The Newport Site is located along the Christina River in Newport, Delaware near the I-95, I-495, and Delaware State 141 interchange. The approximately 120-acre Site consists of a pigment manufacturing plant now owned by CIBA Specialty Chemicals Corporation (CIBA), a former chromium dioxide production facility (DuPont Holly Run Plant), two inactive landfills separated by the Christina River, a small recreational area (Ballpark), and associated wetland areas and segment of the Christina River.
Pigment manufacturing began at the Site in 1902 when the site was owned and operated by Henrik J. Krebs. Krebs manufactured Lithopone, a white inorganic pigment, until 1929 when DuPont purchased the plant. Lithopone was produced until approximately 1952. The site then transitioned to manufacturing titanium dioxide as a paint pigment. DuPont also manufactured copper phthalocyanine (CPC) and quinacridone (QA), both organic pigments. Historical operations also included the production of chromium dioxide, high-purity silicon, and other organic and inorganic pigments. The pigment manufacturing operations were purchased by CIBA-GEIGY in 1984 and continue to operate today. DuPont retained the chromium dioxide magnetic recording tape operation at the Holly Run Plant. However, the Holly Run Plant ceased operation in 2000.
During plant operations, two portions of the site bordering the Christina River were used as waste disposal landfills. Landfilling occurred in the North Disposal site and the South Disposal site. The North Disposal site (approximately 7.6 acres) was used for disposal of general refuse and process waste from early 1902 until 1974. After disposal ceased in 1974, the North Disposal site was capped with approximately 2 feet of clayey material. The South Disposal site (approximately 17 acres) was operated from approximately 1902 to 1953. Material deposited in this landfill primarily consisted of insoluble residues of zinc and barite ores that were pumped as slurry through a pipeline across the Christina River.
Two organic pigments (CPC and QA) were manufactured at the site between 1948 and 1958. The presence of tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) in the soil and groundwater is believed to be associated with the historical use of these organic solvents in the production of these pigments.