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Assistance from EPA could help clean up polluted Hockessin site

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency may help the state clean up a polluted groundwater site in Hockessin.

The EPA recently held a public comment session in Hockessin. Officials say chemicals from nearby dry cleaners may have contaminated the Hockessin Groundwater Site, but there could be other undiscovered sources of pollution.

EPA Region 3 Administrator Cosmo Servidio says his agency will thoroughly examine the site if it’s added to the list of sites considered priorities for clean-up.

“We’ll look at the groundwater, look at the plume, look at what direction this is going, where it’s coming from…” Servidio said.

The EPA’s National Priorities List allows officials to use federal money from the Superfund program to continue to investigate and determine the source of contamination and how to fix the problem. Each site that is added is different, Servidio said.

“It depends on the contamination. It depends on the information we have before us and different processes and technology we use to get those sites cleaned up,” he said.

Delaware Nature Society's Director of Advocacy Brenna Goggin says she supports the possibility of action being taken at the site through the EPA's program.

"Any time that you have a contamination issue the way that the site in Hockessin does, and the more resources that we can provide to folks, whether it be municipalities or individuals or the state, I think the better," Goggin said.

Once the comment period closes mid-March, the agency will determine whether or not the site should get longterm federal help.

Delaware previously requested help to clean up the Newark South Groundwater Plume Site. That site was added to the EPA’s list in January.