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EPA to Meet With Public on May 18 on Change to Cleanup Levels for Contaminated Soils at Li Tungsten Superfund Site; Glen Cove Creek Dredging to Start in Spring 2006

Release Date: 05/17/2005
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FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, May 17, 2005

(#05054) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has modified the cleanup levels for contaminated soils at the former Li Tungsten site in Glen Cove to help the city meet its redevelopment goals. Glen Cove had previously planned to use the site for commercial facilities only, but now wants to also include residential development. At the same time, EPA has selected a plan to dredge contaminated sediments and radioactive slag fragments from the Glen Cove Creek. The Agency will meet with the public at the Glen Cove City Council Chambers at 9 Glen Street at 7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 to discuss these developments.

"EPA is committed to cleaning up this site while we do all we can to help Glen Cove put it back to productive use," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan. "Everybody wins when a site can be redeveloped because we are both reducing risks and providing a resource."

EPA formalized its change in cleanup levels in an Explanation of Significant Difference (ESD), which modifies the previous cleanup plan, finalized in 1999, to conform with the newly planned residential portions of the site. It also provides details on how the cleanup can safely accommodate the proposed residential uses. In addition, the city is evaluating a section of the site known as Parcel A of the former Li Tungsten facility for potential residential development, and that area may be the subject of a future determination by EPA. To date, more than half of the estimated 132,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil has been excavated, and most of it has been placed at Captain's Cove to await off-site disposal.

In March, EPA selected a remedy for the radioactive slag fragments in Glen Cove Creek, which may have come from past operations at the former Li Tungsten manufacturing facility. The remedy calls for the start of dredging of the creek in the spring of 2006. A dewatering facility will be built on the Li Tungsten property to process the expected 20,500 cubic yards of dredged sediment, and the radioactive slag will be separated and disposed of at an appropriately licensed facility. The city will be responsible for the disposal of the dredged sediment.

"This cleanup plan provides a permanent solution to the contamination problem in the creek and is consistent with the city's plans for waterfront revitalization," Ms. Callahan pointed out.

The Li Tungsten site includes an inactive tungsten processing facility on 26 acres of land, as well as portions of a nearby area known as the Captain's Cove property where the tungsten facility operators disposed of waste tungsten material. The processing facility was owned and/or operated first by the federal government as a defense plant from 1942 to 1985, and then by a succession of corporate entities, including the:

    • National Reconditioning Company,
    • Wah Chang Smelting and Refining Company of America, Inc.,
    • Wah Chang Corporation,
    • Teledyne, Inc. and
    • Li Tungsten Corporation.
The Li Tungsten Corporation declared bankruptcy in 1985.

To view the cleanup plan for Glen Cove Creek, visit the Glen Cove Library at 4 Glen Cove Avenue where all site-related documents are located.

Questions or comments related to the plan to adopt residential cleanup goals for contaminated soils at the Li Tungsten Superfund site can be directed to EPA's project manager for the site, Edward Als, who can be reached at (212) 637-4272. The fax number is (212) 637-3966. The mailing address for written comments is U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 20th floor, New York, New York 10007-1866.