New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Erin M. Crotty today announced the selection of a $2.86 million final remedy for the cleanup of PCB-contaminated sediments in the Valatie Kill/Nassau Lake drainage basin stemming from the Dewey Loeffel inactive hazardous waste disposal site in the Town of Nassau, Rensselaer County.
"Selection of the final remedy for the cleanup of the Valatie Kill and Nassau Lake drainage basin is an important milestone in the State's ongoing efforts to clean up contamination from the Dewey Loeffel landfill and remove an environmental and public health threat from the community," Commissioner Crotty said. "The remedy selected will effectively remove the most significant source of PCBs in the drainage basin and provide for the future protection of public health and the environment."
The final remedy, called a Record of Decision (ROD), issued today addresses PCB releases from the Dewey Loeffel site prior to its initial cleanup that resulted in the contamination of soils and sediments in the Valatie Kill/Nassau Lake drainage basin.
The final remedy is consistent with a proposed plan released for public comment by DEC in March 2001 that included the removal of PCB-contaminated sediments from portions of the Valatie Kill and its tributary, and annual monitoring and sampling of the fish, water and sediments in the drainage basin, including Nassau Lake. As part of the final plan, PCB-contaminated sediments removed from the drainage basin will be disposed of in a properly permitted off-site facility.
The final remedy includes a separate Interim Remedial Measure (IRM) completed in 2001 by General Electric, one of the parties responsible for the contamination, that resulted in the removal of more than 4,900 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from areas adjacent to the landfill, including the drainage ditch along Mead Road, in the low-lying area, and in and around Mead Road Pond. Interim remedial measures are actions that can be taken immediately to eliminate the source of contamination or prevent its spread prior to the selection of the final remedy. It is estimated that the IRM cost $2 million.
The final remedy also includes New York State Department of Health advisories against consumption of fish from the impacted portions of the Valatie Kill and from Nassau Lake. An annual monitoring program will be designed to determine if the fish consumption advisories can be eliminated or modified. If, after five years, the advisories are still necessary, further evaluation will be done to determine what additional cleanup measures could be taken to facilitate the elimination or modification of the advisories.
In addition, the remedy requires the development of an inspection program to ensure the integrity of the Nassau Lake dam. If the dam is found to be deficient, work will be done as appropriate to maintain the dam.
Prior to selecting a final remedy for the site, DEC held two public meetings in the Town of Nassau, on April 19 and June 12, 2001, and considered the written comments of more than 23 concerned parties and more than 1,100 post cards from individuals that were received during an extended, three-month public comment period. A response to comments is included in the Record of Decision.
The 11-acre Dewey Loeffel site, located on Mead Road in the Town of Nassau, was operated as a disposal site from 1952 to 1980. DEC estimates that more than 46,000 tons of waste materials were deposited at the site from industrial sources including GE, the Bendix Corp., now owned by Honeywell, and Schenectady International.
The site was capped with clay in 1984-85 and a bentonite slurry wall was installed around the perimeter of the site to contain wastes. A leachate collection system to collect contaminated water was also installed, along with groundwater wells to monitor the effectiveness of the containment.
In 1993, monitoring wells indicated the presence of a groundwater contaminant plume in the bedrock south of the site, that impacted three private wells. Treatment systems were provided for the contaminated wells. DEC issued a Record of Decision in January 2001 for additional remedial measures to upgrade the water management system at the site, and to recover and treat contaminated groundwater from the bedrock aquifer beneath and to the south of the disposal site.
Copies of the Record of Decision are available for review at the Nassau Library, Church Street, Nassau, NY 12123, and at the DEC Central Office, 625 Broadway, 12th Floor, Albany, NY 12233. Information also is available by calling DEC's Hazardous Waste Site toll-free number at 1-800-342-9296.