E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company
2000 Cannonball Road, Pompton Lakes, New Jersey
NJDEP PI# 007411
USEPA ID# NJD002173946
The former DuPont Pompton Lakes Works (PLW) manufacturing site covers 576 acres in the boroughs of Pompton Lakes and Wanaque in Passaic County, New Jersey. A residential area of the town of Pompton Lakes lies to the south and southeast of the former plant site.
The former manufacturing facility produced blasting caps and other explosives over a 92-year period, including for the U.S. Government in World Wars I and II. Manufacturing operations at PLW ceased in 1994. During the site’s operations, chemicals were used during the manufacturing processes to degrease and clean machines and metal parts. As a result, some of the chemicals used during the processes were spilled onto the ground.
To address off-site migration of contaminated groundwater as a result of chemicals contaminating the groundwater, DuPont implemented a comprehensive groundwater-monitoring program in the 1990s. DuPont has routinely sampled and reported results for on-site and off-site. DuPont installed a groundwater extraction/treatment system in August 1998 to prevent contaminated groundwater from leaving the site. Pumping draws water towards five on-site wells to prevent the water from leaving the site. The system then pipes the water to a treatment system for cleaning. Following treatment, the water is returned to the water table.
As part of a March 2008 investigation, overseen by representatives from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), sub-slab vapor samples were collected from the soil beneath several homes in the local community to determine if the potential for vapor intrusion was present. Investigation results indicated that two VOCs, tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) were present in the soil vapor above screening criteria, indicating that additional studies were needed to determine if vapors were entering homes in the area. As defined by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Vapor Intrusion refers to the movement of volatile chemicals (VOCs – volatile organic compounds) from below the ground surface into overlying buildings.
In May 2008, as a result of the initial investigation, NJDEP and EPA approved a work plan for addressing the potential soil vapor pathway and potential vapor intrusion. As outlined in the approved NJDEP work plan, DuPont has agreed to conduct indoor air sampling and install a vapor mitigation system at no cost to homeowners to mitigate for possible vapor intrusion while indoor air sampling is being done.
The vapor mitigation system is similar to a radon mitigation system and will prevent vapors from entering a home. A vacuum is applied below the foundation of the home and the vapors are vented outside of the home. These systems are highly effective and have been proven to work in thousands of homes across the United States. The goal is to install a safe system at no cost and with as little inconvenience to homeowners as possible.
The 570-acre E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (DuPont) Pompton Lakes Works (PLW) site is located in the boroughs of Pompton Lakes and Wanaque in central Passaic County in northern New Jersey. The site consists of northeast trending ridges and valleys containing two major drainage areas, Wanaque River (formerly Lake Inez) on the west and Acid Brook on the east. Lake Inez was drained and now consists of a river bordered by a swampy area. An intermittent stream, Acid Brook, flows south through the site, meanders through the town of Pompton Lakes, and empties into Pompton Lake. The site is bordered to the northeast and east by Ramapo State Forest (deciduous forest and some deciduous wooded wetlands), to the south by the town of Pompton Lakes (industrial, commercial/services, and residential land use), and to the west and northwest by Twin Lake Valley commercial/services and residential land use) and town of Haskell.
Although the entire site encompasses approximately 570 acres, the active manufacturing portion was contained in a much smaller area. DuPont’s operations consisted of manufacturing of primary explosives mercury fulminate and lead azide blasting caps, military products (e.g., incendiary and tracer bullets and hand grenades), smokeless powder, aluminum and bronze shell making, and wire drawing operations. DuPont operations generated a variety of explosives and explosive products until April 1994, when the plant was closed. Wastes generated as a result of manufacturing primarily consisted of lead salts, mercury compounds, chlorinated solvents, waste wire drawing solution, and detonated off-specification blasting caps.
Preliminary investigations conducted from 1981 through 1986 identified chlorinated solvents in groundwater. As a result, DuPont entered into an Administrative Consent Order (ACO) with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in 1988. The ACO required DuPont to conduct a remedial investigation addressing all contamination at/or emanating from the site. Residual waste materials or potential impact from historic manufacturing have been identified at 202 areas for further investigation at the DuPont PLW site.
Each year, DuPont contributes to a variety of efforts to support the needs of the local community.
- In Pompton Lakes, DuPont matched a federal grant to the Pompton Lakes Historic Preservation Commission to fund a cultural and historical survey as part of the group’s mission to preserve the history of Pompton Lakes.
- Pompton Lakes Works also established the Henry Edwin Allen Scholarship award in the mid 1990s to be given annually to a deserving high school senior. The scholarship is a tribute to Ed Allen, a former supervisor at the Pompton Lakes site who was also the site historian, an extraordinary storyteller and an excellent public speaker.
- The site also proudly supports the Pompton Lakes business improvement district and is a member of the Chamber of Commerce. The former manufacturing site is also used by local law enforcement agencies for training.
- DuPont contributes to the local community by paying approximately $500,000 a year in local taxes.