Two weeks after hosting a meeting of Environmental Protection Agency, state Department of Environmental Protection, and E.I. DuPont Company officials with Pompton Lakes community leaders on Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8) today lauded an agreement reached by the federal and state governments with the company responsible for contamination of groundwater in the borough to allow greater resident choice of contractors for pre-testing in the vapor mitigation area of Pompton Lakes.
"This initiative is a step in the right direction in bringing some peace of mind to Pompton Lakes residents who live in the area affected by DuPont's contamination," said Pascrell, who also hosted a meeting in Pompton Lakes with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck with borough officials and residents last March. "Allowing residents a choice in contractors to perform sub-slab pre-testing was a priority raised by community leaders at the recent meeting of stakeholders on Capitol Hill, and I'm proud that EPA, DEP and DuPont were able to quickly translate the agreement reached at that meeting into action today."
"I hope that this agreement will result in more homeowners getting their homes tested and that residents will have confidence in the results. I strongly encourage all homeowners in the plume area to install vapor mitigation systems that are the best way to keep their families safe from the contamination until the contamination plume can be fully remediated. I want to thank Administrator Jackson for making Pompton Lakes a priority in this time when the EPA is facing great challenges to our environment. I also want to recognize the cooperation of the state Department of Environmental Protection and the E.I. DuPont Company."
The text of the EPA's letter outlining the agreement follows.
June 10, 2010
Honorable Bill Pascrell
U.S. House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Pascrell:
Thank you for convening the meeting on May 28,2010 in Washington, D.C with EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, myself, Mayor Cole, DuPont and members of the Pompton Lakes community regarding the cleanup of the DuPont Pompton Lakes Works site. I thought it was a very productive session and I appreciate your leadership in convening the meeting.
EPA is continuing our work to protect the health of people living in the area, and to move the cleanup of the site forward. As you know, the contaminated plume of ground water from the DuPont facility has caused a vapor intrusion problem potentially affecting approximately 450 homes. Volatile organic compounds in the shallow ground water are vaporizing through the soil and are migrating into the basements of the residences. We believe it is essential that residents of Pompton Lakes agree to the installation of vapor mitigation systems, and have been conducting a comprehensive outreach effort with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), in consultation with community representatives, to encourage the acceptance of these systems. Since our meeting, we have been working closely with NJDEP and DuPont to ensure that residents in the vapor mitigation area have a sufficient choice of contractors to collect indoor air and sub-slab soil gas samples from their homes.
I am pleased to report that EPA, NJDEP and DuPont have reached agreement on a process through which residents can choose any licensed site remediation professional or professional engineer with demonstrated experience in vapor intrusion sampling to perform pre-mitigation sampling of residences within the vapor mitigation area of Pompton Lakes. Within the next two weeks, a scope of work will be generated by EPA and NJDEP that will include specific requirements that must be met by samplers in order to demonstrate their technical competencies. This scope of work, along with stringent quality control data requirements will ensure the integrity, comparability and consistency of data generated. We sincerely hope that providing the residents with the option of third party sampling contractors will result in a marked increase in the number of residents who move forward with installation of the vapor mitigation systems.
Of the 439 homes that arc eligible for having a vapor intrusion system installed (at no cost to the homeowner) only 191 have the systems installed. It is my firm belief that we all need to work together to get every home in the affected area to have the vapor intrusion systems installed. With the resolution of the pretesting issue, I hope we can all work together to achieve this goal.
Thank you for your support of our efforts on behalf of the community. I will be sure to keep you apprised of decisions and developments on these and other issues concerning this site. If you have further questions, please contact me directly.
Judith A. Enck Regional Administrator
cc: Bob Martin, Commissioner NJDEP
Poonam Alaigh, MD, MHSCPM, FACP, Commissioner, NJDHSS
Linda Fischer, DuPont
Kathleen M. Cole, mayor