Despite reports linking West Deptford chemical manufacturer Solvay Solexis to the presence of perfluorochemical compounds (PFCs) in the water supply of nearby Paulsboro, West Deptford residents should have no such concerns, said a spokesman for the company.
Charles Jones, Manager of Health, Safety, Environment and Human Resources at Solvay Specialty Polymers said that the cleanup of an industrial chemical plume near the Solvay site in West Deptford is unrelated to the issues described in Paulsboro.
In mid-2013, Jones addressed the township municipal government on the potential impact of known contaminants on a property in West Deptford that he described as being limited to a two-to-three-block area of older homes near the company's headquarters on Leonard Lane.
Solvay bought the site in April 2002, but Jones said it had been an industrial cleanup project "four sales ago," as far back as 1989, when the site was owned by the Pennwalt Corporation.
"It’s from previous operations in the mid-to-late 1970s, and also from operations after 1985," he said.
The cost of that remediation, of which Jones said Solvay is in the final stages of "fully delineating the extent," is estimated at $3 to 5 million.
"We're still in the process of delineating the plume," he said. "The testing in the block of area has been completed; the results were favorable."
Jones said that Solvay has replaced an underground wastewater collection system "with double-walled pipe with materials of better construction," and as a result, "residual contamination levels in the onsite groundwater are declining."
He added that the company continues to monitor data from the wells to determine the extent of how far any contaminated groundwater might have spread.
"To date, our data has shown that our groundwater treatment system is effective," he said.
Jones also insisted that "all the evaluations we’ve done have indicated that there are no human reception pathways beyond our property;" that is, "no human exposure."
"We have confirmed that none of the substances found at our site are in the municipal water supply [of West Deptford]," he said.
Jones said that as a member of the American Chemistry Council, Solvay Solexis is "held to very strict standards to manage our business responsibly along the lines of health, safety, security.
"We are a good industrial neighbor and we’ve enjoyed a very good relationship with the community, residents, and educators since we’ve been here," he said.