Fish, Amphibian, and Bird Data Gap Study Plans Natural Resource Damage Assessment Available for Public Comment for the Koppers Co., Inc. Superfund Site

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control

Published: March 16, 2023
Comments Due: April 15, 2023

The Koppers Natural Resource Trustees — Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) for the State of Delaware, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the Department of Commerce, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) for the Department of the Interior — are conducting a Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). The goal of the NRDA is to identify injuries to natural resources and evaluate what restoration needs, both type and amount, there are at the Koppers Superfund Site near Newport, DE. Between 1929 and 1971, site owners operated a wood-treating facility, which primarily used creosote, a mix of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other chemicals. These chemicals contaminated soil, sediment, surface water, and groundwater.

The 300-acre site provides habitat for biological resources such as invertebrates, fish, amphibians, and birds. The Trustees determined that new field and laboratory studies are needed to evaluate site-related injury to fish, amphibians, and birds. Once the studies are complete, the Trustees will use the results and other data to write a Damage Assessment Plan. Afterwards, they will work with the public to propose restoration projects to compensate for lost ecological services.

The NRDA process is separate from the cleanup. However, the Trustees are coordinating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which will be supervising the cleanup to ensure that field work (which will start this spring) will be completed before the cleanup begins.

The Trustees are seeking input on these Study Plans during a 30-day public comment period (March 16 – April 15, 2023). They will provide a point-by-point comment response shortly afterwards.

The study plans are available online, on the USFWS website and on the DNREC website, and in-person at Kirkwood Public Library (6000 Kirkwood Highway Wilmington, DE 19801).

For questions and to submit comments (by 04/15/23), contact:

Fred Pinkney
Project Manager
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Chesapeake Bay Field Office
177 Admiral Cochrane Drive
Annapolis, MD 21401