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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: General Chemical Corporation Delaware Valley Works in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

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Cleanup Status

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

  • Interim Measures/Stabilization 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.

GCC, with EPA and State oversight, has completed a Phase I and Phase II RFI. This included the collection of groundwater and soil samples for 28 SWMUs. 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.

In the Fall of 2008, EPA collected sediment samples in the Delaware River basin in areas contiguous to the GCC facility. The data resulting from this effort indicates that additional sample collection is required to define the extent of contamination. The additional sediment samples are scheduled to be collected in the Summer of 2010.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of General Chemical Corporation Delaware Valley Works, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

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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 (“Facility”). 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 (the “Honeywell Property”).

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. As a result of the finalized Reorganization Plan, General Chemical Corporation assumed cleanup responsibility for most of the soils in the DVW South Plant and Honeywell assumed responsibility for cleanup of the remainder of the DVW.

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Contaminants at this Facility

Metals and volatile organic compounds are the main constituents of concern found in groundwater at the site.

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Institutional and Engineering Controls at this Facility

Institutional controls, if required, will be determined at the time of remedy selection.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

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 at this facility have been conducted under the direction of EPA Region 3.

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