Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

State settles with chemical company over alleged PFAS contamination in Marshallton

Milton Pratt
Delaware Public Media

Delaware has another instance of PFAS pollution on its hands. 

The state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) signed a settlement this week with Solvay Specialty Polymers USA—a company that until last fall, operated an industrial facility along Kirkwood Highway in Marshallton. 

DNREC claims Solvay released toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals into the environment, and that PFOA, a PFAS chemical, has been found in groundwater near its facility. DNREC says Solvay's facility processed polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) into a fine powder to sell as product.

DNREC served Solvay a notice of liability last summer, and invited the company to join the state’s voluntary cleanup program. DNREC later rejected the company’s application to the program as insufficient. 

This week’s settlement resolves a dispute about whether the company is liable under the state’s Hazardous Substance Cleanup Act. Under the agreement, the company must do an environmental investigation at the site and surrounding areas. Then it must execute any resulting remediation plan. 

PFAS chemicals—sometimes known as “forever chemicals”—has been found in drinking water supplies in New Castle, Dover and Blades

Even though the water supply in New Castle is now considered safe, some residents there still have levels of PFAS in their blood far above national averages. 

DNREC officials say environmental testing has not indicated health concerns for residents living near the Solvay facility.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
Related Content