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EPA to Clean Up Battenville, New York Site

Release Date: 04/14/2005
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FOR RELEASE: Thursday, April 14, 2005

(#05031) NEW YORK -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun a short-term chemical cleanup at the Bio-Tech Mills site in Battenville, New York, after the property owner failed to remove chemical wastes in a timely manner. The wastes were discovered during an April 2004 inspection of the property, which EPA performed jointly with state and local officials.

"Initially, the property owner said that he would remove the chemical wastes, but failed to, so EPA is cleaning the site up ourselves to eliminate the threat to the community," said Acting EPA Regional Administrator Kathleen C. Callahan. "We worked closely with state and local officials to identify this potentially hazardous situation at Bio-Tech Mills."

The Bio-Tech Mills site is a defunct consumer paper products manufacturing facility located in the rural community of Battenville, New York, and has been closed for approximately 10 years. EPA, along with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Greenwich Fire Department, performed an inspection of the site on April 12, 2004. The inspection showed that there were various drums and containers of known and unknown chemicals on the site, some of which appeared to have leaked. The wastes included twenty-four 55-gallon drums, six 15- gallon drums of sulfuric acid, 10 bottles of chemicals from a laboratory, and 15 other containers of chemicals. Additionally, three wall-mounted electrical devices were found, which appear to contain polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) compounds. During the inspection EPA notified Bio-Tech Mills of its responsibility to clean up the site, and the owner initially agreed to perform the work. Since the time of the inspection, however, the owner has only removed eight drums of hydraulic oil from the site.

EPA began its cleanup activities last month by developing an inventory of the chemical wastes and sampling to determine the appropriate method of disposal. The cleanup is expected to be completed later this spring.