Delaware Sand and Gravel Landfill
EPA ID: DED000605972
New Castle County, DE
Congressional District: 1st
Other Names: None
Last Updated: January 2015
The EPA is dedicated to providing you with timely and accurate information about our work at this site. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:
Larry C. Johnson
215-814-3239 or (800) 553-2509
On This Page
- The Delaware Sand & Gravel Landfill Remedial Trust (DS&G Trust), which represents the companies responsible for cleaning up the site, is currently performing a feasibility study (FS) to evaluate additional cleanup options for the Drum Disposal Area and groundwater contamination in the Upper Potomac Aquifer. The FS began in September 2011 and has included additional field work in order to delineate the extent of contamination and evaluate cleanup options.
- In 2016, EPA expects to issue a proposed remedial action plan to address contamination remaining at the Drum Disposal Area and groundwater containing BCEE, 1,4-dioxane, benzene and other Site-related contaminants.
- The site covers 27 acres and is located about two miles from the City of New Castle, DE. It is located adjacent to another Superfund site, the Army Creek Landfill.
- Formerly, a sand and gravel quarry, the site is now an inactive industrial waste landfill. Portions of the site are used as a salvage yard and a propane supply business.
- Landfilling operations started in 1968. Industrial waste and construction debris, including thousands of drums of hazardous material, were landfilled there. The site was closed as a landfill in 1976, following an enforcement action by the State.
- The 3-acre Drum Disposal Area was a repository for at least 13,000 drums of liquid sludge from chemical production, manufacturing and petroleum refining.
- The half-acre Ridge Area had hot spots of contaminated surface soil due to chemical spills.
- The 2-acre Grantham South Area and the 11-acre Inert Disposal Area each contain mixed chemical wastes buried 20 to 40 feet thick.
- Hazardous substances from the site have migrated into the underlying groundwater of the shallow Columbia Aquifer and the deeper Upper Potomac Aquifer which is used as a drinking water source.
- In 1971 contamination was found in a private well near the adjacent Army Creek Landfill.
- Beginning in the early 1970s, nearby residents who had private water supply wells were put on the public water supply from the Artesian Water Company which supplies water to the overall community.
NPL Listing History
- 1983-4 EPA removed over 1,600 drums from the Drum Disposal Area, a security fence was installed and site studies began.
- EPA issued its initial Record of Decision (ROD) outlining the cleanup measures in 1988 and amended that document in 1993 based on new information
- A cap over the Grantham South Area was completed in 1991.
- Excavation of contaminated soil in the Ridge Area was completed in 1996.
- Removal of debris, construction of a multi-layer landfill cap with a gas-venting system, and installation of a security fence were all completed in the Inert Disposal Area in 1997.
- The Drum Disposal Area continues to be a major source of contamination in the groundwater. Several cleanup measures have been implemented, including:
- Installation of an underground slurry wall;
- Excavation of drums and contaminated soil;
- Construction of a bio-venting system, whereby oxygen is supplied to live microbes in the soil enabling them to break down hazardous substances;
- Since 2004, New Castle County and the DS&G Trust have operated a groundwater extraction well at the site in an effort to capture contaminants that have already been released into the Upper Potomac Aquifer.
- Although all these measures have been somewhat successful, residual contamination from the Drum Disposal Area has been resistant to cleanup and continues to migrate into groundwater.
- Therefore, in the spring of 2009, the DS&G Trust began to pump contaminated groundwater at the Drum Disposal Area to the County's wastewater treatment plant in an effort to keep contaminants from reaching the Upper Potomac Aquifer.
- Since 2000, the Artesian Water Company, which supplies water to the community, has been treating water from its Llangollen well field with carbon to remove the chemical bis(2-chloroethyl)ether, or BCEE, a contaminant which has been traced to the Delaware Sand & Gravel site.
- Construction of the remedies selected from the 1988 Record of Decision (ROD) and 1993 ROD amendment are finished.
- The site is now in the operation and maintenance phase which includes landfill cover maintenance, groundwater extraction and quarterly groundwater and vapor testing.
- The 2005 five-year review found that the cleanup of the former Drum Disposal Area was not performing as designed.
- In 2009, groundwater began to be pumped from the Drum Disposal Area to the local wastewater treatment plant to control the movement of contaminated groundwater from the shallow Columbia Aquifer to the the deeper Upper Potomac Aquifer.
- Contaminants found in groundwater include benzene, bis(2-chloroethyl)ether,1,2-dichloroethane, 1,4-dioxane and ethylbenzene. Contaminants found in soil included benzene, bis(2-chloroethyl)ether, 1,2-dichloroethane, methylene chloride, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), arsenic, antimony and lead.
- Contaminant descriptions and associated risk factors are available at: (ATSDR web site).
- To search an on-line database of all documents and reports on the Delaware Sand and Gravel Landfill site, go to EPA’s Administrative Record Database.
- All documents and reports can also be reviewed in person at these locations:
Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control,
391 Lukens Drive
New Castle, DE 19720
U.S. EPA Region 3 NPL Public Docket
c/o U.S. EPA Region 3 Library
1650 Arch Street, 2nd floor (3PM52)
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below.
Feasibility Study Work Plan
Main Text and Tables (PDF) (159 pp, 9.37MB)
Appendices 1-1 through 3-12 and_11-2 (PDF) (883 pp, 75.7MB)
Appendix 11-1 Sampling and Analysis (PDF) (1273 pp, 26.4MB)
- Submit a FOIA Request
Get instructions on how to submit a FOIA request. $Fee$ for requests over 100 pages.
- This is Superfund: A Community Guide to EPA's Superfund Program (PDF) (12 pp, 1.1MB)
- Fact Sheet
October 2004 (PDF) (6 pp, 1.63MB)
- A special "wear-surface" cap was installed over a five-acre portion of the Inert Disposal Area. The "wear surface" cap was designed to withstand daily use as a storage lot for heavy equipment.
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