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EPA Announces Record of Decision for Relocating Residents Impacted by Diaz Chemical in Holley, NY

Release Date: 03/30/2005
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FOR RELEASE: Wednesday, March 30, 2005

(#05026) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a $1.3 million decision to permanently relocate eight families and assist two tenants who have been displaced from their homes since January 5, 2002 as a result of an accidental chemical release into their community from the former Diaz Chemical Corporation facility. The release consisted primarily of a mixture of steam, toluene, 2-chloro-6-fluorophenol (CFP) and related phenolic compounds. As part of EPA's initial assessment of the affected neighborhood, air, soil, interior surfaces and household items were sampled. Due to the complex nature of the site, it has been challenging for EPA to predict a precise time frame for characterizing the chemical contamination and health risks associated with the release at the site.

"This decision enables EPA to relocate the affected families and bring some normalcy back to their lives," EPA Acting Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan explained.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) will act as EPA's agent and handle permanent relocation, family relocation assistance and property acquisition under an Interagency Agreement. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has reviewed EPA's proposed plan and agrees with this Record of Decision.

In June 2003, Diaz Chemical filed for bankruptcy and abandoned its facility in Holley, New York. Since that time, EPA has been on-site performing a variety of cleanup activities and has removed and shipped approximately 8,080 drums and over 112,000 gallons of hazardous waste products off-site for reuse or disposal, ensuring that the site is secure and poses no further immediate threat to the community.

In May 2002, EPA assumed responsibility for temporary relocation of the displaced families after Diaz Chemical withdrew its support.

The site, located at 40 Jackson Street in the Village of Holley, was formally placed on EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites on July 22, 2004. The NPL is intended primarily to guide EPA in determining which sites warrant further investigation.

Related Links:
NPL Site Narrative for Diaz Chemical Corporation
EPA Orders Diaz Chemical to Address Problems at Its Facility (April 2003)
EPA Proposes Diaz Chemical in Holley for Superfund Listing (March 2004)
EPA Adds Holley to Superfund List (July 2004)