EPA Removes Chem-Solv Site from List of Nation’s Most Contaminated Sites
PHILADELPHIA (Aug. 23, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is deleting the Chem-Solv, Inc. site in Cheswold, Delaware, from the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is a list of the nation’s most contaminated hazardous waste sites.
“While EPA encourages site reuse throughout the cleanup process, deletions from the NPL can revitalize communities, raise property values, and promote economic growth by signaling to potential developers and financial institutions that cleanup is complete,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “Achieving this milestone can be especially impactful for communities.”
EPA deletes sites or parts of sites from the NPL when no further cleanup is required to protect human health or the environment. Years, and sometimes decades, of complex investigation and cleanup work have gone into getting these sites to the point where they can be deleted from the NPL.
President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will accelerate EPA’s work to help communities clean up these contaminated sites with a $3.5 billion investment in the Superfund Remedial Program and reinstates the Superfund chemical excise taxes, making it one of the largest investments in American history to address legacy pollution.
This historic investment strengthens EPA’s ability to tackle threats to human health and the environment, and EPA has already set action in motion to clear the backlog of the 49 contaminated sites which had been awaiting funding to start remedial action.
The Chem-Solv, Inc. site is located on a 1.5-acre property in Cheswold, Delaware. Chem-Solv was a small solvent distillation facility beginning in 1982. The facility recycled waste solvents, but in 1984, an explosion and fire at the site destroyed the facility. After the fire, authorities evaluated the Columbia Aquifer beneath the site and found high concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily trichloroethene (TCE). TCE is a heavy, colorless, highly toxic liquid used as a solvent to clean electronic components and for dry cleaning.
Groundwater recovery, such as a “pump and treat” method to remove groundwater and purify, was conducted from 1997-2017. In 2017, groundwater sampling showed concentrations had dropped below EPA thresholds and groundwater extraction and treatment was conditionally discontinued.
Since then, quarterly groundwater sampling shows that all contaminants remain below EPA’s federal groundwater quality standards. Based on this monitoring data, EPA determined that the response at the Chem-Solv Site is complete and as a result, the site has been deleted from the NPL.
To keep the public informed of these actions, EPA published a Federal Register Notice on March 22, proposing to delete the Chem-Solve Site from the NPL and opening a 60-day comment period. No adverse comments were received.
For more information visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/chemsolv.