DNREC sets hearing on Burton Island ash disposal site clean up for Feb. 7

February 2, 2013

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's Site Investigation and Restoration Section will hold a public hearing on the final phase of the proposed cleanup plan for the Burton Island ash landfill at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Millsboro Fire Hall, 109 East State St.
The 144.23-acre site is located at the confluence of Indian River and Island Creek on the property of the Indian River Generating Station, in Millsboro. The current site owner/operator is Indian River Power LLC, an affiliate of NRG Energy.
The site consists of three operable units: the shoreline, intertidal zone and vicinity within the footprint of the portion of the erosion control project surrounding the landfill; the landfill/land areas inside the project footprint; and the sub-tidal sediments and the waters outside the project footprint. The proposed plan addresses the second operable unit (the landfill/land areas landward [inside] of the footprint of the erosion control project.)
The previous plant owner-operator, Delmarva Power & Light Company, used the Burton Island Landfill for coal ash disposal from 1957 to 1979. Environmental contamination occurred at the site as a result of disposal of coal ash into tidal wetlands and subaqueous lands and subsequent erosion of the ash into surface waters and sediments.
Soil, groundwater, pond water, and pond sediment are contaminated with coal ash containing several metals (most importantly arsenic, barium, mercury, selenium, and thallium). This contamination poses risks to certain aquatic and terrestrial wildlife and, under certain extreme circumstances, a slight potential health risk to humans.
Based on the results of the investigation, DNREC proposes: grading, covering and vegetating bare areas or other targeted areas of operable unit 2 to stabilize slopes and control erosion; perimeter controls to limit trespassing; implementation of a long-term stewardship plan to ensure the remedy is protective; and placement of an environmental covenant limiting future land use.
NRG Energy had previously remediated operable unit 1 at Burton Island by installing erosion control through bank stabilization measures in 2010. Erosion control measures consisted of installation of armor stone and large concrete blocks underlain by synthetic fabric along the island’s shorelines. DNREC determined that operable unit 3 needed no additional remedial action.
For more details regarding the proposed plan, a copy is available at the Millsboro Public Library, 217 West State St., or at the office of DNREC-SIRS, 391 Lukens Dr., New Castle. The proposed plan is also posted at
For site-specific information, go to DNREC’s superfund site files database at Written comments on the proposed plan will be accepted through Tuesday, Feb. 6, and should be submitted to Gregory DeCowsky, c/o DNREC-SIRS, 391 Lukens Drive, New Castle, DE 19720.
For additional information, contact DeCowsky at 302-395-2600.

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