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EPA Proposes Cleanup Plan for Cattaraugus County Site (Little Valley)

Release Date: 7/1/2005
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For Release: Friday, July 1, 2005

(#05077) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking community input on its plan to address contaminated soil and ground water at the Little Valley Superfund site in Little Valley, New York. Under the proposed plan, approximately 200 cubic yards of soil contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE) will be excavated and disposed of off-site. The levels of TCE in the ground water over much of the study area are currently being reduced as a result of natural processes. The proposed ground water remedy is to continue to monitor the ground water to ensure that contamination levels continue to decrease over time. The proposed cleanup plan is expected to cost $381,000.

"Our first priority was to provide a safe source of drinking water. We are now working to clean up the only current source of contamination that we could identify and to ensure that the quality of the ground water continues to improve with time," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan. "I encourage the public to review and comment on our proposal."

The Little Valley Superfund site consists of an area of contaminated ground water extending approximately eight miles along Route 353 from the Village of Little Valley to the northern edge of Salamanca. In the 1980's, the Cattaraugus County Health Department and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) sampled wells in the area and found that the ground water was contaminated with TCE, a common industrial solvent. NYSDEC performed additional sampling in the early 1990's, but could not find the source of the contamination. EPA listed the site on the National Priorities List of the nations most hazardous waste sites in June 1996.

In 1997, after evaluating alternatives to provide a safe source of drinking water, EPA installed individual treatment systems on the affected and potentially affected private wells. The treatment systems, now installed on 91 private wells, currently consist of two carbon filters which remove TCE to below the federal and state drinking water standard of 5 parts per billion (ppb).

At the time that EPA made the decision about installing individual treatment systems on the affected and potentially affected private wells, the Agency also recognized the need to determine if a more permanent source of drinking water would be necessary. Sampling of the private wells with treatment systems shows that TCE concentrations are decreasing in the majority of the wells, with current levels in most wells either slightly above or below the drinking water standard. The Agency is proposing to continue to use the carbon filters until the TCE levels drop below 5 ppb in all of the wells, which is expected to happen in about 10 years.

EPA also performed an extensive investigation in an attempt to identify the sources of the TCE contamination. While a number of former sources of TCE contamination were identified, only one current source, known as the Cattaraugus Cutlery Area, was located. EPA's proposed plan targets this location for excavating contaminated soil.

Copies of site-related documents and the proposed cleanup plan are available for public review at:

Little Valley Municipal Building
103 Rock City Street
Little Valley, New York
Salamanca Public Library
155 Wildwood Avenue
Salamanca, New York
290 Broadway, 20th floor
New York, N.Y.

The public comment period began on June 27 and will end on July 26, 2005.

EPA will hold a public meeting at the Little Valley Elementary Campus, 207 Rock City Street in Little Valley, New York, at 7:00 p.m. on July 6, 2005 to explain the Agency's proposed cleanup plan. The Project Manager, Ms. Patricia Simmons Pierre, will accept written or verbal comments at the public meeting, or via mail at: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 20th floor, New York, N.Y. 10007-1866; telefax: (212) 637-3966; or email: For more information about this site as well as other Superfund sites in New York, please visit the EPA web site at