Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

GLOUCESTER COUNTY

Woodbury shuts down a well

WOODBURY Calling it a "proactive move," Woodbury officials announced Thursday that they had shut down one of the city's five active water wells after discovering the same contaminant that has caused a scare in nearby Paulsboro.

The contaminant - perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), a type of perfluorinated compound (PFC) - is believed to come from Solvay Specialty Polymers, a West Deptford plastics company. PFCs are used to make plastics and other materials. The company has said it voluntarily stopped using the compounds in 2010.

Woodbury, in a statement, said the levels were lower than in other municipalities, but said it was acting to "ensure the highest level of public safety." It said the discovery came from a voluntary test by Solvay.

PFCs are not regulated by the state or federal government. The health impact of the contaminant is unclear, but some studies indicate PFCs are detrimental to animals' health.

While West Deptford also has shut down an affected well, Paulsboro continues to rely on its contaminated well because its other water supply is receiving upgrades to filter high levels of naturally occurring radium, a regulated contaminant.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has said the highest levels of PFCs are in Paulsboro. It has advised borough residents to use bottled water to feed children 1 and younger.

Solvay has made bottled water available to families at a local hardware store. Representatives say they are working to find a solution at the affected borough well. Several lawsuits against the company have been filed. - Angelo Fichera

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