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EPA Proposes Diaz Chemical in Holley for Superfund List

Release Date: 03/08/2004
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(#04032) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed to add the Diaz Chemical site in Holley, New York to its National Priorities List (NPL) of the most contaminated hazardous waste sites, making it eligible for federal cleanup dollars. The Agency is currently addressing the immediate risks at the site and has assisted in relocating residents who had to leave their homes after an accidental chemical release from the facility.

"We at EPA are pleased that we were able to step in to protect residents living near the Diaz site," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "Once the site is listed on the National Priorities List, we'll be able to get in there and clean up the mess the company left behind."

Diaz Chemical Site in Holley, NY.The Diaz Chemical Corporation site was home to a chemical manufacturing facility with a long history of chemical releases into the air and spills. From 1974 to June 2003, Diaz manufactured and stored industrial organic chemicals and specialized in the production of halogenated aromatic compounds. The company declared bankruptcy and abandoned the facility in June 2003, leaving behind thousands of drums and tanks containing hazardous chemicals.

After an accidental release of 2-chloro-6-flourophenol on January 5, 2002, impacted families were forced to leave their homes. EPA picked up the costs of the temporary relocation after Diaz ceased to pay for the families. The Agency conducted sampling activities in the residential area and on portions of the site and in June, evaluated the materials that Diaz left when it abandoned the facility. The Agency found approximately 5,000 drums and containers of various chemicals, and about 1.5 million pounds and more than 60,000 gallons of hazardous materials that need to be removed to protect the surrounding community in the future. EPA is currently conducting a detailed inventory and developing a plan to remove the materials.

EPA has also proposed another New York site -- the Peninsula Boulevard Ground Water Plume site in Hewlett, Long Island -- for listing on the NPL. The Agency periodically proposes sites to the NPL and designates proposed sites as final. Sites that are designated as final are eligible for funds to plan and conduct long-term cleanups. Proposed sites are investigated further to determine the extent of the risks they may pose to human health and the environment. The addition of these sites would bring the total number of federal Superfund sites in New York to 90.

For more information about Diaz or to obtain a copy of the notice or a detailed site description, contact the RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 1-800-424-9346 or 703-412-9810.