Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


GM To Start Removal Of Contaminated Sediments and Soils Next Week At Federal Superfund Site in Massena, New York

Release Date: 06/10/1999
Contact Information: Rich Cahill (212) 637-3666 /

(#99091) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that 23,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments and soil will be removed this summer from the General Motors (GM) Superfund site in Massena, New York for disposal at a licensed facility in Utah. The total includes 13,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments dredged from the St. Lawrence River and stored on the site since 1995, and 10,000 cubic yards of contaminated sludge from the active wastewater treatment plant on the GM property. The material is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from past GM operations at the site. GM is paying for the work, which will be supervised by EPA, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

"The creation of this cleanup plan is the dividend of cooperation between EPA, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, New York State and GM," said EPA Regional Director of the Superfund Program Richard Caspe. "EPA and the Tribe also developed an air monitoring plan that will protect the health of area residents during the cleanup. It will detect any release of PCBs caused by the work and trigger the shutdown or modification of activities if that happens."

"We are pleased to finally see the removal of contaminated material from the GM site. This is hopefully just the beginning of a major removal of contaminated waste from all areas of the Superfund site," said St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Chief Executive Officer Edward D. Smoke. "The Tribe's Environment Division will continue to review all design documents and provide on-site supervision of all cleanup actions to ensure the protection of Mohawk people and natural resources," said Ken Jock, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment Division Director.

The action is the result of an EPA decision this March that called for the off-site disposal of the contaminated material rather than on-site treatment. The removal of the contaminated sediments will be performed in conjunction with the cleanup of the sludge in the wastewater treatment lagoons at the plant. PCB wastes are regulated under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

EPA expects that the first trainload of contaminated material will leave the site for out-of-state disposal next week, and the last shipment of material from the site will be at the end of August.

Site Background

GM has operated an aluminum die-casting plant at the site since 1959. Until 1980, PCBs were a component of hydraulic fluids used in die-casting machines at the GM facility. PCBs provided protection against fire and thermal degradation in the high temperature environment of the die casting machines. GM no longer uses the die-casting process or PCBs at the facility; however, PCB-contaminated materials remain at the site.

For more information contact:
Richard Cahill, Press Office
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway
NY, NY 10007-1866
Voice: 212-637-3666 FAX: 212-637-5046 E-Mail: