NAACP asks State to notify residents and businesses of plans to designate Newark drinking water supply area a Superfund Site

newark-south-wellfield-plumeThere are Volatile Organic Compounds in the groundwater in South Newark and the State of Delaware has initiated a process of listing the site on the EPA’s National Priorities List (Superfund).

Newark Branch NAACP has sent the following letter to DNREC Secretary David Small asking that the state notify and engage with the public and the local businesses who live on or adjacent to the contaminated areas that are under consideration for federal Superfund listing.  The State has yet to notify homeowners or businesses that are in the contaminated area this process has been initiated.

Click here for DNREC’s website with information about the site.

David Small, Secretary
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE  19720

Re:  Newark South Well Field Site

Dear Secretary Small,

We are writing you today to express our concerns about the public meeting that was held at Clayton Hall in Newark on November 17 to provide information about the Newark South Well Field Site.

We are troubled that DNREC did not notify the local businesses or residents who live in proximity of the site and above the contaminated plume of water about this meeting.  That DNREC and the EPA are working together to determine the future of this site, which may include a National Priories List (Superfund) designation, without involving the residents and local businesses in a meaningful way is deplorable.  We ask that you immediately notify each household and business within a 1 km radius of the site about the project, the process for moving forward, and invite these residents and businesses to another public meeting.

We are also concerned that the format of your meeting on November 17 was not receptive to questions and answers in a public format.  We believe that it is disingenuous to conduct a public meeting where members of the public are isolated from hearing the concerns of their neighbors and the answers to their questions.  In the future, the format of the meeting should be amenable to a public sharing of information by all parties, including the public.

We look forward to DNREC and the EPA engaging in a transparent and participatory public process for any decisions involving environmental contamination in our community.  We look forward to engaging with you on this issue as it moves forward.

Thank you for your consideration of our request,

Gary Hayman

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