U.S. Department of Defense, Delaware to pay $3.6 million for cleanup of former landfill near Governor Bacon Health Center
PHILADELPHIA (Dec. 16, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the U.S. Department of Defense and the state of Delaware have agreed to reimburse EPA $3,590,985 for its cleanup of a former landfill at the Governor Bacon Health Center/Fort DuPont State Park near Delaware City.
The U.S. Army owned and operated the Fort DuPont military base from the 1860s to 1947. Fort DuPont served as a Civil War gun battery, a World War I era field training, proving ground, and target practice site and a World War II artillery base and prisoner of war camp. The Army also operated an incinerator adjacent to the landfill.
In 1947, the site was transferred to Delaware, which opened the Governor Bacon Health Center (GBHC) in 1948. Delaware is the current owner of the 380-acre property, which is adjacent to the Delaware River, and includes the GBHC and Fort DuPont State Park.
EPA performed a cleanup of the former landfill from April 2014 to March 2015 to mitigate releases of lead-contaminated soils and sediment into the Delaware River.
The proposed consent decree filed in federal district court in Wilmington on Dec. 16, requires Delaware to pay $1,889,992 and the U.S. Department of Defense to pay $1,700,993 to reimburse EPA for its cleanup costs.
The agreement was reached under the federal Superfund law -- formally known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) -- which requires landowners, waste generators and waste transporters responsible for contaminating a Superfund site to clean up the site, or to reimburse the government or other parties for cleanup activities. See https://www.epa.gov/superfund
The settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval. https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees