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EPA Proposes Cleanup Plan for Contaminated Soil and Ground Water at Federal Superfund Site in Central Islip

Release Date: 02/03/2003
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(#03009) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comments on a cleanup plan for chemically-contaminated soil and ground water related to an inactive chemical manufacturing facility formerly known as MacKenzie Chemical Works, Inc., located at One Cordello Avenue in Central Islip. EPA placed the site on its National Priorities List (NPL) of the most serious hazardous waste sites in September 2001. Past operations at the site contaminated local ground water with chemicals such as trichloroethylene. Municipal drinking water supplies have not been affected.

“We encourage members of the public to review and comment on our proposed cleanup plan,”said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. “Public input is a very important part of our decision-making process.”

EPA plans to excavate some soil and use a soil vapor extraction system to remove the contamination from the remaining soil. Soil vapor extraction uses vacuum pressure to remove certain contaminants from the soil in vapor or gas form. Depending on the concentrations, these vapors may then be treated prior to being vented to the atmosphere. The soil cleanup will cost approximately $1.2 million to complete. The Agency is also proposing to use a combination of air and ozone injection to rid the ground water of chemical contamination. The air and ozone mixture will break down the contaminants as it moves through the aquifer. The costs of the remedy for the contaminated ground water is expected to be approximately $1.26 million.

The Suffolk County Health Department cited the owners of the 1.4-acre site for numerous violations while it was in operation during the 1970s. The violations included spills on open soil, leaking drums and overflowing tanks. When the company abandoned operations at the property in 1987, it left behind soils contaminated with volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, as well as numerous aboveground storage tanks, leaking drums, waste lagoons, and storm-water drywells. In 1999, a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation investigation of the site confirmed the chemical contamination of ground water and subsurface soil by 1,2,3 trichloropropane and tetrachloroethene, which are volatile organic compounds. These findings prompted the state to ask EPA to clean up MacKenzie Chemical using its federal Superfund authority.

EPA has scheduled a public meeting on Tuesday, February 18 at the Central Islip Public Library at 33 Hawthorne Avenue starting at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the plan. The public comment period on the plan began on January 23 and will end on February 21, 2003.

Copies of the proposed cleanup plan are available for public review at the Central Islip Public Library byappointment through Ms. Anne Pavlak, Director. Written comments on the plan should to addressed to Mark Granger, Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 20th floor, New York, N.Y. 10007-1866.