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EPA Announces Completion of Construction at Platekill Site (Hertel Landfill)

Release Date: 03/09/2005
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For Release: Wednesday, March 9, 2005

#05018) NEW YORK -- The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that construction work needed for the cleanup of the Hertel Landfill Superfund Site in Platekill, New York has been completed. The landfill has been capped and systems have been installed to collect leachate from the landfill and to vent gas.

"Cleaning up landfills is always a challenge, but Hertel is a real Superfund success story," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan. "We have now controlled the contamination and the responsible parties have paid for the cleanup."

The Hertel Landfill operated as a private landfill accepting municipal and industrial waste from 1963 to 1977. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation collected samples in the 1980's and found that the site was contaminated with phenols, metals and other organic compounds. EPA added the site to the National Priorities List of the most contaminated hazardous waste sites in June 1986.

From 1991 to 1995, EPA performed an extensive scientific study to evaluate the nature and extent of the contamination at the site. The results of the study showed the presence of low levels of volatile organic compounds and metals throughout the site at concentrations above levels normally found in ground water, surface water, sediment and soil.

EPA selected a cleanup plan for the site in 1991, which called for capping the landfill, extracting and treating contaminated ground water, constructing a gas venting system and leachate collection system, and implementing a comprehensive ground water monitoring program. In January 2005, EPA modified the cleanup plan after samples of ground water showed that the landfill cap and leachate extraction system had sufficiently improved the quality of the ground water, and that a separate ground water extraction and treatment system was no longer needed. The modified cleanup plan requires restricting access to the site, controlling the site's future uses, and performing long-term monitoring of the ground water, surface water and sediment.

The cleanup was performed by a group of eleven parties who previously entered into an agreement with EPA to perform the design and construction work, as well as the long-term monitoring and maintenance activities. EPA oversaw the construction activities, and the Agency will continue to monitor future work at the site.

For additional information about the Hertel Landfill Superfund site, please visit the EPA Web site at

Related Sites:
EPA Proposes To Change Cleanup Plan at Plattekill Superfund Site - July 2004
NPL Site Narrative for Hertel Landfill