POMPTON LAKES, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Residents in New Jersey are worried a process to remove cancer-causing chemicals from their neighborhood could send contaminated water spilling into their homes.
Jefferson Harman LaSala has lived in Pompton Lakes his whole life and plans to fight for it against a plan by DuPont to pump clean water into a polluted aquifer underneath his neighborhood.
“There’s a potential for seepage, of flooding coming up into the home, up from ground water,” he tells CBS2’s Meg Baker.
450 homes sit about the toxic plume that originated from a DuPont munitions plant that closed in 1994.
“We are already dealing with devaluation of properties because of the plume,” LaSala said.
The use of hydraulic surcharging would be a first in New Jersey. A horizontal pipe will run about 600 feet along a railroad bed behind the homes. Clean water will be pumped through the perforated pipe, theoretically diluting the pollution in the groundwater.
But LaSala doesn’t want his town to be the guinea pig, and questions what would happen if cancer-causing pollutants get into their basements.
“There doesn’t seem to be a contingency plan if something goes wrong,” LaSala said. “If something goes wrong, what will they do? And isn’t that after the fact if residents have already been exposed?”
DuPont needs final permit approval from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection before it can begin work.
Father of three Shaun Horgan is interested in knowing the details.
“I’m very concerned, the water can get contaminated, it’s an issue for our families and our children and for the whole town,” the Pompton Lakes resident said.
The DEP will hold an open hearing Tuesday night at Saint Mary’s Church in Pompton Lakes to address residents’ concerns.