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EPA Recommends Sites for Use as Dewatering Facilities in Hudson River Cleanup
Release Date: 04/28/2004
|(#04064) New York, N.Y. - The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recommended three sites for possible use as sediment processing/transfer ("dewatering") facilities needed for the Hudson River PCBs cleanup project. One or more of these sites will ultimately be selected by late fall of this year after public comment is received and considered. Three main operations will occur at these facilities: transferring of dredged sediment from barges or pipelines to the facility, processing and dewatering of the sediment, and transferring the processed sediment to barge or rail for off-site disposal. The facilities will be constructed using proven technology to ensure that dredged material is handled safely.
EPA evaluated seven final candidate sites that were identified in September 2003. Based on these evaluations, five sites were found to be suitable for use as dewatering facilities. Suitable sites are those that met the engineering criteria and environmental characteristics needed for a dewatering facility. Of the five suitable sites, three sites are being recommended, and two sites are being retained for possible consideration in the future although EPA considers their use unlikely. Two of the seven final candidate sites have been eliminated by EPA from further consideration.
Sites Being Retained as Suitable, But Not Recommended at this Time
In December 2002, EPA began the facility site selection process by focusing on industrial and/or commercial properties within a half-mile of the river between the Hudson Falls Dam and the area just below the Port of Albany. Locations within this area were evaluated using three groups of criteria provided to the public in the Hudson River PCBs Site Facility Siting Concept Document. In June 2003, EPA provided a public update on the facility siting process that identified 24 preliminary candidate sites retained for site-specific investigations. This was followed by a September 2003 update that identified seven final candidate sites that would undergo a detailed evaluation.
Each of the seven final candidate sites was evaluated using engineering criteria (sufficient space for facility construction and operations; river, road and rail access; availability of utilities; and proximity to the areas that will be dredged) and additional criteria (sensitive or cultural resources, existing and historic land uses, rare or unique ecological communities, threatened and endangered species, ease of purchasing/land ownership, wetlands, geology or surface features, and mapped 100-year flood plain or floodway data). A final set of criteria was added to identify the suitable and recommended sites. The critiera included key design and logistical considerations such as usable space, rail yard and waterfront suitability, site characteristics and conditions, road access, and river navigation.
EPA eliminated the Georgia Pacific site based on factors that included limited working rail access and the presence of significant cultural resources that would present construction difficulties and would limit the amount of useable space needed for the facility. EPA eliminated the First Rensselaer site because of insufficient useable space, potential flooding, and lack of a residential buffer area.
EPA is continuing its expanded outreach program and will work diligently with communities during final selection of the dewatering facility sites. A public comment period on the Draft Facility Siting Report is being held from May 3 through July 1, 2004. The Draft Facility Siting Report is available on the project Web site at www.epa.gov/hudson and at information repositories located in Glens Falls, Ft. Edward, Ballston Spa, Albany, Poughkeepsie, New York City and Edgewater, New Jersey. Copies are also available on CD-ROM by calling the Hudson River Field Office.