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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Honeywell International Incorporated in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

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Honeywell is currently investigating groundwater conditions at the Delaware Valley Works (DVW) South Plant proximate to the Delaware River and any potential impact the groundwater may have on the Delaware River sediments in that area.

Cleanup Status

Honeywell has completed several phases of a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation (RFI) to evaluate and characterize potential sources of contamination at the Delaware Valley Works facility. This has resulted in proposed interim remedial measures to excavate and remove contaminated soil from four solid waste management units (SWMUs).  Additional investigation activities are continuing in the south west section of the facility’s north plant to identify and characterize a potential source to groundwater contamination.

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.

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Site Description

Interactive Map of Honeywell International Incorporated, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

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The Honeywell facility also known as the Delaware Valley Works (DVW) is a chemical manufacturing plant located in Claymont, Delaware and Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania. 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 Corporation (GCC) acquired the facility from Allied Signal (now known as Honeywell International Inc.) in 1986. Allied Signal retained ownership of several contiguous parcels of property at the DVW North Plant, 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 October 2002, GCC and certain of its affiliates filed a voluntary petition in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for reorganization relief. GCC subsequently emerged from bankruptcy under an approved Reorganization Plan in October 2003.  In 2004, Honeywell re-acquired the DVW North Plant from GCC. 

In September 2011, EPA issued an Administrative Order to Honeywell International Inc., which requires a facility wide investigation.  The Administrative Order was issued pursuant to Section 3008(h) of the 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), to provide more in-depth information about Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs)
  • Corrective Measures Study (CMS) if warranted, to propose final cleanup actions needed

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Contaminants at this Facility

Metals, volatile organic compounds and pesticides, 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, if required, will be determined at the time of remedy selection.

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Land Reuse Information at this Facility

The south plant has completed closure activities and is not operational. The 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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