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Month: May 2018

EPA Announces Cleanup Proposal for American Cyanamid Superfund Site in Bridgewater Township, NJ Community

Contact: Elias Rodriguez, (212) 637-3664, rodriguez.elias@epa.gov

 

NEW YORK – Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Pete Lopez was joined by New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Deputy Commissioner Debbie Mans and Bridgewater Township Director of Human Services Kristen Schiro to announce the cleanup proposal for the final portion of the American Cyanamid Superfund site in Bridgewater Township, NJ. This Superfund site is on both the National Priorities List (NPL) and Administrator Pruitt’s list of Superfund sites targeted for immediate and intense attention released in December 2017.

 

“After three decades of studies, we are exercising leadership and taking important action by proposing to remove and treat 55,000 cubic yards of acid tars and chemicals from the floodplains of the Raritan River,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA has heard the concerns and recommendations of the communities surrounding this toxic threat, and we will move purposefully and quickly to address them.”

 

The $74 million cleanup proposal involves excavation and dewatering of contaminated material within two waste disposal areas (impoundments), followed by shipment out of the area to a facility, for treatment and disposal.  Soil or clay impacted by the impoundment contaminants would also be treated, using on-site stabilization or solidification. Surrounding “berm materials” that do not require treatment would be used as backfill. It is estimated that more than 44,000 tons of hazardous waste would be permanently destroyed, and approximately 2.3 million gallons of contaminated liquid would be collected and treated.

 

“Administrator Pruitt has restored Superfund to its rightful place as a core mission of the Agency,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez.  “This cleanup, along with the groundwater treatment plant that is currently under construction, will result in positive outcomes for the people of Bridgewater and will help keep harmful contaminants like benzene from reaching the Raritan River or migrating to other off-site areas.”

 

“Working with the staff at EPA Region 2 is critical for addressing New Jersey’s Superfund sites,” said NJDEP Deputy Commissioner Debbie Mans. “The American Cyanamid site has been contaminated for far too long, impacting the environment and the residents of this area. The cleanup proposal that EPA is announcing today is a step in the right direction and targets the only remaining portion of this site which does not have a cleanup plan.”

 

“The health and safety of our residents is our primary concern and we support the efforts to address this superfund cleanup under the watchful guidance of the EPA,” said Mayor Daniel J. Hayes Jr. “The EPA and Pfizer have conducted thorough research to come up with a method that will treat the most difficult impound areas in a safe and efficient manner. We greatly appreciate their diligence and emphasis on safety.”

 

The EPA will hold a public meeting on June 12, 2018 to explain the cleanup proposal and other options considered and to take public comments. An informal public information session will be held at 6:00 p.m. and the public meeting will begin at 7:00pm at Bridgewater Township Municipal Building, 100 Commons Way, Bridgewater, N.J.

 

Comments will be accepted until June 28, 2018.

 

Written comments may be mailed or emailed to:

 

Mark Austin, Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
290 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10007
Email: austin.mark@epa.gov

 

Background

 

The American Cyanamid Superfund Site has a history of industrial pollution dating back to 1915. For nearly 100 years, prior owners used the location for manufacturing chemicals. A number of impoundments were constructed and used for waste storage and disposal throughout this period of time, which eventually resulted in the contamination of soil and groundwater with chemicals and heavy metals. The site was placed on the federal Superfund list in 1983.

 

In 1999, EPA removed a portion of the Superfund site from the NPL, freeing it up for redevelopment and reuse.  In 2012, the EPA selected a cleanup plan to address contaminated soil, groundwater and six waste disposal areas (called impoundments 3, 4, 5, 13, 17 and 24) at the site. That phase of cleanup, which is currently ongoing and being performed by Wyeth Holdings LLC, involves collecting and treating groundwater contaminated primarily with benzene. The groundwater pump and treat system prevents contaminated water from seeping into the nearby Raritan River, Cuckels Brook and Middle Brook.

 

To view the EPA’s cleanup plan and site history, please visit: www.epa.gov/superfund/american-cyanamid.

 

Follow EPA Region2 on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/eparegion2.

Construction Work Scheduled to Resume in Massena, NY in Preparation for Cleanup of the Grasse River Superfund Site

 

Larisa Romanowski, (518) 407-0400, romanowski.larisa@epa.gov  

 

ALBANY, NY – Construction work is expected to resume later this month on a facility in Massena, NY to support the $243 million dredging project to clean up PCBs from the Grasse River. When constructed, the facility will be used as a staging area to support future dredging and capping operations. Before dredging work can start, the facility must be constructed and engineering plans and other design work completed. Arconic Inc. (formerly Alcoa) is performing the cleanup work under an EPA order. EPA, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe are working together on the oversight and coordination of the various components of the cleanup project.

 

“Our ability to protect people’s health and the environment is most effective when we work together and engage our local communities from a foundation of trust and transparency,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “Working collaboratively with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, the State, local governments and the community, we can get much accomplished as we meet our shared challenges head on.”

 

In 2013, EPA selected a plan to clean up river sediment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by dredging and capping of contaminated sediment in a 7.2-mile stretch of the Grasse River.

 

The 2018 construction activities are expected to include completion of a sheet pile wall along the staging area riverfront and construction of a dock facility; removal of a small amount of sediment along the shoreline next to the staging area; removal of soil in two areas along the north shore of the river near the Alcoa Bridge; re-opening of the secure landfill for the disposal of shoreline sediment and soil; and performance of an in-river capping test in small areas near the staging area.

 

Plans to protect the health and safety of the workers and area communities will be in place while the construction work is underway. The air and river water will be monitored during the work. A traffic management plan has been developed to minimize the increased truck traffic at and near the staging area. With the exception of the collection of river water samples, and the in-river capping test, all of the work being conducted in 2018 will be performed by land and is not expected to impact recreational boating on the Grasse River.

 

EPA will hold a public information session on May 16 in Massena to provide an update on, and answer questions about, construction of the cleanup support facility. The next meeting will be held in Akwesasne in June. Meetings will be held monthly in Massena or Akwesasne while the construction work is underway.

 

Public Information Session:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Massena Community Center
Community Room
61 Beach Street
Massena, N.Y. 13662

Background:

 

Under the EPA’s 2013 cleanup plan, approximately 109,000 cubic yards of sediment will be dredged from near-shore areas of the river. In the river’s main channel, approximately 59 acres of sediment will be covered with an armored cap and another approximately 225 acres of contaminated sediment will be capped with a mix of clean sand and topsoil to isolate the contamination from the surrounding environment.

 

In spring 2017, Arconic began construction of a staging area that will be used to unload the sediment dredged from areas near the shore of the river. The staging area is located next to the river, near the intersection of County Route 42 and Route 131 in Massena. Arconic also expanded the permitted, licensed on-site Arconic Massena West landfill so that it can store dredged sediment and other materials generated during the construction work and when the river cleanup work is performed.

 

For more information about the Grasse River Superfund Site, please visit https://www.epa.gov/ny/aluminum-company-america-massena-ny.

 

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at www.twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/eparegion2.

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