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EPA to conduct geological survey at Sunrise Cleaners

Wm. Shawn Weigel * Delaware
shawn.weigel@doverpost.com
The Community News

Work continues at the Hockessin Superfund site, and the Environmental Protection Agency readies for a new survey throughout the area.

According to a press release, EPA will be performing a geophysical survey at the Sunrise Cleaners, as part of the ongoing investigation at the groundwater Superfund.

A geophysical survey uses several innovative technologies to define the geological structure of the underlying area, which controls the movement of contamination in groundwater.

The area was placed on the federal Superfund site list in May 2018, following the discovery of pechloroethylene (PCE), a known carcinogenic Volatile Organic Chemical (VOC) used in dry cleaning processes and metal degreasing.

The PCE contamination is under and directly adjacent to Sunrise Cleaners, the EPA states.

According to EPA, assessment techniques will include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Geophysics using existing monitoring wells.
  • Detailed 3D cross section imagery of structures throughout the underlying area.
  • Electrical testing from the surface to below ground in an effort to map bedrock depth, and geometry.
  • Seismic surveys - similar to a ultrasound in the medical field, these surveys use seismic pulses to capture data on the formations below ground.
  • GPS mapping of the monitoring wells (longitude, latitude, and elevation).

The goal of the geophysical survey is to “effectively gather more data so EPA can take the necessary measures to prevent further PCE contamination into the groundwater from this source area,” the EPA states.

Residents may expect to see EPA personnel, equipment, vehicles and contractors on-site at the Shoppes of Hockessin throughout the month of March, between 6:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Throughout sampling activities, parking and access at the Shoppes of Hockessin may be impacted.

The site was added to the list after an extensive EPA assessment identified “considerable movement of PCE contamination in the groundwater throughout the village of Hockessin.”

The EPA states that there is ongoing, successful treatment of the Hockessin public water supply to remove VOCs at the Artesian Water Treatment Plant.

“Hockessin drinking water continues to meet federal and state Safe Drinking Water Act standards, as shared in Artesian’s water quality reports,” the EPA states.

To learn more about the site, visit epa.gov/superfund/hockessingroundwater.

To learn more about PCE, including health effects, visit go.usa.gov/xVA5e.