Work is expected to begin later this year on a $43 million project to remove mercury contamination from Pompton Lake in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey.
Chemical company DuPont operated a manufacturing plant near the lake from 1902 to April 1994, making products including explosive powder containing mercury and lead, detonating fuses, electric blasting caps, metal wires and aluminum and copper shells.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the operations and waste management practices at the facility contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater both on and off-site. This resulted in areas of sediment on the bottom of Pompton Lake becoming contaminated with mercury and lead that flowed down the Acid Brook into the lake.
The EPA this week released its final cleanup plan, requiring DuPont to dredge lake-bottom sediment from a 36-acre area of the Acid Brook Delta and also remove sediment from two other areas of the lake which cover another three acres. DuPont will also have to remove contaminated soil from parts of the shoreline and replace it with clean soil.
This cleanup will be financed and conducted by DuPont and overseen by the EPA.
All sediment and soil removed from the site will be sent to a licensed disposal facility, and a long-term monitoring plan will be put in place to assess the condition of the lake after the work is completed.
According to local newspaper The Record, Pompton Lake is sometimes used as a backup source to replenish a reservoir that supplies drinking water to several towns in New Jersey's Bergen and Passaic counties.