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EPA Proposes to Modify the Cleanup Plan for Solvent Savers Site

Release Date: 06/22/2006
Contact Information: Ben Barry, (212) 637-3651 or

(New York, NY) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to modify the plan to clean up the Solvent Savers Superfund Site in Chenango County, New York, originally finalized in 1990. EPA is proposing to change the cleanup plans for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) based on a drastic reduction in volatile organic compounds in the soil over the past 11 years.

“Our approach to cleaning up this site has been a rousing success and we have greatly reduced risks to the surrounding community,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “Thanks to all the hard work at the site, we now have more options to address the remaining PCBs in the soil.”

Solvent Savers Inc. operated as a chemical waste recovery operation, where industrial solvents and other wastes were reprocessed or disposed of from about 1967 to 1974. The company recovered solvents for reuse, reconditioned drums, and buried liquids, solids, sludge, and drums in several areas at the site.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) discovered the site and first investigated contamination there in 1981. They confirmed that groundwater, surface water, sediments, and soil were all contaminated with PCBs and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE), and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (TCA). Based upon these findings and a subsequent investigation EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List of uncontrolled hazardous waste sites in 1983. The Agency took actions to address the most pressing issues and developed a detailed plan to handle the more complex long-term cleanup of the site. The plan was finalized in 1990. It called for the extraction and treatment of contaminated groundwater, excavation of the PCB- and VOC-contaminated soil, which would then be treated first on the site to remove VOCs and taken off the site for further treatment to remove PCBs. Under the proposed change, the plan would include excavation and off-site treatment and/or disposal. To date, more than 130,000 cubic yards of soils have been treated for VOCs and removed from the site. Results of 302 samples taken recently on the remaining soil at the site show that it now meets NYSDEC's new standards for VOCs. Only 8 of 302 soil samples in two localized areas were above the target levels.

EPA will host a public information session at Lincklaen Town Hall, Lincklaen, NY on July 10th at 7:00 pm to discuss the proposed changes to the cleanup plan and will accept public comments. Comments received at the public meeting, as well as written comments will be considered before finalizing the new plan and the Agency will summarize its response to any comments it received in a document that will be included in the final cleanup plan. The comment period is currently open until July 20th.

For more information on the Solvent Savers site: