DOVER, Del. – Gov. John Carney has the permission of the National Guard to help residents of a south-Delaware city, after the high levels of toxic substances were discovered in the municipality of putten.
The authorities said Friday that the Guard is fitted with two 400-liter portable water tanks, and coordinated forces to ensure 24-hour water distribution activities for the residents of the Blades. A 5,000-litre water tanker is prepared for the follow-up support, the officials said.
State of the environment and the public health officials announced late Thursday that the sampling requested by the Environmental Protection Agency found concentrations of perfluorinated compounds above the health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion in all three of the city’s drinking water wells.
Timothy Ratsep, administrator of the program for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, said that the results of the sampling done at the end of January had PFC levels in the three wells, ranging from 96 to 187.1 parts per trillion.
“We don’t know what the source or sources here, and we are constantly evaluating the conditions,” he said.
The Water is delivered to the city, which has a population of about 1,400, “out of an abundance of caution” to the extent of the contamination is determined, the officials said.
State officials called the water safe for bathing and laundry, but not for drinking or cooking.
Although pfcs are not regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA has said exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, and perfluorooctane sulfonate, PFOS, on certain levels can have adverse effects on the health. Studies have shown that these effects are effects on the development to the fetus during pregnancy or to infants who are breastfed, cancer, damage to the liver, the changes in the immune system and thyroid, and cholesterol changes, according to the EPA.
The members of Delaware’s congressional delegation released a statement saying that they are “very alarmed” by the situation. Vikki Prettyman, town administrator for Blades, did not immediately return telephone messages Friday.
In an annual drinking water report released last year, the city said that its water came from a shallow aquifer has a high susceptibility to petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides and other organic substances, metals, and other inorganic compounds, and a moderate susceptibility to nutrients, pathogens, and Pcbs.
Ratsep said Sheets was selected for the sampling of a couple of months ago as part of a cheap attempt to identify areas where there may have been releases of perfluorinated compounds. These chemical substances are used in a wide range of industrial applications and consumer products, including textiles, food packaging, fire-fighting foam and metal plating.
Blades is the home of two metal plating companies, which are still in operation.
“That is the reason why the Blades was selected using the EPA funds to sample for these substances,” Ratsep said.
One of the companies, the Peninsula Plating, leaving operations in the 1990s. The other, Procino Plating, is currently processing griddle tops and associated hard chrome plating, according to a 2016 consultant report.
Procino Plating is the subject of ongoing efforts to remediate the groundwater contamination of chromium. The company has been cited multiple times for violations relating to hazardous waste and was the subject of a federal investigation in 2010. The owner of the company at that time was sentenced to a year of probation in 2014 and sentenced to pay a $50,000 fine after pleading guilty to one count of illegal storage of hazardous waste without a permit. The company itself was sentenced to five years conditionally for violating the Clean Water Act.