Thursday, November 23, 2017

DuPont must remove mercury from Pompton Lake

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled its final plan for removal of mercury from Pompton Lake in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey late last week.

The plan encompasses contamination removal efforts for the areas where Acid Brook feeds into the lake, referred to as the Acid Brook Delta. Collectively, the contaminated areas are called the Pompton Lake Study Area.

Sediment in some areas of the lake is contaminated with lead and mercury that have come down Acid Brook and spilled into the lake. Plans for cleanup of the area were first introduced by the EPA in November 2014.

The price tag for the complete cleanup will be approximately $43 million.

The final plan is for E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc. to dredge sediment from the bottom of the lake in Acid Brook Delta and two other parts of the lake. DuPont also will be required to remove contaminated soil from an area of the shoreline where Acid Brook flows into the lake and put in clean soil.

All contaminated soil and sediment will be sent to a licensed disposal facility. A long-term monitoring plan will be put into use after cleanup is completed.

Mercury can get into the tissue of fish and other wildlife, endangering the health of people who eat them. Mercury exposure can lead to nervous system, brain, heart, kidney, lung and immune system issues.

In December 2012, the EPA finalized a permit modification requiring the removal of contaminated sediment from the bottom of Pompton Lake.

That permit must be modified for the cleanup of Acid Brook Delta. Barring any appeals, the final permit modification will take effect on June 22.

Cleanup of the remaining contaminated areas will be proposed through future permit modifications.

All documents concerning the cleanup can be found online at www.epa.gov/region02/waste/dupont_pompton/index.html.

Organizations in this story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

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