News | January 31, 2018

Environmental Remediation Project Earns EPA Honors

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is being recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Wastewater Management for the National Vulcanized Fibre (NVF) Yorklyn Site Wetland Project in Yorklyn, Delaware. The project was one of only five projects in the nation recognized in the Exceptional category for demonstrating excellence and innovation within the Performance and Innovation in the State Revolving Fund Creating Environmental Success (PISCES) program. Black & Veatch has been providing environmental consulting, remedial investigation, remedial design and project management services for DNREC on the project since 2015.

The first of its kind in Delaware, this brownfield to wetlands conversion project uses natural systems to remediate an area of a site that was impaired by decades of industrial activity. Paper making activities took place at the site, by NVF and other companies, for nearly 100 years using minerals like zinc, which are harmful to aquatic life and the health of the adjacent Red Clay Creek. Remaining historic portions of the factory are being repurposed as part of the redevelopment.

Black & Veatch’s remedial design addresses both contaminated soil and groundwater on the site. The new wetland was purposely placed in the most contaminated area of the site. Over-excavated zinc containing soil was sent for offsite disposal, followed by capping with clean fill and topsoil. The remaining depression is being converted to a functional wetland that will help to remove remaining zinc from impacted groundwater. Once fully functional, the existing pump and treat system that has operated onsite since 2008 will be decommissioned. The new wetland feature will be incorporated into planned park improvements, and will also help mitigate flooding problems in the Red Clay Creek valley. Existing Gun Club Road, which was long prone to flooding, has been replaced with a new road, designed by Black & Veatch, and constructed with pervious pavers that will offer additional flood mitigation benefits to the site and surrounding area.

“For decades the Clean Water State Revolving Fund has supported critical water infrastructure projects that help grow the American economy and support our way of life,” said Mike Shapiro, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “These projects are a testament to the power of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund in leveraging investment to meet the country’s diverse clean water needs.”

The Delaware Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) provided $3.3M in low interest financing to excavate and dispose of contaminated soils and create two acres of wetlands. The wetlands, along with other site enhancements, will improve water quality, store stormwater to mitigate flooding, help flush the remaining zinc-impacted groundwater to the recovery trench prior to its decommissioning, and support the economic redevelopment of the Fiber Mills District in Yorklyn. An additional $1M CWSRF loan will fund the creation a series of additional wetlands around the project site to provide additional protection to residents and new buildings from flooding and runoff.

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SOURCE: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)