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Removal Of Waste Piles From Glen Cove Site Completed (Li Tungsten)

Release Date: 10/27/2005
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FOR RELEASE: Thursday, October 27, 2005

(#05122) NEW YORK – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today joined other federal, state and city officials in Glen Cove, New York to highlight the excellent progress made in cleaning up the Li Tungsten Superfund site. EPA previously excavated about 120,000 cubic yards of contaminated wastes, some of it radioactive, from Captain’s Cove and stored it on the property. This spring, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began transporting the waste piles off-site for disposal and have now completed the work.

“We’ve made a great deal of headway at this site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “While we still have more work to do at Li Tungsten, we are looking to a point in the near future, when we’ll be able to say that the site is cleaned up.”

The Li Tungsten site includes 26 acres of property in Glen Cove formerly occupied by the Li Tungsten facility, as well as portions of the nearby Captain's Cove property where the facility operators disposed of waste tungsten material. The facility was owned by the federal government from 1942 to 1951, and operated by a succession of corporate entities, including the National Reconditioning Company, Wah Chang Smelting and Refining Company of America, Inc., Wah Chang Corporation, Teledyne-Wah Chang, Inc., and eventually the Li Tungsten Corporation. The Li Tungsten Corporation declared bankruptcy in 1985. EPA placed the Li Tungsten site on the National Priorities List of the nation’s most hazardous waste sites in October 1992.

The contaminants that are of concern include heavy metals in site soils and low-level concentrations of radionuclides found in the soils, creek sediments and ore residuals. With EPA oversight, from 1989 to 1990, the Glen Cove Development Corporation removed various radioactive substances, laboratory chemicals, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB)-contaminated wastes and elemental mercury. From 1996 to 1998, EPA removed the contents of approximately 270 chemical storage tanks and demolished two unstable buildings. In 1999, EPA selected a long-term cleanup plan for the site, which includes the ongoing activities of excavating and segregating ore residuals, soils and sediments contaminated with heavy metals and radionuclides, and disposing of this material off-site.

The Agency modified its cleanup plan for a portion of the site this spring, after Glen Cove changed the site’s zoning to allow part of the site to be developed for residential use. To date, a significant portion of the contaminated waste material has been excavated, segregated and removed from the site. In March 2005, EPA selected a second cleanup plan, requiring that pieces of radioactive slag in nearby Glen Cove Creek be removed, and the Agency expects the dredging of these materials to start in spring 2006.

For additional information about the Li Tungsten site, please visit the EPA Web site at