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DRBC Leads Effort To Reduce PCB Contamination

For Immediate Release

February 12, 2001

(WEST TRENTON, N.J.) - Three meetings are planned over the next two months to educate the public about the presence of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in the tidal Delaware River and Delaware Bay and to explore ways to reduce the amount of this toxic substance.

The meetings will be held February 21, March 14, and March 26 in Wilmington, Philadelphia, and Mt. Holly, N.J., respectively. They will include a presentation on PCBs in the Delaware Estuary (the tidal river and bay), a panel discussion addressing the diverse issues related to this toxin, and a question and answer period.

Additional information can be found on the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and Delaware Estuary Program (DELEP) web sites. Directions to the meeting locations are posted on the DRBC site.

One possible solution to the PCB problem is the establishment of TMDLs (total maximum daily loads) which set the quantity of a compound that can enter a water body daily without violating water quality standards or triggering fish consumption advisories. Once a TMDL for PCBs is determined, decisions will have to be made on how that new, lower loading number can be met. It will require an analysis of inputs from tributary streams feeding the estuary, storm water runoff, point sources (end-of-pipe discharges), air deposition, and riverbed sediments, followed by the development of PCB reduction plans.

The DRBC is the lead agency in this campaign to reduce PCB contamination, working closely with the three states that flank the estuary (Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Stakeholders joining this effort include:

Academy of Natural Sciences, Delaware Estuary Program, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, Drexel University, DuPont Co., New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New Jersey Department of Agriculture, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Philadelphia Water Department, Rohm & Haas Co., Stroud Water Research Center, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The commission's Toxics Advisory Committee (TAC) is assisting in the scientific development of the TMDL. All TAC meetings are open to the public.

Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list about the PCB process should contact DRBC at (609) 883-9500, ext. 205.

Meeting locations:

  • Feb. 21, 2001, Carvel Building, 820 North French St., Wilmington, Del., 6:30-9 p.m. (Snow Date: Feb. 26)
  • March 14, 2001, Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, Pa., 6:30-9 p.m.
  • March 26, 2001, Burlington County Human Services Building, Lecture Hall B, Route 541 & Woodlane Road, Mount Holly, N.J., 6:30-9 p.m.