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EPA Proposes Cleanup Plan for Hopewell Precision Site

Release Date: 07/15/2008
Contact Information: Michael Ortiz (212) 637-3670,

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a plan for the first phase of cleanup at the Hopewell Precision Superfund Site located in Hopewell Junction, New York. Contaminated ground water beneath the Hopewell Precision, Inc. facility, at which sheet metal parts were assembled into furniture, is posing a potential threat to area drinking water. EPA intends to connect the affected community to an alternate water supply. EPA will hold a public information session to answer questions about the proposed plan on Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 7:00 pm at the East Fishkill Town Hall in Hopewell Junction.

“EPA’s plan will eliminate the potential threat of people drinking contaminated water,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “Once we remove that threat, we will work to address the ground water contamination and its vapors. I encourage residents to come to our public information session if they have questions or concerns.”

EPA is addressing the contamination at the Hopewell Precision Superfund Site in two phases. The proposed plan announced today spells out how EPA will install a water main to deliver clean drinking water from the nearby Little Switzerland Water District public water supply system to affected residences and commercial buildings. The private wells that were used previously by the affected residences and commercial buildings will be closed. The second phase of the cleanup, currently under development, will address contaminated ground water, soil, surface water, sediments and potential vapors that may be traveling through the ground and getting into residences and commercial buildings.

Hopewell Precision, Inc. began operations in 1977. In 1979, the Hopewell Precision facility was brought to EPA’s attention by a letter from a former employee. During an on-site inspection at the facility, inspectors noticed odors emanating from the site. At the time of the inspection, Hopewell Precision was dumping one to five gallons per day of waste solvents, paint pigments, and sodium nitrate directly onto the ground.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) installed three monitoring wells at the facility in May 1985 and sampled the wells in March 1986. Samples indicated levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). During further inspections from the late ‘80s to 2002, NYSDEC found 55-gallon drums of waste paint and solvents at the facility.

In February 2003, EPA began assessing the site for inclusion on EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL) of the most contaminated sites in the country and placed it on the list in April 2005. From February to November 2003, EPA collected ground water samples from hundreds of private drinking water wells in the vicinity of the Hopewell Precision, Inc. facility. VOCs were detected in numerous private well samples. EPA installed carbon filtration systems that remove VOCs in 39 homes at which VOC levels in well water exceeded federal drinking water standards. NYSDEC installed similar carbon filtration systems in 14 homes at which VOC levels in well water exceeded New York State’s drinking water standards, but fell below federal drinking water standards.

EPA has also conducted vapor intrusion indoor air testing at the site. Since February 2004, EPA has collected some indoor air samples and samples from beneath the foundations of over 200 homes in the area above the ground water plume. EPA has installed ventilation systems at 53 homes with vapors above the action level to reduce the residents’ exposure to indoor air contaminants associated with the site.

Members of the public are encouraged to comment on the proposed cleanup plan during the public comment period, which ends on August 5, 2008. The proposed plan and other relevant documents are available at the East Fishkill Town Hall Community Library located at 348 Route 376, Hopewell Junction and at EPA’s Manhattan offices at 290 Broadway.

For more information on the Hopewell Precision Superfund Site, please visit A copy of the proposed plan can be obtained by going to the EPA Website at: