EPA Continues Cleanup of Contaminated Newburgh NY Site

Site had been contaminated with lead, volatile organic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls.

The EPA announced Monday that it will continue its progress in cleaning up the Consolidated Iron and Metal Superfund site in Newburgh, NY with a proposed plan to remove approximately 78,000 cubic yards of soil contaminated with lead, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polychlorinated biphenylsm.

Consolidated Iron and Metal operated at the site for 40 years before the facility’s closure in 1999. The company operated a smelter on the site between 1975 and 1995, primarily to melt aluminum scrap materials, transmissions and other metallic materials. These activities created lead-contaminated ash and other by-products.

From 1997 to 1999, the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) conducted several inspections at the facility and cited the owner for a number of violations. Subsequent inspections revealed that the owner had failed to correct the violations adequately and in the fall of 1999, the NY State Attorney General shut down operations at the site.

Approximately 6,600 tons of materials were removed from the site and placed in an approved treatment, storage and disposal facility. EPA also constructed a mound at the site to prevent storm water from carrying contaminants into the Hudson River.

The site was placed on the National Priorities List of the country’s most contaminated sites on June 14, 2001.

In 2002, EPA constructed a security fence around the site to respond to local concerns about trespassing and scavenging. From June to September 2003, EPA began its cleanup of the site, which included removing thousands of tons of debris and contaminated soil as well as 28,000 gallons of hydraulic oil.

“We have seen a clear improvement of conditions at the site after removing tons of debris and other materials,” said Regional Administrator Alan J Steinberg. “Now, we’re going to eliminate a potential threat to the health of the surrounding community and make a blighted area available for productive reuse.”

Members of the public are encouraged to comment on the proposed cleanup plan during the public comment period from July 25 to Aug 23, 2006. The proposed plan and other relevant documents are available at the Newburgh Free Library located at 124 Grand St, Newburgh, NY and at EPA’s Manhattan offices at 290 Broadway. EPA representatives will be available to discuss the plan at a public meeting on Aug 7 at Newburgh City Hall at 7PM.


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