Fluoride Action Network

Solvay Solexis well tests in East Greenwich, West Deptford yield ‘quantifiable levels’ of chemicals

Source: South Jersey Times | June 25th, 2014 | By Jason Laday
Industry type: Perfluorinated chemicals

The first results from tests of private water wells in East Greenwich and West Deptford reveal that seven out of the 50 wells surveyed so far have been found to contain “quantifiable levels” of the chemical contamination.

Solvay Solexis, the plastics company currently testing municipal water supplies in multiple towns over fears of heightened levels of perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), notably perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), announced Wednesday they have completed surveys of 50 out of the 90 private water wells they identified for testing.

The company, based in West Deptford, did not release any specific results of the tests so far. In addition, Solvay has stated it will not disclose which private wells returned readings with high levels of PFCs. Instead, each property owner will be provided with a notice detailing their own well’s results.”

“The properties with detections were in isolated groups separated by wells with no PFNA,” read a statement from Solvay Solexis on Wednesday. “Detailed analysis cannot be performed until all results are validated, but the first set of results suggests that other potential sources for PFNA may exist in the study area.”

The testing of the 90 private water wells is being conducted by Integral Consulting Inc., which maintains offices across the country, including New York City, on properties in the area of Solvay’s West Deptford facility.

Solvay is providing bottled water to property owners with private wells slated to be tested.

PFCs and PFNA have also been raising concerns in Paulsboro, Woodbury, East Greenwich and Greenwich. In Paulsboro, the state Department of Environmental protection has recommended children under the age of 1 be provided bottled water due to the elevated levels of PFNA found in the groundwater there.

Currently, there is no statewide standard for PFNA levels in drinking water. However, Fred Sickels, director of the Division of Water Supply and Geoscience at the DEP, told West Deptford residents in April there is currently a proposal out for public hearing that would set the standard at 20 parts per trillion, equivalent to 0.02 parts per billion.

Solvay Solexis has been funding groundwater tests throughout the area, after reports of possible contamination from PFNA surfaced in August 2013, and then again that December.

Solvay used PFNAs in its production until 2010. However, company representatives have denied that their facility has been the sole cause of the contamination.

DEP officials during a public meeting in West Deptford last April stressed that PFCs and PFNA are found “all over the world in low levels,” but added it has been found in higher levels around the Solvay plant. However, they later added that the Solvay Solexis plant is “the most likely source of the contamination.”