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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Chemtrade Solutions LLC (Formerly: General Chemical Corporation) in Claymont, Delaware

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Cleanup Status

In addition to the Delaware Valley Works (DVW)  South Parcel cap and the Delaware River sediments investigation, EPA is currently working with the facility to investigate the North Parcel of the DVW South Plant. The data resulting from these investigations will be used to evaluate and characterize the nature and extent of potential contamination. EPA and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will oversee all investigations, interim actions and cleanup activities conducted at the GCC facility.

On-Site Status

Construction of an impermeable cap on a 22-acre parcel of the Delaware Valley Works (DVW) South Plant, known as the DVW South Parcel, was completed in early 2019.    Land use restrictions for the DVW South Parcel have been formalized by the execution of an environmental covenant.  The cap and land use restrictions are requirements of the EPA Corrective Action  Final Decision signed on May 10, 2016.  

Off-Shore Status

In the Fall of 2008, EPA collected sediment samples in the Delaware River basin in areas contiguous to the General Chemical Corporation's (GCC) facility. The data resulting from this effort indicated elevated levels of arsenic, lead and DDT in the sediment media.  Since then site specific preliminary remediation goals (PRGs) have been established for the contaminants of concern in the river sediments.  Sampling in the river, to fully delineate the extent of the contaminated sediments, will continue until the PRGs are achieved.  Additionally, the scope of the investigation has increased to include the groundwater of the DVW South Plant as a potential source of the arsenic contamination and the DVW storm water sewer system, believed to be a transport mechanism for contamination getting to the river sediments.   Accumulated soil/sediments from the pipelines of the storm water sewer system in the DVW North Plant and the North Parcel of the DVW South Plant were removed and the system was cleaned in the Spring and Summer 2012.

Cleanup Background

In September 2000, EPA issued an Administrative Order to GCC pursuant to Section 3008(h) of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) (Order) which requires a Facility-wide investigation and cleanup of the former GCC facility in Claymont, DE.  The requirements of the Order include:

• Interim Measures/Stabilization, where appropriate, to achieve the initial goal of controlling ground water releases and controlling current human and ecological exposure to contaminated media;

• RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) if warranted, to provide more in-depth information about Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs), and;

• Corrective Measures Study (CMS) if warranted, to propose final cleanup actions needed.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Chemtrade Solutions LLC, Claymont, Delaware

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The former General Chemical facility also known as the Delaware Valley Works (DVW) was a chemical manufacturing plant located in Claymont, New Castle County, Delaware. The Facility consists of approximately one hundred acres, which is divided by Route 13 into two separate plants, referred to as the “DVW North Plant” and “DVW South Plant”. Two-thirds of the DVW North Plant is located in Pennsylvania with the remainder situated in Delaware. Virtually all of the DVW South Plant is located in Delaware. A variety of inorganic chemicals and pesticides were manufactured at the Facility during different periods since it began operation in the very late 1890’s. General Chemical acquired the Facility from Allied Signal in 1986. Allied Signal retained ownership of several contiguous parcels of property upon which chemical operations were conducted and continue today and one inactive parcel known as Solid Waste Management Unit-9 (SWMU-9) in the DVW South Plant.  In 2004, Honeywell re-acquired the DVW North Plant from GCC. 

In October 2002, General Chemical and certain of its affiliates filed a voluntary petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for reorganization relief. General Chemical subsequently emerged from bankruptcy under an approved Reorganization Plan in October 2003.  On January 23, 2014, Chemtrade Solutions LLC (Chemtrade) acquired GCC.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Metals, volatile organic compounds and pesticides, including DDT, are the main constituents of concern found in soils, sediments and groundwater at the facility.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional Controls at the facility include:
1. The South Parcel shall be restricted to commercial and/or industrial purposes and shall not be used for residential purposes unless it is demonstrated to EPA, in consultation with DNREC, that such use will not pose a threat to human health or the environment or adversely affect or interfere with the selected remedy and EPA, in consultation with DNREC, provides prior written approval. 
2. All monitoring, maintenance and inspections of the cap required in Section E.l of the Statement of Basis shall be conducted in compliance with an EPA/ Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) approved CMP.
3. Groundwater at the South Parcel shall not be used for any purpose other than to conduct the operation, maintenance, and monitoring activities required by DNREC and/or EPA, unless it is demonstrated to EPA, that such use will not pose a threat to human health or the environment or adversely affect or interfere with the final remedy and EPA provides prior written approval for such use and no new wells will be installed on the South Parcel property unless it is demonstrated to EPA that such wells are necessary to implement the final remedy and EPA provides prior written approval to such wells.
4. Any earth moving activities, including excavation, drilling, and construction activities, in the area at the South Parcel where any contaminants remain in soils above EPA Region III's Screening Levels for Industrial Soils or in groundwater above their MCLs  or EPA health based screening level for tap water, shall be conducted in compliance with and EP A/DNREC approved Materials Management Plan (MMP). 

Engineering Controls at the Facility include:
1. Cap Management Plan (CMP) shall be submitted for EPA and the DNREC review and approval and, at a minimum must include the following: the procedures to maintain the cap over the contaminated soil; a schedule for inspections to be performed as part of cap maintenance, no less frequent than once a year; physical maintenance requirements ofthe capped areas to prevent degradation ofthe cap and unacceptable exposure to the underlying soil.
2. Materials Management Plan (MMP) for all earth moving activities, including excavation, drilling and construction activities in the South Plant where any contaminants remain in oils above EPA Region Ill's Screening Levels for Industrial Soils or in groundwater above their MCLs or EPA Region III's Tap Water Risk Screening Levels shall be submitted for EPA and DNREC review and approval.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The South Parcel of the DVW South Plant has been redeveloped  into an operational 240-car railyard.  The North Parcel of the DVW South Plant has completed closure activities and is not operational. The DVW North Plant maintains its current use and there has been no reuse of the facility property to date.

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Site Responsibility at this Facility

RCRA Corrective Action activities are being conducted under the direction of the EPA Region 3 with assistance from Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

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