Cleanup Begins at Ellenville Scrap Iron and Metal Superfund Site in N.Y.

EPA will begin to excavate contaminated soil on the Ellenville Scrap Iron and Metal Superfund site in Ellenville, N.Y., and move it to the landfill on the property. The landfill will then be securely capped to prevent contaminants from leaching out of the landfill into the ground water. The excavation of the soil, which is contaminated with hazardous chemicals and metals, is the first part of a site cleanup plan EPA selected in September 2010. Any of the excavated soil or materials that are characterized as hazardous waste will be shipped off-site for proper disposal. EPA will hold a public information session on Wed., May 11 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Ellenville Government Center at 2 Elting Court in the Village of Ellenville, to discuss its work at the site.

“EPA is committed to cleaning up the Ellenville Scrap Iron and Metal Superfund site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “Containing and isolating contaminated soil at this site is important to protect people from potential exposure to harmful contaminants and to protect the underlying ground water.”

EPA will perform its work at the Ellenville site in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The cleanup, which is expected to cost about $8 million, is being paid for by EPA, with NYSDEC contributing 10 percent of the funding. Cleanup work at the site is expected to be completed this fall. No financially-viable potentially responsible parties exist to perform or fund the cleanup of the Ellenville site.

EPA will excavate contaminated soil from six different areas at the site, consolidate the soil on the landfill portion of the site and then securely cap the landfill. EPA will also install a series of additional wells to monitor ground water around the site to make sure it remains free of contaminants.

EPA added the Ellenville Scrap Iron Metal site to the Superfund National Priorities List on October 7, 2002 after hazardous chemicals were found in the soil there. The 24-acre site, which was used for scrap metal operations from the 1950s until the 1990s, is divided into upper and lower portions by a landfill, approximately 40 feet high. Soil samples at the site showed levels of semi-volatile organic compounds and heavy metals.

From 1987 to 1998, the NYSDEC inspected the site numerous times, conducted sampling and directed the owner to clean up on-site debris. The Village of Ellenville also removed a large number of tires from the site. During 2004 and 2005, EPA demolished all of the buildings at the site, and disposed of waste oil tanks and approximately 20 drums containing hazardous materials. In addition, soil contaminated with lead was removed and disposed of off-site.

In 2007, EPA began an investigation at the site to determine the full nature and extent of contamination. The results of the EPA investigation led to the selection of a cleanup plan by EPA, in consultation with the public.

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