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Month: July 2018

EPA Proposes Cleanup of Lead Contaminated Residential Properties at Eighteen Mile Creek Superfund Site in Lockport, N.Y.

EPA to hold public meeting on August 16; Contact: Michael Basile, basile.michael@epa.gov, 716-551-4410

 

NEW YORK, NY – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to clean up lead-contaminated soil at approximately 26 residences that are impacted by the former Flintkote Plant property at the Eighteen Mile Creek Superfund Site, in Lockport, N.Y. As part of a multi-phased, comprehensive cleanup of the Eighteen Mile Creek Site, EPA is proposing the removal of approximately 14,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and off-site disposal at facilities licensed to handle the waste. The excavated areas will be restored and backfilled with clean soil.

 

“EPA is committed to taking action to address the significant health threat lead contamination poses across the country,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “The plan proposed for this site will address the lead in the soil that children and families could be exposed to on these properties.”

 

EPA has provided property owners with their specific soil sampling results and has discussed preventative measures to reduce exposure before an action can be taken. Once EPA gets public input on its proposal and finalizes a plan for these properties, the Agency will coordinate with the property owners to minimize impacts and inconveniences associated with construction.

 

Once the final plan is selected, EPA will take more soil samples to determine more conclusively the number of residential properties that need soil cleanup. EPA will monitor air near the work areas to ensure protection of residents and the surrounding community.

 

Background:

 

Eighteen Mile Creek has a long history of industrial use dating back to the 1800’s. The headwaters of the Creek consist of an east and west branch beginning immediately north of the New York State Barge Canal in Lockport. Eighteen Mile Creek flows north approximately 15 miles and discharges into Lake Ontario in Olcott, N.Y. Investigations at the site show that sediment and soil in and around Eighteen Mile Creek and nearby properties are contaminated with a variety of pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead.

 

The former Flintkote Plant property located at 198 and 300 Mill Street operated between 1928 and 1971 and manufactured felt products.

 

EPA has taken a multi-phased approach to cleaning up the Eighteen Mile Creek Site. In the first phase, EPA demolished the buildings at the former Flintkote Plant property and bought out and relocated five families from their Water Street residences in Lockport, N.Y. due to the impact of recurring flooding of PCB-contaminated water and sediment from the Creek. Those homes, and the former industrial buildings, were demolished and all demolition debris was removed from the properties.

 

In the second phase, which is ongoing, EPA is addressing soil and sediment contamination in the Creek Corridor. This encompasses an approximately 4,000-foot segment of Eighteen Mile Creek that extends from the New York State Barge Canal to Harwood Street in the City of Lockport.

 

The third phase of cleanup – also currently ongoing – is an investigation of groundwater and contaminated sediment in the Creek from Lockport to Lake Ontario.

 

Today’s announcement involves the fourth phase, which is the proposed cleanup and restoration of lead-contaminated soil at residential properties in the vicinity of the former Flintkote Plant property.

 

EPA will hold a public meeting on August 16, 2018 to explain the cleanup proposal and take public comment on the various cleanup options. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. at the 4-H Training Center at the Niagara County Fairgrounds, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, N.Y. Written comments will be accepted until August 27, 2018.

 

Written comments may be mailed or emailed to: Jaclyn Kondrk, Remedial Project Manager,U.S. EPA, 290 Broadway, 20th Floor; New York, N.Y., 10007 or e-mail: kondrk.jaclyn@epa.gov

 

To review EPA’s proposed plan, visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/eighteenmile-creek

 

On the one-year anniversary of the EPA’s Superfund Task Force Report, EPA announced significant progress in carrying out the report’s recommendations. These achievements will provide certainty to communities, state partners, and developers that the nation’s most hazardous sites will be cleaned up as quickly and safely as possible.

 

EPA’s new “Superfund Task Force Recommendations 2018 Update” is available at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations-2018-update

 

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

Pilot Project Advances EPA’s Cleanup of Gowanus Canal Superfund Site in Brooklyn, NY

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

 

NEW YORK, NY – This week marks the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Superfund Task Force Report. The Superfund Task Force was commissioned to provide recommendations on how EPA could streamline and improve the Superfund program. EPA has made significant progress in carrying out the report’s recommendations. The Agency also finalized its plans for completing all 42 recommendations by the end of 2019, which are outlined in a new 2018 Update to the Superfund Task Force recommendations.

 

“EPA has improved the health, living conditions, and economic opportunity of thousands of people living near Superfund sites over the past year as the Agency worked to implement the Task Force recommendations,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “I am proud of the accomplishments achieved by EPA’s hardworking staff, and we will continue to engage directly with stakeholders and communities near Superfund sites to accelerate cleanup and promote economic revitalization. Our plan to complete Task Force recommendations by the end of 2019 will ensure this work continues as one of EPA’s highest priorities.”

 

“Tremendous progress has been made at this site, and what we are learning here will be applied to the overall clean up the Gowanus Canal,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “This pilot project is serving its purpose – to show us what works best and what may not work as well under real-world conditions as we move toward full-scale cleanup of this highly-contaminated canal.”

 

Today, EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez, Dan Wiley, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez’s District Director for Southwest Brooklyn, other dignitaries and community members looked on as the dredging and capping pilot project at the Gowanus Canal Superfund site in Brooklyn, N.Y. enters its final phase. Under EPA oversight, approximately 17,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment have been dredged from the Gowanus Canal’s 4th Street turning basin. Work is currently underway to cap the bottom. The project will inform the overall engineering design that will lead to the dredging and capping of the Gowanus Canal. The pilot study began in October 2017 and is expected to be completed later this fall.

 

Under the pilot project, steel sheet piles walls were installed along the sides of the canal to allow dredging work to be performed safely and sediment was removed and taken off-site for treatment and disposal. In the final phase, layers of sand, clay, and activated carbon-absorbing materials will be placed on the turning basin bottom to create a clean canal bottom.

 

Background: Overall Gowanus Canal Cleanup

 

More than a dozen contaminants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and heavy metals, including mercury, lead, and copper, are present at high levels in the sediment in the Gowanus Canal. PAHs, PCBs, and heavy metals were also found in the Canal water.

 

The cleanup plan for the Gowanus Canal Superfund site includes dredging to remove contaminated sediment from the bottom of the Canal, which has accumulated because of industrial and combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharges. Following dredging during the full-scale cleanup, dredged areas will be capped. In addition, certain areas of the native sediment that contain mobile liquid tar will be mixed with cement and solidified to prevent the migration of the tar. The cleanup plan also includes controls to reduce CSO discharges and other land-based sources of pollution, such as street runoff, from compromising the cleanup. The design for the cleanup of the upper canal is to be completed in spring 2019. EPA expects that the implementation of the final cleanup will be covered by a future agreement with, or order by, the EPA. Full-scale dredging of the remainder of the Canal is expected to start in 2020. The estimated cost of the cleanup is $506 million.

 

To learn more, please visit: www.epa.gov/superfund/gowanus-canal

 

EPA’s Superfund Task Force web site: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force

Cleanup of Contaminated Soil and Sediment in Stream Near Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site to Begin this Summer; EPA to Hold Public Information Session on July 17

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

 

ALBANY, NY – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that cleanup work will begin this summer to address soil and sediment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site in the town of Nassau, N.Y. The General Electric Company (GE) will remove contaminated soil and sediment, replace it with clean backfill, restore the stream channel, and re-plant trees and shrubs. The work will begin this summer and will be completed this fall.

 

Superfund is at the very core of EPA’s mission and this important cleanup work will address one potential source of contamination at the Dewey Loeffel site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “EPA is working closely with the community and is expanding its efforts to involve stakeholders as we advance this cleanup forward working closely with our state and local government partners.”

 

EPA will hold a public information session on July 17 in Nassau to provide an overview of the recently completed field investigation activities and the upcoming cleanup. EPA will also discuss the opportunity for the formation of a community advisory group (CAG) for the site. A CAG is made up of members of the community and is designed to serve as the focal point for the exchange of information among the local community and EPA, the state regulatory agency, and other pertinent federal agencies involved in cleanup of the Superfund site.

 

A public information session will begin at 6:00 p.m., with a formal presentation beginning at 7:00 p.m. Members of the project team will be available to answer questions about current and planned project activities.

 

Public Information Session:
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Open House: 6 – 7 p.m., Presentation: 7 p.m.
St. Mary’s Church
Parish Hall (behind the church)
26 Church Street, Nassau, N.Y.

 

Background:

 

The stream to be addressed, technically known as Tributary T11A, is a 1,900-foot stream which flows into the Valatie Kill. The sediment and adjacent shoreline soil of Tributary T11A is contaminated with elevated levels of PCBs, which serve as a potential ongoing source of contamination to downstream areas, such as Nassau Lake. In September 2017, the EPA, working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), reached an agreement with GE to conduct the T11A cleanup.

 

Between 1952 and 1968, an estimated 46,000 tons of industrial waste material generated by several Capital District companies was sent to the Dewey Loeffel Landfill site. The waste included industrial solvents, waste oil, PCBs, scrap materials, sludge and solids. From 1980 until the site was added to the federal Superfund list in 2011, numerous investigations and cleanup actions were performed at the site by GE and the NYSDEC. The cleanup work in Tributary T11A is an immediate action that is being taken to address contaminated soil and sediment in the tributary while the EPA’s long-term comprehensive study of the site continues.

 

For more information about the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund Site, please visit www.epa.gov/superfund/dewey-loeffel-landfill.

 

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

EPA Completes Cleanup of Chemical Hazard in Tonawanda New York

Contact: Michael Basile, (716) 551-4410, basile.michael@epa.gov 

 

NEW YORK, NY – Removing a significant threat to public health and safety, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed its cleanup of improperly stored hazardous materials at the Morgan Materials, Inc., facility in Tonawanda, New York.

 

“This array of improperly stored chemicals posed a real danger to the local community,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “In just a year and a half, EPA worked with 36 different chemical manufacturers and companies who had legally sold materials to Morgan Materials and got them to recycle thousands of drums and containers totalling some nine million pounds of materials, saving tax-payers approximately $8 million in cleanup costs.”

 

“New York State is committed to ensuring that businesses across the state are operating in a responsible way that is protective of public health and our environment,” said State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Abby Snyder. “It is our priority to provide a safe and clean environment for residents and to protect our natural resources. Working with EPA, DEC helped ensure the cleanup at Morgan Materials meets state and federal standards and the site has been fully remediated.”

 

Town of Tonawanda Supervisor, Joseph Emminger, said “The cleanup of this site represents a significant improvement for the residences and businesses in the neighborhood, as well as the nearby schools, since this was a disaster waiting to happen. We applaud the efforts of the EPA in doing the cleanup in a timely manner and look forward to the repurposing of the site.”

 

Morgan Materials, located in northern Erie County at 380 Vulcan Street, Tonawanda, purchased and was improperly storing both hazardous and nonhazardous materials. EPA’s Superfund cleanup activities began in late November 2016 and concluded this month.

 

EPA’s Superfund cleanup activities began in late November 2016 and concluded this month. The Agency’s cleanup efforts recycled approximately nine million pounds of materials and saved $8 million in cleanup costs.

 

Morgan Materials, located in northern Erie County at 380 Vulcan Street, Tonawanda, purchased and improperly stored both hazardous and nonhazardous materials. The site consists of a series of seven connected warehouse buildings, on eight acres, located in a mixed industrial and residential neighborhood and near two schools.

 

Background:

 

EPA’s efforts began in July 2016 when EPA and New York State (NYS) DEC conducted a joint inspection with officials from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services, Buffalo Sewer Authority, and the Town of Tonawanda. EPA also collaborated with New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services’ Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

 

EPA found chemical containers throughout the site, often unlabeled, leaking or stored improperly, including flammables, corrosives, and oxidizers, which could have leaked or caused fires. Results of EPA’s initial testing showed that the facility was full of hazardous substances, such as volatile organic compounds and heavy metals.

 

In November 2016, NYS DEC ordered Morgan Materials to address conditions that presented an imminent danger. Morgan Materials did not comply. EPA then assumed responsibility for security, utilities, and fire control systems. To ensure public safety, EPA established air monitoring stations throughout the site.

 

EPA contacted companies who had sold chemicals to Morgan Materials, resulting in substantial quantities of materials being recycled. Materials that were not recycled were disposed of at off-site permitted disposal facilities.

 

For further information, please visit our website: https://www.epa.gov/ny/morgan-materials-site-town-tonawanda-new-york

 

Under Administrator Pruitt’s leadership, the Superfund program has reemerged as a top priority to advance the Agency’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment. EPA established a Superfund Task Force in May 2017 to provide recommendations for improving and expediting site cleanups and promoting redevelopment.

 

The task force’s recommendations focused on five overarching goals: expediting cleanup and remediation, reinvigorating cleanup and reuse efforts by potentially responsible parties, encouraging private investment to facilitate cleanup and reuse, promoting redevelopment and community revitalization, and engaging with partners and stakeholders.

 

The Superfund Task Force Recommendations can be viewed at https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations

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