The EPA said Thursday that it has issued an order to Beazer East Inc. requiring the company to implement and maintain a $52 million remedy at the Koppers Company Inc. Superfund site in Newport, Delaware.
The company must consolidate and contain nearly 600,000 tons of creosote-contaminated soils and sediments at the 300-acre site. The company is also required to collect and dispose of more than 5,000 gallons of oil-like creosote non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) by using trenches. It will also manage and treat groundwater as necessary. The EPA has also mandated that the company restore nearly 18 acres of affected wetlands and implement controls on future use of the property to ensure a long-term solution.
Between 1929 and 1971, the site was used for wood preserving operations. Railroad ties and telephone poles were loaded into cylinders and pressure injected with either creosote or a mix of fuel oil and pentachlorophenol (PCP). Creosote contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which contain both probable and known carcinogens. Those wood treatment operations contaminated soils, groundwater, wetland sediments, and onsite ponds and adjacent streams.
In 1971, Koppers Co., Inc., which had been operating the site since 1944, removed the process equipment and sold the property to DuPont. Beazer East Inc., successor company to Koppers, acquired the property in December 2004 from DuPont. The site is currently vacant, and the EPA mandates bring to a close to almost 20 years of investigation and negotiations regarding the site.