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EPA Proposes Cleanup Plan for Lawrence Aviation Site

Release Date: 07/19/2006
Contact Information: Ben Barry, (212) 637-3651 or

(New York, NY) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a plan to clean up the Lawrence Aviation Superfund site in Port Jefferson Station, New York. The plan calls for the excavation and disposal of contaminated soil, the installation of systems to remove contaminants from the ground water, and the evaluation of the potential for vapors from the soil to make their way through the ground water into homes and other structures.

“We have been working with the community over the past several years to determine the nature and extent of the contamination from the site,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “This plan lays out a roadmap for addressing the contamination, and will help to ensure that the health of residents is protected.”

The Lawrence Aviation International (LAI) facility was previously a turkey farm owned by LAI’s corporate predecessor, Ledkote Products Co. of New York. In the 1950's, Ledkote produced items including lead gutters and spouts for roof drains. Starting in 1959, the 42-acre facility manufactured products from titanium sheet metal, including golf clubs and products for the aeronautics industry under the Lawrence Aviation International name.

During 1970s and 1980s, Suffolk Copunty Department of Health Services (SCDHS) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) conducted several site visits and investigations at the site and documented various potential environmental concerns. Surface samples from sumps, puddles, laboratory cesspools, and surface runoff at the LAI facility were found to contain high levels of fluoride, toluene, carbon tetrachloride, and heavy metals. Adjacent residential wells were found to be contaminated with fluoride, nitrates, trichloroethene (TCE), 1,1-dichloroethylene, cis-1,2-dichloroethene (DCE), tetrachloroethene (PCE), and heavy metals. In 1991, the NYSDEC oversaw the removal of a large quantity of drums.

Past disposal practices have resulted in a variety of contaminant releases including TCE, PCE, acid wastes, oils, sludge, metals, and other plant wastes. In an effort to clean up the facility in 1980, LAI reportedly crushed more than 1600 drums, allowing their liquid contents including TCE, PCE, and other chemicals, to spill onto unprotected soil. Previous investigations in the area of the site suggest that releases of hazardous substances from the facility have affected soil at the site, ground water, surface water, and sediment down gradient of the site.

In the 1990s, the Suffolk County Water Authority under contract with the NYSDEC connected homes impacted by ground water contamination attributed to LAI to public water supplies. In 1997, NYSDEC contracted with CDM Inc. to conduct a limited remedial investigation that revealed ground water and surface water had been impacted by elevated concentrations of chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs). Based on an additional inspection of the site in April 2003, NYSDEC ordered LAI to cease production until all noted violations of air, soil, solid waste, chemical bulk storage, and hazardous waste regulations were resolved.

EPA added the site to the National Priorities List of the most contaminated sites in the country on March 6, 2000. EPA conducted a remedial investigation of the site and completed the removal and disposal of approximately 1,300 drums, containers, and cylinders containing various flammable solids, acids, bases, and gas cylinders by late 2004.

Interested individuals can comment on the plan from July 20 – August 19, 2006. EPA will also hold a public information session for residents at 7:00 pm on August 1, 2006 at the Earl Vandermuellen High School, 350 Old Post Road, Port Jefferson, NY 11777.

For more information on the Lawrence Aviation site: