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EPA Holds Public Meeting on Proposed Cleanup Plan for the Tri-Cities Barrel Superfund Site Near Binghamton

Release Date: 01/21/2000
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(#00018) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a long-term cleanup plan for contamination at the former drum reconditioning facility known as the Tri-Cities Barrel Superfund site. Poor disposal practices at the facility caused significant contamination of soils, sediments and groundwater on the site, which is located next to Old Route 7 in a rural area about 5 miles northeast of Binghamton. It was added to EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) of the most serious hazardous waste sites in 1989. EPA is holding a public meeting on Wednesday, February 9, 2000, at the Chenango Valley High School Auditorium at 7:00 p.m., to obtain public comment on its proposed cleanup plan.

Under the proposed plan, approximately 50,000 cubic yards of soil and sediments contaminated with volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), metals and pesticides would be excavated and/or dredged and transported to a licensed off-site facility for treatment or disposal. The plan also calls for the installation of wells and a treatment unit that will extract and treat the contaminated groundwater, and then discharge the clean, treated water to surface waters in the area. Also included in the plan is long-term monitoring of the groundwater underlying the site to evaluate water quality improvements after the contaminated soils/sediments, which are the sources of the groundwater contamination, have been removed and the groundwater treatment system is operating. Although private drinking water wells in the vicinity of the site area have not been affected by the contamination, EPA's proposed plan calls for monitoring the local groundwater beyond the site to ensure that it remains uncontaminated. The cost of this proposed cleanup plan would be approximately $20 million.

"This proposed plan offers a comprehensive solution to the contamination caused by the site," said EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox. "We would like to have as much public input in this phase of the decision-making process as possible so that the final cleanup plan has the support of the Fenton community."

All drum reconditioning operations at the site stopped in 1992. The process involved cleaning drums, which were brought to the site from numerous sources, and typically contained residues of a variety of chemical compounds used in industrial or commercial operations.

Under an agreement with EPA, a group of parties deemed responsible for the contamination have already completed some cleanup work at the site, including the proper disposal of containers, tanks and drums located on the site, as well as the decontamination and demolition of the buildings and structures on the property, followed by the off-site disposal of the debris. This work was completed in January 1997.

EPA expects the excavation and dredging of the contaminated materials would take about six months to complete once the work is started. The groundwater cleanup system would similarly take about three months to construct once started.

Once a remedy is selected for the site, EPA will begin negotiations with the responsible parties to carry out the work. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has reviewed the plan and agrees with EPA's proposal.

The public comment period on the Proposed Plan begins on January 21, 2000 and ends on February 19, 2000. Copies of the Proposed Plan and other site-related documents are available at the Fenton Town Hall. Written comments on the plan can be sent to Young S. Chang, Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 20th Floor, New York, N.Y., 10007-1866. Comments can also be sent electronically or telefaxed. Ms. Chang's E-mail address is and her fax number is (212) 637-3966.