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EPA Selects Cleanup Plan For Superfund Site In Cattaraugus County (Peter Cooper Landfill)

Release Date: 11/1/2005
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For Release: Tuesday, November 1, 2005

(#05127) NEW YORK -- The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced its plan to address the Peter Cooper Landfill Superfund site in Gowanda, New York. EPA will place a cap on the five-acre inactive disposal area, collect liquid leaching from the site, control landfill gas and, if necessary, install an underground barrier to limit ground water movement through the waste material. The Agency's plan also calls for excavating contaminated soils, placing them within the five acre area to be capped, and then seeding this area. The contaminated liquid or leachate flowing from the site will be pre-treated, if necessary, before it is discharged to the local wastewater treatment facility, or treated in an on-site facility and discharged to Cattaraugus Creek. Controls will be established to restrict future use of the site.

"The plan we've selected for this site addresses sources of contamination that threaten ground water," said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. "When we're done with the construction work, we'll monitor to make sure that the quality of the ground water improves over time."

The 26-acre Peter Cooper Landfill Superfund site in Gowanda consists of the inactive landfill and surrounding area, and land associated with the former Peter Cooper Corporation glue-manufacturing plant. A portion of the property is owned by New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) Corporation. The site was used from 1904 to 1985 to produce animal glue and industrial adhesives. Process waste sludge was disposed of in the northwest portion of the property between 1925 and 1970. The waste was found to contain chromium, arsenic and zinc. In 1972, under a New York State Supreme Court order, the Peter Cooper Corporation removed approximately 38,600 tons of waste material and transferred it to a site in Markhams, New York. In 1996, under an agreement with EPA, NYSEG stabilized the south bank of the Cattaraugus Creek to prevent further erosion of material from the landfill into the Creek. The site was added to the National Priorities List in April 1998. In 2000, EPA ordered a group of 14 parties to investigate the nature and extent of contamination at the site. The parties performed the investigation with EPA oversight, and found that the site was contaminated with volatile organic compounds and metals.

For information about the Superfund program, please visit the EPA Web site at: