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EPA Completes Superfund Cleanup at Abandoned Hazardous Waste Site in City of Hudson in Columbia County, New York

Release Date: 01/05/2000
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(#00006) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completed a short-term federal Superfund cleanup action the week before Christmas at the abandoned Foster Refrigeration facility at 119 N. Second Street in Hudson, New York. Foster Refrigeration manufactured industrial refrigeration units at this property since 1946. The facility was closed in 1994 when it became the subject of an Internal Revenue Service foreclosure. In addition to heavy metals at the site, EPA found methylene chloride, cyanides and methyl ethyl ketone. All of these materials are acutely and chronically toxic or considered carcinogenic.  Human exposure could occur through inhalation of fumes or vapors, ingestion or direct contact through the eyes or skin.

EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox said, "Our assessment of the situation indicated that action was needed to eliminate the danger of an uncontrolled release of hazardous materials from the site into the environment. We have removed that threat with the completion of this fast-track Superfund project.

"The cleanup is another success story for the national Superfund program. Without it, communities like Hudson would have nowhere to turn when faced with the perilous legacy of improper hazardous waste disposal," Ms. Fox added.

When EPA started its action in mid-November of this year, the drums were haphazardly stored and many were in deteriorated condition. The roof of the building on the site that housed these drums was leaking and holes in the walls allowed for unrestricted public access. EPA removed 68 drums, several gas cylinders and 20 cubic yards of contaminated solid waste and debris from the building for off-site disposal. The Agency dismantled and removed the contents of a 20,000 gallon aboveground tank and removed another tank for off-site disposal.

Three underground tanks containing hazardous materials outside the building were cut, cleaned out and filled with sand. EPA also found, removed and disposed of several buried drums and numerous drum fragments on the property during its action, which cost approximately $250,000 and was financed  through the Superfund Trust Fund.

"The cleanup operation went smoothly and city officials were extremely helpful during the course of the action. We intend to turn this foreclosed property over to the City of Hudson. Hopefully, this eyesore can be redeveloped for productive reuse that will provide some benefit to the community," Ms. Fox said.