Soil vapor is gas that has escaped from soil or from chemicals dissolved in groundwater. This vapor can rise through soil, much the way radon does. Soil vapor can be tested for chemicals similar to the way that soil and groundwater can be tested.
As defined by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), vapor intrusion refers to the movement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from below the ground surface into overlying buildings.
The former Pompton Lakes Works manufacturing facility produced a variety of explosive materials over a 92-year period. Chemicals were used on the site during the manufacturing process to degrease and clean machine and metal parts. During their use, some of the chemicals used during the process were spilled onto the ground.
Chemicals in the environment can enter your residence in three general ways:
- Vapors moving through the soil can enter through cracks in the foundation and slab of structures,
- Household products emit vapors into the indoor air (even if their containers are closed), and
- Chemicals that exist outdoors from nearby or distant sources of air emissions (e.g., dry cleaners or paint shops) can enter the indoors through windows and doors.
Under the direction of NJDEP and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), sub-slab soil gas and indoor air sampling is being conducted in accordance with the approved work plan. An independent laboratory receives the samples and analyzes them for the presence of 62 different VOCs, including the ten that have been detected as part of the ongoing groundwater sampling program.
Installation of a vapor mitigation system at no cost to property owners has been offered to address the potential for vapor intrusion. The vapor mitigation system is similar to a radon mitigation system and is designed to prevent vapors from entering a home. A vacuum is applied below the foundation of the home and the vapors are vented to the outside. These systems are highly effective and have been proven to work in thousands of homes across the United States. Chemours goal is to install a safe system at no cost and with as little inconvenience to property owners as possible. This mitigation system will also prevent radon from entering the home.
Many property owners have already accepted the offer to install a system. Eligible residents are encouraged to contact Chemours to schedule a sampling and/or mitigation system design if they have not done so. Please call (973) 492-7729.
Sub-slab soil gas and indoor air sampling have been made available to property owners who are located in the potential vapor mitigation area to gain an understanding of potential vapor intrusion into the structure prior to the installation of a vapor mitigation system. A follow-on indoor air sample will be collected approximately four weeks following the installation of the mitigation system. The results of the follow-on sample will be used, in conjunction with the design criteria, to evaluate the operation and efficiency of the mitigation system.
Property owners can choose to keep the system in place as long as they are needed to treat groundwater vapors. If property owners choose not to keep the system, after such time as the groundwater vapors are remediated, Chemours will remove the mitigation system at no cost to the property owner and with the approval of NJDEP and USEPA.
Yes, Chemours will answer questions that realtors have concerning the vapor migration and mitigation efforts.
No. Homes located within the potential vapor mitigation area and extended investigation area receive their potable drinking water from the Pompton Lakes Municipal Utilities Authority (MUA) wells located outside the affected groundwater area. The following link will connect you to Pompton Lakes MUA http://www.plbmua.org