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News Releases from Region 03

EPA Adds Blades, Delaware, Site to Superfund National Priorities List

Contact Information: 
EPA Region 3 Press Office (

PHILADELPHIA (Sept. 1, 2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its commitment today to clean up six new sites – including the Blades Groundwater Site in Delaware – by adding them to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).

“Cleaning up toxic sites and returning them to safe and productive reuse under the Superfund program is critical to EPA’s mission to protect human health and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “By adding these sites to the National Priorities List, we are moving forward in creating a healthier environment for the affected communities.”

The NPL is the list of hazardous waste sites in the United States eligible for remedial action financed under the federal Superfund program.

“Superfund cleanup continues to be a top priority for EPA,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “Today’s listing ensures that resources are available to take the necessary cleanup actions to address the contamination and any potential impacts on the Blades community.”

EPA originally proposed the Blades Groundwater Site, located in Sussex County, Delaware, adjacent to the Town of Seaford, to the NPL on Nov. 8, 2019. A 60-day public comment period followed, during which no adverse comments to the proposal were received. The designation is now finalized.

EPA’s next step will be to conduct a remedial investigation and feasibility study to determine the nature and extent of contamination, assess potential threats to human health and the environment, and evaluate various cleanup options after the nature and extent of contamination is understood.  Throughout the process, EPA will continue working closely with our State partner, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).

“Today’s listing by the EPA will allow us to continue our joint work, now with Superfund authority to investigate and remediate the contamination in municipal and residential wells in Blades,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “While we have successfully treated the water supply with carbon filtration, additional remedial action will maintain the safe drinking water and protect human health and the environment in this community.”

The Blades Groundwater Site is being listed because industrial chemicals which can cause adverse effects to human health and the environment have been found in groundwater that is used as a source of drinking water.  The primary groundwater contaminants of concern in the Blades area are metals associated with electroplating compounds.  Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) have also been found in groundwater and were identified in public and residential supply wells.

Background on the Superfund Program

Superfund, which Congress established in 1980, investigates and cleans up hazardous waste sites. The Superfund law directs EPA to update the NPL annually. Only sites added to the NPL are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term cleanup. In recent years, EPA has set the expectation that there will be a renewed focus on accelerating work and progress at all Superfund sites across the country.

EPA adds sites to the NPL when contamination threatens human health and the environment. EPA deletes sites from the NPL once all response actions are complete and all cleanup goals have been achieved. EPA typically initiates Superfund involvement because states, tribes or citizens ask for EPA’s help. EPA may also find contamination during its own investigations.

The NPL is one focus area of the Superfund Task Force Recommendations that were announced in July 2017 to improve and revitalize the Superfund program.

The Superfund Task Force Recommendations can be viewed at

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for the final and proposed sites:

For information about Superfund and the NPL:

For residents with questions regarding the proposed listing, visit  EPA's web page on the Blades Groundwater site at or contact EPA community involvement coordinator Alexander Mandell 215-814-5517, or by email at:

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