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EPA Says Superfund Cleanup Complete at Skybel

Release Date: 05/12/2003
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(#03053) NEW YORK, N.Y. The U.S. EPA announced today that Skybel Tissue, a defunct paper mill located on the banks of the Batten Kill in Greenwich, is all cleaned up. The highly-contaminated site came to the attention of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation after an arson fire in August 2002. The state subsequently asked EPA to clean it up because of the significant threat posed to the surrounding community by improperly stored chemicals and other hazardous materials at the site.

"In only a few short months, EPA has been able to remove the threat that the community has faced from this site for years," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane Kenny. "Local residents can now feel safe, and that's our number one goal!"

The Skybel Tissue Site consists of several buildings and other structures and an underground storage tank. Drums and containers of chemicals were stored on the site - posing a risk of leaks and fire. In addition, there were six electrical transformers on the property.

EPA assessed the site in the fall of 2002 and, working in cooperation with local officials and the Greenwich Fire and Police Departments, began cleanup in January.

In the past several months, EPA has removed 124 55-gallon drums and 20 smaller containers of various acids, oil and other hazardous chemicals. Additionally, EPA dismantled and removed the tank and the contaminated remnants of the pump and piping system associated with an oil-fired boiler. The Agency also disposed of two large oil heat-exchangers that had insulation containing 80% asbestos. In addition, EPA disposed of approximately 200 tons of oil-contaminated soil, 1,765 gallons of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) fluids, 175 empty 55-gallon drums and the six transformers. Finally, the Agency demolished the water tower, removed debris, backfilled and restored portions of the site.

The EPA spent more than $500,000 to clean up the Skybel site.