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EPA Proposes Plan to Modify Cleanup of Ground Water at Tri-Cities Barrel Superfund Site in Broome County, N.Y.; EPA to Hold Public Meeting on August 16 to Discuss Plan

Release Date: 08/04/2011
Contact Information: John Senn, (212) 637-3667, or Kasia Broussalian, (212) 637-3581,

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed an amended plan to clean up ground water at the Tri-Cities Barrel Superfund Site in Fenton, N.Y. using a variety of natural processes known as “monitored natural attenuation.” The ground water is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds, pesticides and metals, which can cause serious damage to people’s health and the environment. The original cleanup plan, selected by EPA in 2000, called for the extraction and treatment of the contaminated ground water. Data collected since the original cleanup approach was selected indicate that natural processes are working to clean up the site. EPA will oversee the periodic collection and analysis of ground water samples to verify that the level and extent of contaminants are declining and that people’s health and the environment are protected.

The public is encouraged to comment on EPA’s proposed plan until August 30, 2011. On August 16, EPA will hold a public meeting to discuss the plan at 7:00 p.m. at the Town of Fenton Town Hall at 44 Park Street in Port Cane, N.Y. The proposed plan is available on EPA’s website at, Fenton Town Hall and EPA’s New York City office at 290 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, N.Y.

The Tri-Cities Barrel Superfund site is a 14.9-acre former barrel and drum reclamation facility. During the reconditioning process, the interior and exterior of the drums and barrels were cleaned and reconditioned using a variety of chemicals. Between 1960 and 1980, liquid waste from the process was discharged into a series of unlined lagoons on the site. EPA removed over 350 drums, as well as all containers, tanks, process equipment and buildings from the site. All of the equipment that was used while the drum reconditioning business was still in operation was decontaminated, all structures located on-site were demolished, and the debris was disposed of off-site.

In 2000, EPA selected a remedy for the site in a record of decision. It called for the excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil and sediment and extraction and treatment of the ground water to remove the contaminants. The cleanup of the soil and sediment was completed in 2003.

The 2000 record of decision evaluated three alternatives to address the site-wide ground water contamination: no action, as required by the Superfund law; ground water extraction and treatment; and monitored natural attenuation. At the time the record of decision was signed, there were insufficient data to demonstrate that monitored natural attenuation was occurring at the site. Ground water extraction and treatment was selected as the most appropriate cleanup alternative. Since the record of decision, monitored natural attenuation has been evaluated further, and sufficient data now exist indicating that monitored natural attenuation is occurring at the site. Based on this data, EPA is now proposing to change the ground water remedy to monitored natural attenuation.

Members of the public can comment on EPA’s proposed plan until August 30, 2011 and send them to:
Young Chang, Remedial Project Manager

290 Broadway, 20th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10007-1866
Fax: (212) 637-4251

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