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EPA Calls for Connection of East Fishkill Residents to Fishkill Water Supply; IBM to Perform $10 Million Hookup

Release Date: 09/15/2004
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that residents impacted by the Shenandoah Road Ground Water Contamination Superfund site, in the Town of East Fishkill, should be connected to a municipal water supply system. The connection, to the Town of Fishkill's existing municipal water supply system, will take approximately two-and-a-half years to complete, and will cost IBM about $10 million.

"East Fishkill residents will now have a public source of safe drinking water," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "Our first line of duty is always to make sure people's health is protected."

In 2000, the New York State Department of Health found volatile organic compounds, including tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene, above safe drinking water levels in area residential wells. EPA distributed bottled water to the residents and provided whole-house drinking water treatment systems to homes with impacted wells.

By late 2000, EPA identified the source of contamination to be a parcel of property located on East Hook Cross Road, where solvents were used by Jack Manne, Inc. to clean and repair solder-laden computer chip racks belonging to the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM). The Shenandoah Road site was placed on EPA's National Priorities List of the nation's most hazardous waste sites in June 2001.

In May 2001, IBM entered into an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) with EPA to complete the cleanup work begun by EPA at the East Hook Cross Road property. Additionally, under the AOC, IBM agreed to sample and maintain the residents' drinking water treatment systems installed by EPA, to install treatment systems in additional homes as necessary, and to develop alternatives for providing impacted residents with a permanent water supply.

In September 2002, IBM entered into a second AOC with EPA to perform a study of the nature and extent of contamination that remains at the site. With EPA oversight, in late 2002, IBM completed the removal of the excavated sources of ground water contamination from the East Hook Cross Road property. IBM also installed drinking water treatment systems at additional properties and continues to sample and maintain a total of 103 of them. In early November 2003, IBM presented EPA with the alternatives for providing a permanent water supply, and EPA subsequently selected the connection to the Town of Fishkill municipal water supply.