AT SC LIBRARY MEETING, NYSDEC PRESENTS CLEAN-UP PROPOSAL FOR POWERS CHEMCO SITE IN GLEN COVE
February 3, 2014 -- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) held a public meeting this past Thursday evening at the Sea Cliff Library to present its proposal for clean-up of the former Powers Chemco property located across Glen Cove Creek in Glen Cove at 71 Charles Street.
The vacant 1.4 acre property, formerly occupied by the Columbia Ribbon and Carbon Manufacturing Company, and now located within the 15 acre Konica Minolta property, is listed as a "Class 2" in the State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites which means that it poses a "significant threat to the public health or environment."
According to the NYSDEC, prior to 1979, when the site across Glen Cove Creek at 71 Charles Street was sold to Powers Chemco, the Columbia Ribbon Carbon and Manufacturing Company had disposed of refuse from the production of blue printing inks, carbon paper and typing ribbon in open pits behind their manufacturing buildings, and that wastes were pumped through a two-inch galvanized pipe from the plant directly into the makeshift repository. There are three aquifers in the area of the contaminated site, one of which is the principal source of drinking water in the city of Glen Cove.
Efforts had been made earlier to clean up the site after a "Record of Decision" was issued in 1991. However subsequent testing and investigations revealed that the remediation efforts were unsuccessful and contaminants were still present. The contaminants include toluene, exylene, ethylbenzene, methyl ehtyl ketone and benzene. In addition, testing of groundwater samples also detected several metals including arsenic, chromium, lead, and mercury in levels that exceed the DEC's Ambient Water Quality Standards and Guidance values (SCGs).
At Thursday's meeting, DEC officials, in addition to providing background on the site's contamination and the results of the 1991 efforts to clean it up, explained the proposed course of action.
According to officials, "the goal of the remedial program is to restore the site to pre-disposal conditions to the extent feasible," and "at a minimum . . . to eliminate or mitigate all significant threats to public health and the environment presented by the contamination." These goals, more specifically, include, but are not limited to, "preventing ingestion of groundwater with contaminant levels exceeding drinking water standards; preventing contact with or inhalation of volatiles from contaminated groundwater; and preventing ingestion or direct contact with contaminated soil."
The Department intends to excavate 10,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the property that will disposed of at a an off-site facility. Contaminated groundwater will also be pumped, treated and disposed of. The site will then be backfilled with clean soil, and a process known as "In-situ chemical oxidation will be used to remediate residual contaminated groundwater." The estimated cost of the project is $5,504,900.
At Thursday's meeting, Assemblyman Charles Lavine (D- Glen Cove) expressed frustration that the meeting had not been held in Glen Cove, where it would have been more convenient for those most affected by the contamination to have had the opportunity to comment, and what he perceived as little publicity for the event from the DEC. His office had sent out a press release to local news outlets about a week prior to the meeting. The assemblyman requested that the DEC hold an additional meeting. On Tuesday, February 4, the DEC announced that a second public meeting will be held at Glen Cove City Hall on Thursday February 13, at 7 pm.
In addition, community members can learn more about the proposal and submit comments during a 30 day "comment period" that began on January 17 and will conclude on February 17. Project documents are available for review at the Glen Cove Public Library, at 4 Glen Cove Avenue in Glen Cove.
Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on NYSDEC’s website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/detexternal/haz/details.cfm?pageid=3&progno=130028.
Projected related comments and questions should be directed to:
Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Environmental Remediation
SUNY at Stony Brook, 50 Circle Road
Stony Brook, NY 11790-3409
Site-Related Health Questions should be directed to:
New York State Department of Health
Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower, Room 1787
Albany, NY 12237
Assemblyman Lavine has offered his assistance as well. His office can be contacted at 676-0050.
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Images courtesy of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation