The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s new water quality project at the NVF facility in Yorklyn was recognized as an Exceptional Project by the Environmental Protection Agency, one of five such projects nationwide, for its excellence and innovation in Clean Water Infrastructure, winning the coveted Performance and Innovation in the SRF Creating Environmental Success award.

Two DNREC Divisions, Waste & Hazardous Substances and Parks & Recreation, collaborated to remediate the zinc-contaminated site at the former factory. After the cleanup, a created, remediated two-acre wetland is nearly complete, in addition to four other wetlands that will soon be constructed in the vicinity.

Three new trails at the former NVF site have been completed: the Yorklyn Bridge Trail, the Oversee Trail and the “CCArts Trail,” which has yet to be officially named. Under construction now is a bridge that will connect the Yorklyn Bridge trail to Benge Road and the Auburn Heights Mansion.

The PISCES award recognizes the importance of the new wetland to mitigate flooding and improve water quality in the Red Clay Creek area, the support of the economic redevelopment of the Yorklyn Fiber Mills District and the innovative use of funding for the project.

The EPA award acknowledges excellence and innovation within the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The CWSRF is a federal-state partnership that provides communities with a permanent, independent source of low-cost financing for a wide range of water quality infrastructure projects. The EPA’s PISCES award celebrates innovation demonstrated by Delaware’s CWSRF programs and assistance recipients.

In total, $3.3 million in CWSRF loan financing was provided to DNREC’s Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances to remove zinc-contaminated soils and create the two-acre wetland by replacing industrial-contaminated soils with clean fill material and topsoil. Another $1 million CWSRF Water Quality Improvement Loan was provided to DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation to create the four additional wetlands.