Document Type

Report

Department/Program

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date

1980

Abstract

Kepone entered the James River estuary from point sources of production and through runoff from unauthorized disposal sites in the vicinity of Hopewell, Virginia. The total quantity of Kepone released to the river is not known, however, about 1.5 x 106 kg were produced between 1966 and 1975. At present we estimate that 30,000 kg reside in contaminated sediments of the estuary.

Bed sediments are contaminated from the source at Hopewell to Hampton Roads, a distance of 88 kilometers. Patterns of contamination vary with sediment type and distance from the source. Major Kepone sinks exist in the Jamestown - Dancing Point reach and in Burwell Bay. Sediments from these zones are generally finer-grained and more enriched in organic matter than elsewhere and these zones are sites of relatively high sediment accumulation and fast deposition. This extensive contamination of the river sediments by Kepone presents problems for managers having to make decisions on dredging actions in the river. The most important questions which need to be answered concerning dredging activities are:

1) Will dredging result in significant quantities of Kepone being released to the environment?

2) Will the releases spread the contamination or result in increased bioaccumulation of Kepone in organisms?

3) Will the spoil disposal methods release Kepone to the marine environment or ground water? (...)

Keywords

Chlordecone -- Environmental aspects -- Virginia -- Skiffs Creek

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