A DuPont legacy: Pile by the Delaware (Updates)

DUPONT
Dupont logo on a train car at the Dupont Edge Moor facility near Wilmington, Delaware, REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

(Adds Delaware state official comment, starting in third paragraph) More than 400 have signed this petition by Delaware State Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, calling on Gov. Jack Markell, also a Democrat, to demand that the DuPont Co. and its spin-off, Chemours, clean up decades of solid wastes, including dioxins, that Kowalko says will be left over when Chemours shuts down the titanium-dioxide white pigment plan at Edge Moor on the Delaware River later this year.

With DuPont transferring Edge Moor and the nearby Hay Road waste storage site to Chemours, and Chemours' subsequent decision to shut the plant, Kowalko is urging a clean-up. -- Green Delaware environmental activist Alan Muller writes more about Edge Moor here. -- DuPont spokesman Dan Turner sends this statement: "DuPont maintained compliance with all state and federal regulations for operations and remediation activities at the Edge Moor site," adding that it's now up to Chemours to continue compliance with regulators.

NEW: From Del. Gov. Jack Markell's spokesman, Jonathan Dworkin: "The State of Delaware already required DuPont to remediate the Hay Road 'Iron Rich' site.  That site was used by DuPont for sludge drying and storing a soil substitute at the time called 'Iron Rich'.  More than a decade ago,  DuPont entered the state’s Voluntary Cleanup Program and those proceedings eventually resulted in a clean-up plan requiring DuPont to build an impermeable engineered cap system on the site, as well as conduct monitoring of surface water and groundwater. 

"That plan was approved by (Delaware's environmental agency) DNREC in January 2009 after several years of public hearings and the completion of an independent environmental report required by the General Assembly.  DuPont completed its construction of that cap system in 2011.  Since then, a 1.5MW solar array was built on the property.  The site is regularly monitored by DNREC.  DNREC is not aware of any new developments at the site that would warrant revisiting the approved and completed remediation or tearing down the solar array and engineered cap." More from DNREC here  

EARLIER: Chemours spokesman Robert Dekker: "Remediation and regulatory closure of the Hay Road site was completed with oversight by DNREC in 2011. After extensive investigation and study, the site now has in place a robust, impermeable engineered cap system, with a vegetative cover.

"The entire site is managed under a DNREC-approved Post Closure Care Plan that requires regular groundwater and surface water monitoring, as well as maintenance of the engineered cap system. This plan ensures ongoing protection of people and the environment, and is consistent with state and federal regulations that are applied to sites across the State of Delaware, as well as nationally.

"We will continue to ensure that the remedial action constructed at the site remains protective of people and the environment and in compliance with all regulatory requirements. We also are proud that the site is now been being put to a sustainable use. Earlier this year, a large solar array was constructed on the property as part of long-term sustainability initiative. The project installed solar modules that have the capability to produce approximately 1.5 MW of renewable energy. This use of the site is consistent with United States Environmental Protection Agency’s “Repowering America” initiative, and aligned with Delaware’s commitment to the use of clean renewable energy sources.

"The Hay Road site is a separate and distinct location from Chemours Edge Moor production facility. Our recent business decision to cease production at the Edge Moor plant has no impact on our commitment and responsibilities to the Hay Road site."