Blades Groundwater Site Proposed for Superfund NPL Listing by EP - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Blades Groundwater Site Proposed for Superfund Listing by EPA

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BLADES, Del. (WBOC/AP)- Federal officials are recommending that a residential area in the town of Blades, where high levels of toxic chemicals were discovered in municipal wells, be added to a national priority list of environmental cleanup sites.

State and federal officials plan to hold an informational meeting in the Blades area next month regarding the proposed Superfund listing.

Officials announced in February 2018 that concentrations of perfluorinated compounds above the human health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion were found in all three of the town's drinking water wells. The sampling was part of an effort to identify areas where certain chemicals used in textiles, food packaging, firefighting foams and metal plating, may have been released.

Blades has been home to two metal plating businesses, one of which is still operating.

NPL eligibility would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to use Superfund authority and resources to help the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control continue to investigate and remediate the contamination and protect human health and the environment in Blades.

The public drinking water currently provided by the town of Blades is treated to remove contamination, including PFAS, which includes the chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and is also referred to as perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and perfluoroalkyls. 

DNREC also coordinated carbon treatment for the impacted private residential wells, following the Division of Public Health's recommendation for appropriate carbon treatment. The finished drinking water meets federal and state safe drinking water standards. Recent testing completed in October 2019 indicates the Blades municipal drinking water continues to meet drinking water standards.

The EPA – with support from DNREC, DPH, and the town of Blades – plan to hold a local public information meeting in December in the Blades area to provide information on the site and the proposed listing to the NPL. EPA, DPH and DNREC will work closely with state and local agencies and officials throughout the NPL listing process. Supporting documentation for the proposed listing of the Blades Groundwater Site is available at: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites.

If the comments received throughout the NPL listing process do not affect EPA’s scoring of the site, the site could be eligible for listing on the NPL. If the site is listed on the NPL, EPA will again provide public notice in the Federal Register, and formally respond to the comments received.

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