Have there been any studies on the effect of the pollution of the PRM in the water supply in NJ, as public and private water companies draw water from it and Phila stopped using it in the 1990’s because it was too polluted?

Evergreen is not aware of any available studies that evaluate the fate and transport of petroleum hydrocarbon chemicals in groundwater from the site into New Jersey groundwater.  Evergreen plans to complete fate and transport modeling with a numerical groundwater model, which will evaluate the potential migration of petroleum-related chemicals from both the water-table aquifer (AOIs 1-10) and lower aquifer (AOI 11). Based on data collected to date, there is no indication that petroleum-related chemicals in groundwater from site operations will migrate to New Jersey.

There have been several studies of the PRM groundwater unit focusing on groundwater flow and naturally occurring metals, including:

  • Historical Ground-Water-Flow Patterns and Trends in Iron Concentrations in the PotomacRaritan-Magothy Aquifer System in parts of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Camden and Gloucester Counties, New Jersey, U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4255,
  • Schreffler, Curtis, L., 2001. Simulation of Ground-Water Flow in the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy Aquifer System Near the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia, and the Point Breeze Refinery, Southern Philadelphia Pennsylvania, U.S. Geological Survey, Water-Resources Investigations Report 01-4218, Sloto, R. A., 2003.

In addition, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has provided the following information: “At this time NJDEP believes the existing hydrogeologic, geologic and water quality data indicate any contaminants that may be in the subsurface at the PES refinery in Philadelphia do not pose a threat to water supply wells in the PRM aquifer system in NJ. At this time NJDEP does not consider PFAS contamination at the former Philadelphia Refinery to be a threat to NJ via a flow path through the lower PRM aquifer. This is based on several lines of reasoning:

1) The lower PRM is the water table aquifer at the site and is very shallow under the Delaware River. We consider the Delaware River to be recharging this aquifer. As such, it is likely a recharge boundary to any contaminants that might be entering it on the Pa side.  Studies conducted in the PRM aquifer system within New Jersey indicate that the Delaware River acts as a significant hydraulic flow boundary limiting any groundwater source area from extending to the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. More information is in Pope and Watt, 2005 (https://secure-web.cisco.com/1QNK4DBcOrtQ0JjsHbl5b79X05rdft7c469uiTdKulpe4LmzQdI8DlVAwc-Qfit5xZaOSyf8SmyCazeksgma0yviIb0WmR8GYHAJLHKJThyiEmd-S9Kukws7fqcy65mV6TVrzjNGv3EvgDHo6ts71tPnEJ9cIeg8HRzRtzixilAKwb8XKUi00oRHePni3O3a9Q_CAyKJ5wQeQO1W4tOCje24nrJ9l3RlrD_3WC-WwX4tiqhANiSdZIxwY6QeRnvadbOQl6Zakw7WvFnBYJUyUdw/https%3A%2F%2Fpubs.er.usgs.gov%2Fpublication%2Fsir20045101) and Navoy and Carleton, 1995 (https://secure-web.cisco.com/14SrVjTcT2kOO14dfWEDsnY2-F6ono0r1v3EBQ0zBDvYkIY7PlRyyQAGvGwEo-HCBN-Lk-2GJah_eUPLTO2eVp4LfSNHdLg0KltKTXRShNCxzwD7lm8uJ_-iKknmChzbBFz8mmsC8EJgHzGEAQO5NYVK7We9_p5RFVEoCDgvlfv9-6CrS1-2t4mu4XN5v1NxooG3KVIaAWpoWFVv4r9n_QX_8lukx4zSvoKOj4x_0Rbc9JcMPRE6aLaMGXYAk-9-Tkxj1HeibFrTB1uPpSZ30GA/https%3A%2F%2Fwww.state.nj.us%2Fdep%2Fnjgs%2Fpricelst%2Fgsreport%2Fgsr38.pdf).

2) That the Delaware River acts as a recharge boundary is supported by aquifer tests in NJ conducted in the lower PRM close to the river. These tests show significant leakage which would not occur if the Delaware River was not a recharge boundary.

3) NJDEP delineated well head protection areas for unconfined wells within the Potomac using the methods detailed in Spayd and Johnson, 2003, available at https://secure-web.cisco.com/1azAbsv8HMFq0INHE6kb7P-2gon-zhCTNtpOtbPp5cpzHbNygIhgHFWqQMNaeG5RXaLLrTkicXc-TEg6qbExHCUX6yNJ2I3BmzKv61RrqPBmvTVqgsNPcKZb6Bp-KxZv7E3EFpXppbe76BGvyvQWuNxZPSPe4qqlQQjt3W-thgf9hMBQAvqe-o9X0J3bmDtAG0ctemEGHLSGEOvynvkJjXOJu3KyMHtTMhXQeD1ZHgcrb0CDtxcni5O1G8K6VeMySpEf6WILwNBWPbTY5BJn0qQ/https%3A%2F%2Fwww.state.nj.us%2Fdep%2Fnjgs%2Fpricelst%2Fofreport%2Fofr03-1.pdf. These calculated areas represent the source areas to wells based on three time of travel intervals of 2, 5 and 12 years.  The delineated source areas indicate that no wells completed within the Potomac Formation in NJ have well head protection areas which extend into Pennsylvania.  

4) Reported water quality data (https://secure-web.cisco.com/17_sg7vCSGdmSn5p4EO7KLlLD3G3QlM6urSdbDChJjvcaN-__mNiUOLS-w9wTQpzoJlfeLgzqnliioZik_WFqDcD_dDEgg9HusX3Fii9608-74LtQiHsYzT8dMW_BpF96-K2aXrGt7zOTkzP7zQnhfFIcYQO1ALaSuDl3T3KRsoAlSnpAk1zszi9I9-lXCKJXicMuBIidT7KbGy9OEa9w__dAjRmhUEglexfL2lhmlHISnz96BWN6t4qMe0f7CF7VrRQn-adZaoJwzLi2uV3TfA/https%3A%2F%2Fwww9.state.nj.us%2FDEP_WaterWatch_public%2F) indicate no contamination is present in supply wells for the National Park Water Department,  which are the closest NJ supply wells to the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery.  The refinery has been in operation for more than 100 years and it appears that no measurable contamination has migrated to these wells.  All public supply wells in New Jersey are required to monitor and report water quality data quarterly therefore any potential contaminants would be identified.”