chemical Company (Stauffer). Akzo acquired the property from Stauffer on or about December 21, 1987, and continued to operate it until 1992, when the Facility was dismantled and closed under the supervision of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).

The Facility consisted of: (1) a decommissioned Carbon Disulfide manufacturing plant situated on a 52-acre area which included closed-loop process units, a wastewater treatment system, storage and loading areas, underground storage (gasoline) tanks and an unknown substance, two land disposal areas, a Barren Area and Capped Landfill, and two small wetland areas; (2) a 123-acre Agricultural Parcel; and a (3) 16-acre undeveloped parcel. The plant generated carbon disulfide and sodium hydrosulfide. Sodium hydrosulfide and waste oil were the only documented hazardous waste constituents stored in the drum storage area. Off-specification sulfur and ceramic brick debris were disposed of in the Barren Area and the Capped Landfill.

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Contaminants at this Facility

The contaminants that are present in GW are elevated levels of chromium hexavalent, nickel, and tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE).  Elevated levels of PCE and TCE in GW were detected beneath the eastern side of the Carbon Disulfide (CS2) manufacturing plant.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional Controls include:

1. The Akzo Study Area shall not be used for any purposes other than industrial or commercial use unless demonstrated to EPA that such use will not pose a hazard to human health or the environment and EPA provides prior written approval .
2. All earth moving activities at the Facility (excluding the Agricultural Parcel), including excavation, drilling and construction will be conducted in ways that will not adversely affect or interfere with the Final Remedy, including the Capped Landfill and Barren Area engineered caps and will not adversely affect human health and the environment.
3. Compliance with an approved Cap Management Plan (CMP) for the Landfill and Barren Area Caps. The CMP will be submitted for EPA review, approval and, at a minimum, must include the following: the procedures used to maintain the Caps over the contaminated soil; an inspection schedule to ensure Cap maintenance, at least annually.
4. Compliance with an EPA approved groundwater monitoring plan.
5. Compliance with DNREC' s Delaware City Industrial Area Groundwater Management Zone (GMZ) requirements.
6. Compliance with an EPA approved vapor intrusion (VI) Assessment Plan for any occupied structures within 100 feet ofthe VOC plume or planned to be constructed on or within 100 feet ofthe VOC plume, for on- and off-Site areas of impact.

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    Land Reuse Information at this Facility

    In addition to the 52 acre former plant site is a 123 acre agricultural parcel and a 16 acre undeveloped parcel of land.

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    Site Responsibility at this Facility

    Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action activities are being conducted under the direction of the EPA Region 3 with assistance from Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

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