COMMISSIONER COMMENDS DUPONT FOR WITHDRAWING PERMIT-BY-RULE
APPLICATION FOR POMPTON LAKES GROUNDWATER TREATMENT SYSTEM
(10/P131) TRENTON - Commissioner Bob Martin today commended DuPont for withdrawing an application for a permit-by-rule for operation of a groundwater treatment system at its Pompton Lakes Works site. The DEP suggested DuPont withdraw the application because of residents’ concerns about permit requirements.
“To the company’s credit, DuPont heard the questions and concerns expressed by residents of Pompton Lakes and has done the right thing by withdrawing the application for the permit-by-rule,” Commissioner Martin said. “The permit-by-rule process simply was not appropriate in this case. The DEP is committed to continuing to build the trust of residents who have had to live with worries about contamination from this site for too long.”
David Epps, DuPont’s project director, notified the DEP of the decision to withdraw the permit by letter dated Wednesday.
DuPont had submitted the application for a permit-by-rule to replace its current general permit it has under the New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) to operate a groundwater treatment system at the southern edge of the site of its former Pompton Lakes Works munitions plant.
A permit-by-rule does not have to be renewed every five years but does require the public to be notified of major modification to the treatment system or major changes to testing procedures. The change also would not have eliminated any of the reports DuPont is required to submit to the DEP and public notice would still be needed if DuPont wanted to make major changes to the permit.
Residents were concerned that the change would have resulted in less oversight, and expressed these concerns during a DEP public hearing on DuPont’s request this week.
The treatment system has been in operation since 1998, preventing the contamination from spreading and removing chemicals including TCE and PCE from groundwater. Prior to its installation, however, a plume of contamination had spread off-site into an area beneath residential homes.
So far, 214 property owners have had allowed installation of systems to protect the air inside their homes from potential vapor intrusion from these chemicals, but this is less than half of the 439 properties the DEP recommends should have the systems.
“I once again strongly urge that property owners who have not done so already have these systems installed,” Commissioner Martin said. “It’s the right thing to do to ensure the protection of your families.”
For a copy of DuPont’s letter and more information on the site, including details on how to get testing done and vapor mitigation systems installed, visit http://www.state.nj.us/dep/srp/community/sites/dupont_pompton_lakes/
Residents may also contact Mindy Mumford in the DEP’s Office of Community Relations, at (609) 777-1976 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org