DNREC's Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances' Site Investigation and Restoration Section (SIRS) and the Division of Watershed Stewardship's Watershed Assessment and Management Section (WAMS) have recently completed the Phase II regional environmental study of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) across the State of Delaware. The Phase II - PCB Mass Loading Summary Report is available for
review through the links that follow: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Table 1. Please see additional links below to the appendices for the Phase II report.
Phase I - PCB Mass Loading Summary Report focused on sites within the Christina River Basin; the resulting report was published in 2009 (please click here for the Phase I report summary).
PCBs are hazardous man-made industrial chemicals that are no longer manufactured in the U.S., but are nevertheless widespread in the environment as a result of past usage, poor disposal practices, and their slow breakdown. This study compiled information on the presence and levels of PCBs at hazardous substances sites across the state of Delaware and then estimated how PCBs at these sites continue to be released to nearby surface waters.
Although the presence of PCBs can pose a potential risk to people and wildlife that visit hazardous substances sites, the release of PCBs can result in especially high risks when these chemicals enter adjacent surface waters and bioaccumulate in fish and other aquatic life. Bioaccumulation is the process where a chemical builds up in fish to levels far greater than in the water itself. Once PCBs are in the fish, people who regularly eat the fish are at greater risk of various adverse health effects. In addition, birds that consume fish - such as ospreys, bald eagles, and herons - as well as other fish-eating animals such as otters are also at risk when they consume fish containing PCBs.
Please view this webpage for more information about fish consumption advisories for Delaware waterways.
The DNREC collaborative study is a critical step in a much larger project that aims to link upland sources of PCBs with their primary impact in surrounding waterways. Because this project considers all sites known to be contaminated to one degree or another with PCBs, the information gathered will allow DNREC to look at the cumulative impact of PCBs in the area. This brings a new and more holistic perspective to the problem, which in turn could lead to innovative management solutions. DNREC refers to this holistic approach as the Watershed Approach to Toxics Assessment and Restoration (WATAR). To review the final work plan for WATAR, please click here.
The Phase II Report appendices for the hazardous substance sites are available as follows:
Chicago Bridge and Iron DE- 0038, 1038
Harvey and Knott Drum DE-0040
Newport City Landfill DE- 0044
Citisteel Area A DE-0046
Harvey and Harvey Landfill DE-0047
Former Chrysler OU-3, OU-5 DE-0105
RSC Realty DE-0121, DE-1268
Del Chapel Place DE- 0163 (Part 1), Part 2 and Part 3
Harper Thiel DE-0197 (Part 1) and Part 2
North American Smelting DE-0230, Part 2 and Part 3
Reichhold Chemical DE-0245
Rogers Corner Dump DE- 0246
Dover Power Plant - DE-0269
Atlas Sanitation DE-0280
Necastro Auto Salvage DE-0283
Donovan Salvage DE-0338, 0349
Governor Bacon Health Center / Fort Dupont- DE-1007
Dupont Louviers / MBNA DE-1049
Pure Green Industries DE-1054
Amtrak CNOC DE- 1084
Obrien Property DE-1106
Capitol Scrapyard DE-1171
Wilmington Rolling Mill DE-1309
Former Georgetown Substation DE- 1286
Former Dagsboro Substation DE-1287
Fitzgerald’s Auto Salvage DE-1315
Jablow Property DE-1329
Pack and Process DE-1421
Diffley Property DE-1440