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EPA to Clean Ground Water at Pohatcong Valley Site

Release Date: 08/07/2006
Contact Information: Ben Barry, (212) 637-3651 or

(New York, NY) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will remove trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene (PCE) from ground water at the Pohatcong Valley Groundwater Contamination Superfund Site, in Warren County, New Jersey. Under a plan finalized July 13, 2006, EPA will drill wells to pump out the contaminated water and treat it using technology that will strip out the pollutants by blowing air through the contaminated water to separate out the chemicals. The resulting clean water will be pumped back into the ground. This process will be repeated until the levels of contaminants are reduced to below standards set by the State of New Jersey.

The Pohatcong Valley Groundwater Contamination Site encompasses approximately 8.75 square miles (5,600 acres) in Warren County, New Jersey and consists of rural, industrial, commercial, municipal, farm, and residential land. In the late 1970’s, the Warren County Department of Health (WCDOH) sampled two public water supply wells and, after detecting TCE and PCE, treated the water.

After subsequent investigations, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection connected homes and businesses within the contaminated area of Washington Township to an alternative drinking water supply.

EPA added the site to the National Priorities List of the nations most polluted sites on March 31, 1989. In 2005, EPA completed an investigation of industrial properties near the area of contaminated ground water to determine which industries might have been sources of the TCE and PCE groundwater contamination. In 1999, EPA began an extensive investigation of the exact nature and extent of ground water contamination, and a full evaluation of the potential human health and ecological risks. EPA identified two areas of highly contaminated ground water that will be treated and this plan is designed to reduce any remaining risks posed by the ground water.

For more information on the Pohatcong Valley site: