Superfund National Priorities Listing due electroplating compounds, PFAS and hazardous metals contamination in municipal and residential drinking water wells in and near Blades. December info meeting planned.

As a significant step toward environmental remediation of hazardous substances found within the Town of Blades in Sussex County, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed the Blades Groundwater Site to the Superfund National Priorities List, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin announced Nov. 1.

Contamination was first reported to town residents in early 2018.

The NPL is EPA’s list of priority sites where there have been releases of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants requiring evaluation for possible remediation.

When the Blades Groundwater Site — which DNREC began treating with carbon filtration in 2018 to maintain safe use of the town’s water supply — is listed to the NPL, it will be eligible for remedial action financed under the federal Superfund program.

Supporting documentation is available at https://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/HQ/199548 and https://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/HQ/199549

NPL eligibility will allow EPA to use Superfund authority and resources to help DNREC continue to investigate and remediate the contamination and protect human health and the environment in Blades.

DNREC requested EPA’s assistance with the management and remediation of the site due to the complex nature of the hazardous chemicals and the extent of the contamination. DNREC worked closely with the EPA and the Delaware Division of Public Health in February 2018 identifying per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances contamination, notifying local officials and the public and securing safe drinking water supplies.

The proposed listing of the Blades Groundwater Site is due to the identification of electroplating compounds, PFAS and hazardous metals contamination in municipal and residential drinking water wells in and near Blades. PFAS includes the chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, and is also referred to as perfluorinated compounds and perfluoroalkyls.

The EPA — with support from DNREC, DPH and 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.

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.