RESIDENTS OF POMPTON LAKES NEIGHBORHOOD URGED
TO INSTALL MITIGATION SYSTEMS AS DEP BEGINS SOIL-VAPOR TESTING
(10/P37) TRENTON -As requested by homeowners, a contractor for the Department of Environmental Protection this week will begin testing for vapors trapped in soil beneath houses in a Pompton Lakes neighborhood affected by groundwater contamination from a former DuPont munitions plant. Commissioner Bob Martin today again strongly urged residents of the neighborhood to get mitigation systems installed to protect the air inside their homes from potential vapor problems.
DuPont previously performed testing of many properties that indicated elevated soil-vapor levels are prevalent in the neighborhood. Some homeowners, however, remain hesitant to get vapor mitigation systems installed without first having soil-vapor testing done. The DEP, in conjunction with the federal Environmental Protection Agency, is offering the free soil-vapor testing to residents who prefer having a contractor other than one hired by DuPont do the work.
“This testing program reflects the DEP’s commitment to protecting the health of the residents of Pompton Lakes,” Commissioner Martin said. “I fully appreciate that some people may feel more comfortable having a contractor for the DEP and EPA do this work. Getting soil-vapor testing done, however, is not necessary in deciding whether to get vapor mitigation systems installed. If you live in the affected neighborhood, there is a potential for vapors to get into your homes and reach unhealthy levels. The time to act is before this happens.”
Vapor mitigation systems, which use fans to draw vapors out of the ground and away from the house, constitute the best defense against indoor air contamination as DuPont, under oversight by the DEP and EPA, tests technologies for removing perchloroethylene, trichloroethylene and other chemicals from the ground water.
So far, vapor mitigation systems have been installed in 185 of the approximately 430 homes in the affected neighborhood. Systems are scheduled to be installed in seven additional homes.
Residents in the affected area continue to have the opportunity to select their own contractor to install the vapor mitigation systems or have a DuPont contractor install them. DuPont is paying for the systems and installation, regardless of who does the work. For more site information, including an explanation about how vapor mitigation systems work, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/srp/community/sites/dupont_pompton_lakes/