IMPORTANT NOTICE – Please Read
Beginning October 1, 2015, this website will undergo improvements. During this time, access to some information may not be immediately available. For assistance locating information, please contact the Community Involvement Coordinator listed below in the "Contacts" section of this page. Thank you for your patience as we work to improve your access to site information.
Delaware City PVC
EPA ID: DED980551667
New Castle, Delaware 19720
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
- EPA has directed the Primarily Responsible Party (PRP) to begin an investigation into contaminated groundwater migration onto the DCPVC site.
EPA and the PRP will begin vapor intrusion studies at various locations adjacent to the DCPVC site in 2015.
- EPA and the PRP will institute further characterization of the groundwater plume beginning in the summer of 2015.
- The Delaware PVC Plant site occupies 400 acres, consisting of a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacturing facility owned and operated by Formosa Plastics Corp. of Delaware and a surrounding contaminated groundwater plume.
- Formed in 1978, Formosa is a privately held company headquartered in Livingston, NJ. It produces plastic resins and petrochemicals at three facilities located in Delaware City, Del., Baton Rouge, La., and Point Comfort, Tex.
- The plant was built in 1966 by Stauffer Chemical Company, which used earthen lagoons and pits to dispose of PVC waste and sludge.
- Groundwater which was used locally for drinking water and agricultural purposes, was heavily contaminated with solvent chemicals emanating from the plant.
- About 50 people live within one mile of the site.
NPL Listing History
|Status: Final||Added: October, 1983|
- EPA signed an agreement with Formosa Plastics Corp. and Stauffer Chemical Co. in 1984, under which the companies agreed to evaluate cleanup alternatives for the site, recommend cleanup options and submit plans to carry out the cleanup.
- A Record of Decision, laying out the cleanup plan, was signed in 1986, stating that the site consisted of 260 acres.
- During the start of the groundwater cleanup in 1986, it was discovered that the plume actually extended farther than the initial boundaries, and the treatment area was extended to 400 acres in size. In 1992, a second plume of groundwater contamination was discovered, requiring additional extraction wells which were installed in 2001.
- In addition to the pump and treat system, the cleanup also included excavating contaminated materials and soil and disposing of them off site; and capping buried sludge pits.
- In February 2004, routine sampling of a drinking water well near the site uncovered concentrations of ethylene dichloride at levels above drinking water standards. The responsible parties provided bottled water to nearby homes and businesses, and subsequently hooked them all up to the municipal water supply.
- The site’s third five-year review was completed in September 2009, and the cleanup was found to be protective of human health and the environment.
- The Delaware City PVC Superfund site’s third five-year review was completed in September of 2009 and found that the cleanup is still protective of human health and the environment.
- The cleanup, performed by the responsible parties, Formosa Plastics and Stauffer Chemical, consisted of the construction of a groundwater pump and treat system to address the contaminated groundwater beneath the site. It has been operational since 1991.
- Additional extraction wells to pump out the groundwater were added in 2001, when a second plume of groundwater contamination was found at the site. The size of the both groundwater contamination plumes has been shrinking year-by-year.
- In addition to the contaminated groundwater at the PVC facility, in 2004 separate contamination (ethylene dichloride) was found in a nearby drinking water well, although it was not clear if that contamination was associated with the site itself.
- Nevertheless, the responsible parties immediately supplied nearby businesses and residences with bottled water, and other nearby private wells were sampled on a regular basis.
- In 2007, the responsible parties agreed to supply hook-ups to the municipal water supply for all those businesses and residences that were receiving bottled water. Those connections were completed by the end of 2009.
- EPA plans a Five-Year Review at the Site later in 2014.
- Groundwater under the site has been heavily contaminated with trichloroethylene, 1,2-dichloroethane, and vinyl chloride, all chemical components of solvents and degreases.
- Contaminant descriptions and risk factors are available from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, an arm of the CDC.
- To search an on-line database of all documents and reports on the Dover Gas Light site, go to EPA’s Administrative Record Database.
- All documents and reports can also be reviewed in person at these locations:
Delaware City Public Library
250 5th Street
Delaware City, DE 19706
U.S. EPA Region III
1650 Arch Street-6th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Call for an appointment.
- Some of the site’s key documents of interest are accessible below.
Fourth Five-Year Review (PDF) (76 pp, 2.91 MB)
- 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)
- Tell us how to better engage with your community.
- Federal Register
07/07/2005: DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. Notice of Lodging of Consent Decree Pursuant to the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Emergency Planning and Community Right To Know Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.
- Public Notice
May 2014 (PDF) (1 p, 213 K)