delware environmental institute

DNREC announces proposed plan of remedial action for Chrysler Newark assembly plant site

NEWS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
 
Vol. 40, No. 392
 
For more information, please contact Robert Newsome, Site Investigation and Restoration Branch, 302-395-2600, or Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
 
DNREC announces proposed plan of remedial action for Chrysler Newark assembly plant site
 
NEWARK (Nov. 24, 2010) – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control today announced the proposed plan of remedial action for a portion of the Chrysler Newark Assembly Plant site, formerly an automaking and Army tank assembly plant. The site is currently owned by 1743 Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the University of Delaware, which plans to redevelop it for furthering educational and technological opportunities.

 
The entire Chrysler site is envisioned as the future location of the University of Delaware’s science and technology campus. Operable Unit 5 (OU-5), which the proposed remediation plan covers, is under specific consideration for non-residential development, including associated underground utilities and parking.
 
1743 Holdings, LLC has entered into a Brownfields Development Agreement (BDA) with DNREC’s Site Investigation and Restoration Branch (SIRB) to perform a brownfields investigation and to address contamination found at the Chrysler site. The site has been divided into operable units (such as OU-5) or smaller areas to make the investigation and cleanup more manageable. DNREC is working to address remediation of all operable units comprising the Chrysler site.
 
Environmental investigations conducted on the OU-5 portion of the former Chrysler site found that contaminants of concern (COCs) in the soil for a restricted use (commercial/industrial) exposure are isolated in two “hot spot” areas. The COCs for soil were select volatile organic compounds, (VOCs), select semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), select pesticides and select polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). No COCs were found in the groundwater.
 
The OU-5 area was agricultural until the 1950s, when Chrysler built a test track on it, which included a water test pool for military tanks manufactured onsite. A paved parking lot was constructed in the center of the existing test track in the mid 1950s.
 
At the time, automobiles were also assembled at the facility. An incinerator pit and a repair garage were also located at one time on the OU-5 portion of the site. The extent of the area impacted from the incinerator pit is evident on a historical aerial photograph from1954, which is included in the Brownfield Investigation report. The repair garage was located in the southeastern corner of OU-5. An approximately 400-square foot apparent remnant of the former garage pit, some 5½ feet below ground surface and filled in with demolition debris, was encountered during the environmental investigation.
 
The proposed plan for OU-5 requires three steps:
 1. Removal of contaminated soil in the identified “hot spot” areas to prevent human exposure. Excavations must be backfilled with DNREC-approved fill material consistent with site use. Specifically in the former incinerator area, the impacted material remaining on-site must be capped with a low-permeability cap (e.g. asphalt) to prevent future mobility of contaminants.
2. Recording of an environmental covenant consistent with Delaware’s Uniform Environmental Covenants Act (Title 7, Del. Code Chapter 79, Subtitle II) (UECA) on the property deed. The covenant will 1) prohibit digging beneath the marker fabric or existing concrete slab without prior written DNREC approval and 2) restrict property use atop the capped PCB-impacted soil to “low occupancy” uses, e.g. parking lot.
 
3. Development and implementation of a DNREC-approved Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Plan. The O&M Plan will detail the inspection schedule to be followed in order to ensure the long-term integrity of the cap placed atop impacted soil left in place.
DNREC-SIRB will hold a community workshop on the proposed remediation plan for OU-5 on Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 6 - 8 p.m. at Clayton Hall on the University of Delaware campus.
 
Details of the proposed plan are available at the Newark Library, at the office of DNREC-SIRB (391 Lukens Drive, New Castle, DE, 19720), or online at http://www.awm.delaware.gov/SIRB/Pages/SIRBPlans.aspx.
The comment period ends Monday, Dec. 13, 2010. For additional information, please contact Lindsay Hall or Wendy March, project managers, or Robert Newsome, Public Information Officer, at (302) 395-2600.

 
Michael Globetti
 
Public Affairs-Office of the Secretary
Dept. of Natural Resources
and Environmental Control