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EPA Proposes Cleanup for Cornell-Dubilier Electronics

Release Date: 07/06/2004
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(#04109) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking community input on its plan to clean up the Cornell-Dubilier Electronics (CDE) site, also known as the Hamilton Industrial Park. Soil, debris and buildings located on the site are contaminated with a variety of compounds, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), pesticides and metals.

"The development of this cleanup plan is an important step toward our goal of ensuring that the site no longer poses a threat to the public or the environment," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "I encourage the public to review and comment on the proposed plan."

The CDE site was listed on EPA's National Priorities List (NPL) in July 1998. It is being cleaned up in phases. In September 2003, EPA selected a cleanup for contaminated residential, commercial and municipal properties near the CDE site. These properties will be addressed through excavation of approximately 2,100 cubic yards of contaminated soil, cleanup of indoor dust which is found to be contaminated with PCBs, and temporary relocation of residents during this phase of activities.

The Agency's current proposal is to excavate approximately 115,000 cubic yards of highly-contaminated soil and debris from the site itself. A portion of the contaminated soil would be thermally treated and replaced. The remainder of the excavated soil, as well as the debris, would be transported off-site for disposal. In addition, soil with low levels of contamination would be isolated on the site, underneath a specially designed cover. Certain on-site buildings would be demolished, and contaminated debris from this demolition would be transported off-site for disposal. Since it is possible that some of the buildings could be left standing, EPA's plan also includes a contingency for the cleanup of buildings that may not need to be demolished. EPA's proposed cleanup plan would cost about $69 million.

Cornell-Dubilier Electronics operated at the site from 1936 to 1962, manufacturing electronic components including capacitors. PCBs and chlorinated organic degreasing solvents were used in CDE's manufacturing process. The company apparently disposed of PCB-contaminated materials and other hazardous substances directly on the facility soils. PCBs were widely used as a fire preventive and insulator in the manufacture of transformers, capacitors, and other electrical equipment because of their ability to withstand exceptionally high temperatures. The manufacture of PCBs stopped in the United States in 1977.