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Skip Navigation LinksDNREC : Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances : Site Investigation & Restoration : PCB Mass Loading from Hazardous Substance Release Sites to Surface Waters of the Christina River Basin

 PCB Mass Loading from Hazardous Substance Release Sites to Surface Waters of the Christina River Basin

 

A DNREC Collaborative Environmental Report

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances, Site Investigation and Restoration Section (SIRS) and the Division of Watershed Stewardship's Watershed Assessment and Management Section (WAMS) collaborated on a regional environmental study of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the Christina River Basin in northern New Castle County.The collaborative environmental study analyzed PCB concentrations throughout the Christina River Basin This study is referred to as Phase I; the report was completed in July 2009 - please see the Phase I report provided at the bottom of this webpage. 

 Phase II was completed in August 2015 and can be reviewed at:

 Phase II - PCB Mass Loading In Delaware 

PCBs are hazardous industrial chemicals that are no longer manufactured in the U.S. but which 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 on waste sites within the Christina Basin and then estimated how much PCB on these sites continues to be released to nearby surface waters. 

Although the presence of PCBs can pose a potential risk to people and wildlife that visit waste 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.

Fish consumption advisory sign along the Christina RiverIn Delaware, as with many states, PCBs are a major cause for issuing fish consumption advisories. This is certainly true for the Christina Basin in northern New Castle County, where DNREC and the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) advise people to totally avoid eating fish from the tidal portions of the Christina, Brandywine, and White Clay Creeks and to severely limit consumption of fish caught from the non-tidal portions of the Basin. PCBs in the fish are the primary risk driver for these advisories. PCBs are probable human carcinogens and are associated with several other adverse health effects. They are able to pass from mothers to unborn children and are believed to contribute to subtle yet lasting mental deficits in children after birth.

The DNREC collaborative study is a key and integral component of 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. Looking at all sites at once will also allow the Department to prioritize sites for remediation based on their relative impact. It is DNREC's goal to systematically clean up these sites so these properties are useful and so that they no longer release PCBs to area surface waters. In so doing, PCB levels in the fish will slowly improve over time and people will once again enjoy the health benefits of consuming fish.

                                                 

 

Report: "PCB Mass Loading from Hazardous Substance Release Sites to Surface Waters of the Christina River Basin"
1) Report Summary
2) Figure 1 Evaluated Site MapThe environmental study of PCBs in the Christina River Basin included Howard Street in Wilmington
3) Figure 2 Mass-Loading Summary Map
4) Table 1 Mass-Loading Summary
        
                  Appendices
1a A-1 Auto
1b Merkin Auto
1c American Tank Trailer Cleaning
1d Shuster Auto
2 American Scrap and Refuse
3 Amtrak Refueling
     pp1-16 Amtrak Refueling 
     pp17- 26 File Too Large for web site - Available at DNREC offices
     pp27-290 Amtrak Refueling
     pp291-305 Amtrak Refueling
     pp306-309 Amtrak Refueling
     pp310-313 Amtrak Refueling
     pp314-320 Amtrak Refueling
     pp321-325 Amtrak Refueling
     pp326-332 Amtrak Refueling
     pp333-335 Amtrak Refueling
     pp336-338 Amtrak Refueling
     pp339-341 Amtrak Refueling
     pp342-542 Amtrak Refueling
     pp543-700 Amtrak Refueling
     pp701-900 Amtrak Refueling
     pp901-1100 Amtrak Refueling
     pp1101-1350 Amtrak Refueling
     pp1351-1569  Amtrak Refueling
4 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp01-15 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp16-21 File too large for web site- Available at DNREC offices
     pp22-66 Amtrak MaintenanceThe study included the excavation of an area off Howard Street for unearthing PCB concentrations
     pp67-81 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp82-95 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp96-222 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp223-224 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp225-226 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp227-450 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp451-750 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp751-960 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp961-968 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp969-1022 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp1023-1059 Amtrak Maintenance
     pp1060-1070  Amtrak Maintenance
5 Amtrak West Yards
6 Burns and McBride
7 Former Carney-Harris
      pp01-14 Former Carney Harris
      pp15-20 Former Carney Harris
      pp21-26 Former Carney Harris
      pp27-72 Former Carney Harris
8 Christina Marina
9 Diamond State Foundry-Pullman Car Works
10 Diamond State Salvage
      pp1-12 Diamond State Salvage
      p13 Diamond State Salvage
      pp14-18 Diamond State Salvage
      pp19-70 Diamond State Salvage
11a Dravo Shipyard – Amer Industrial Techmologies
11b Dravo Shipyard – Harbor Associates
      pp1-18 Dravo Shipyard – Harbor Associates
      pp19-44 Dravo Shipyard – Harbor Associates
12 Electric Hose and Rubber
13 The Estate of Lester Nolan
      pp1-18 The Estate of Lester Nolan
      pp19-49 The Estate of Lester Nolan
14 Hay Street Sludge Drying
15 Holly Oak Substation
16 Howard Street Commercial (Penn Del Metal Recycling)
      pp01-21 Howard Street Commercial 
      pp22-26 Howard Street Commercial 
      pp27-33 Howard Street Commercial 
      pp34-56 Howard Street Commercial 
      pp57-85 Howard Street Commercial 
      pp85-115 Howard Street Commercial
17a Justison Landing-Former Wilmington Public Works Yard
      pp1-14 Justison Landing – Former Wilmington Public Works Yard
      pp15-20 Justison Landing – Former Wilmington Public Works Yard
      pp21-60 Justison Landing – Former Wilmington Public Works Yard
      pp61-66 Justison Landing – Former Wilmington Public Works Yard
17b Justison Landing- Former Parcels C+D
      pp1-13 Justison Landing  - Former Parcels C+D
      pp14-22 Justison Landing  - Former Parcels C+D
      pp23-45 Justison Landing  - Former Parcels C+D
18 Kreiger Finger Property
19 Meco Drive / Wayman Fire Protection
20 NVF Wilmington
21 Peninsula Park
22a Purina Tower A
22b Purina Tower B
23 Salvation Army
24 Up the Creek
25 Wilmington Coal Gas North
     pp1-19 Wilmington Coal Gas North
     pp20-27 Wilmington Coal Gas North
     pp28-43 Wilmington Coal Gas North
     pp44-60 Wilmington Coal Gas North
26 Wilmington Coal Gas South

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