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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey

On this page:

  • Cleanup Status
  • Site Description
  • Contaminants at this Facility
  • Site Responsibility

Cleanup Status

Due to the substantial off-site soil and sediment contamination along Acid Brook and Wanaque River, remedial actions have been focused on investigating and cleaning up the areas. All soil contamination at off-site properties near Acid Brook was cleaned up. The on-site portions of the Acid Brook and its banks were also cleaned up. Contaminated soil at residential and public properties along the Wanaque River is currently being cleaned up. Contaminated soil in upland portions of the delta where Acid Brook meets Pompton Lake were excavated and sent off-site for disposal, as was soil from along the Wanaque River on-site where hazardous wastes were found.

In 1998, DuPont installed a groundwater recovery system along the southeast boundary of the site to pump, treat, and re-inject the treated groundwater into infiltration beds down-gradient. A groundwater monitoring program is in place to assess the effectiveness of the system and quality of the groundwater. 

To address the vapor intrusion exposure pathway, DuPont offered to install a sub-slab depressurization system in those residences that are potentially impacted by vapor intrusion from groundwater. In parallel, DuPont will evaluate techniques and methods to accelerate the cleanup of the groundwater plume.

Further investigation of the on-site portions of this facility still needs to be completed.  The investigation will be done in phases due to the size of the facility and the need to prioritize re-development of certain portions of the former operating area. NJDEP will restrict any use of the property that may be a human health threat. The groundwater pumping and monitoring systems will continue. NJDEP will also impose restrictions on the use of groundwater for as long as it remains contaminated.

DuPont will further define the groundwater plume off-site and develop corrective measures to address the groundwater contamination. In the interim, DuPont will continue offering to install a protective vapor mitigation system in the residences that are potentially impacted by vapor intrusion from the groundwater plume.

Additional sediment investigation and remediation will be conducted in the Acid Brook Delta Area of Pompton Lake.  DuPont will prepare a remedial action work plan to address the Acid Brook Delta sediment.

Site Description

E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Company is located at 2000 Cannonball Road, Pompton Lakes, New Jersey. The DuPont Pompton Lakes Works site (DuPont) occupies approximately 570 acres of land in Pompton Lakes and Wanaque.

Two parallel valleys (Wanaque River and Acid Brook) run through the site north to south. Land use in the vicinity of the site is predominantly residential and commercial, but also includes undeveloped areas, an interstate highway (Route 287) and state-owned forest.

DuPont conducted operations at the site from 1902 to April 1994, when the facility closed. DuPont manufactured lead azide, aluminum, or bronze shelled blasting caps and operated processes producing metal wires and aluminum and copper shells. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Administrative Consent Order (ACO), NJDEP Ground Water Permit (NJPDES-DGW), and the EPA HSWA Permit require cleanup of the facility (on-site and off-site).

Contaminants at this Facility

DuPont’s manufacturing operations and waste management practices at the site resulted in releases to soil, sediment, and groundwater. The primary contaminants are lead and mercury in soil and sediment, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the groundwater. 

Releases of lead and mercury contaminated the sediments and soils in the Acid Brook and flood plain leading to Pompton Lake, impacting approximately 140 residential properties along the Acid Brook. Remediation of the Acid Brook sediments, including residential properties, began in 1991 and was completed in 1996. Additional sediment investigation is being conducted in the Acid Brook Delta Area of Pompton Lake. Based on an ecological evaluation, sediment remediation of Pompton Lake is required.

In the Wanaque River Manufacturing areas, site discharges have contaminated soils and sediments along the Wanaque River, which flows through the western valley (where DuPont had ceased its operation in the 1920's). Soil remediation has been conducted both on-site and off-site in the Wanaque River Valley. Additional soil and sediment investigations are being conducted to determine appropriate future remedial actions.

In March 2008, DuPont evaluated the potential for vapor intrusion to the indoor air pathway for volatile contaminants in the groundwater plume. Sub-slab sampling at select locations in the groundwater contamination plume was conducted. Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) concentrations exceeded the applicable criteria, indicating a potential vapor intrusion problem at buildings over the groundwater plume (affecting approximately 439 residences). 

DuPont’s Vapor Intrusion Interim Remedial Action Workplan was approved in June 2009. It included the installation of sub-slab depressurization systems at all building structures potentially impacted by the plume and gathering additional vapor and groundwater data. In November 2009, DuPont’s work plan for additional sampling at homes that did not provide DuPont access to install sub-slab systems was approved.

DuPont is also required to conduct additional evaluations of potential groundwater treatment technologies to accelerate the cleanup of the contaminated groundwater plume off-site.

Site Responsibility at this Facility

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action activities at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 2.