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Top EPA Official Checks Progress at Diaz Chemical Site in Holley, NY

Release Date: 03/26/2007
Contact Information: Michael Basile, (646) 369-0055, basile.michael@; Pat Carr, (212) 637-3652,

(New York, N.Y.) As the first phase of cleanup work at the site of the Diaz Chemical facility nears completion, Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Region 2 Administrator visited the facility to view the demolition of one of the last production buildings. EPA has taken a number of steps to clean up the facility over the past several years, and last fall began to demolish some of the buildings. The demolition work is being done in order to reach large inaccessible waste containers located within the building. All of this work will be completed by June of this year. EPA has spent $9 million thus far on the cleanup at this site. The Agency is currently conducting a comprehensive study of the site and surrounding areas and will develop a long term cleanup plan.

“EPA has been here to assist this community, stepping in to cover the relocation costs of residents after the accidental release of chemicals in 2002 by Diaz, removing chemicals and debris, and now this demolition work,” said EPA Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “EPA will continue its assessment of the site and surrounding community and reach a decision on the appropriate long term actions to be taken.”

Since initiating its work in 2002, EPA has:

  • removed 9,000 drums of chemicals,
  • removed 112,000 gallons of chemicals from 140 vessels and tanks,
  • removed 51,000 linear feet of chemical piping – nearly 10 miles,
  • dismantled 4 buildings and 4 tank containment areas,
  • recycled 370 tons of scrap metal and 220 tons of concrete,
  • disposed of 400 cubic yards of debris and 500 tons of contaminated concrete,
  • treated and disposed of over 2.5 million gallons of groundwater, and
  • permanently relocated 10 families from the area.

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. In January 2002, following the accidental release of 2-chloro-6-flourophenol, a number of residents relocated to area hotels with the assistance of Diaz Chemical. EPA picked up the costs of the temporary relocation after Diaz ceased to provide the necessary funding. The company declared bankruptcy and abandoned the facility in June 2003, leaving behind thousands of drums and tanks containing hazardous chemicals. The site was proposed to Superfund’s National Priorities List in March 2004 and placed on the final list in July of that year.

In March 2005, EPA purchased eight homes and approved the permanent relocation of the ten families who remained in temporary quarters. EPA is providing for the security and maintenance of the purchased properties.

Also in March 2005, EPA initiated an investigation to determine the nature and extent of contamination at the site and to identify and evaluate clean up alternatives. EPA expects to complete the study in 2009.

For further information on the Diaz site:

07- 032