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Oyster Bay Superfund Case Settled for Cleanup at the Liberty Industrial Finishing Site
Release Date: 03/30/2004
|(#04046) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and JANE M. KENNY, Regional Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today announced the settlement of a civil environmental case with 12 defendants to fund and perform the cleanup at the Liberty Industrial Finishing Superfund site in Oyster Bay, Nassau County, New York. The defendants will design, implement and fund the cleanup of the property and pay EPA's oversight of the cleanup activities, all at a total estimated cost of $32.8 million. The total cost of cleanup activities at the site, past and future, will exceed $46 million. The responsible parties have contributed previously to the cleanup, and with today's settlement, they will be paying more than 90 percent of those costs. The United States, on behalf of the Department of Defense and the General Services Administration, is contributing approximately 40 percent of the funds for the cleanup. The settlement was made pursuant to the provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, commonly known as the Superfund statute, passed by Congress to help accomplish the cleanup of toxic waste sites across the country.
"Protecting the public and our environment from the dangers of toxic waste is an enforcement priority for this Office," stated United States Attorney Roslyn R. Mauskopf. "This settlement represents a cooperative remediation effort, and a major commitment by private parties as well as the United States to right the wrongs of the past. It represents another step forward in our mission to assure that responsible parties be held accountable for causing or contributing to hazardous waste sites, and take responsibility for the cleanup."
The site became contaminated with hazardous materials resulting from industrial operations. Previous cleanup activities at the site included removal of contaminated soil and sludge from industrial waste disposal basins, removal of PCB-contaminated soil and debris from other areas at the site, and installation of separate treatment systems to remove organic and inorganic ground water contamination. On March 28, 2002, EPA selected the current cleanup plan for the site that includes excavation and off-site disposal of more than 73,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil; collection, treatment and off-site disposal of contaminated ground water; off-site disposal of contaminated sediments from a pond in the Massapequa Preserve; and limitations on future use of the site.
"This case is a perfect example of how a community can really benefit from Superfund," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "Once the property is cleaned up, Oyster Bay plans to transform a large portion of this hazardous waste site into new public parkland for the community, and those responsible for the contamination will be paying for the cleanup." The cleanup performed under today's settlement will allow redevelopment of a 15-acre portion of the site as an addition to the Town of Oyster Bay's Ellsworth Allen Park. After EPA selected the cleanup plan for the site, the Agency reached an agreement with the town for it to develop and maintain the new park. Facilitating today's settlement, the town also agreed to contribute towards site cleanup costs.
During the Second World War, and through 1957, the site was used by predecessors of two of the defendants -- COLTEC INDUSTRIES and GOODRICH CORPORATION -- and by wartime agencies of the United States for the manufacture of airplane parts in support of the war effort. From 1941 to 1948, the United States owned a portion of the site and was also involved in operations at the site during World War II. The site was used from 1957 to 1984 as an industrial park for a variety of operations, including metal plating and finishing, and fiberglass product manufacturing. During this period, the site was owned and/or operated by predecessors of the defendants COLTEC INDUSTRIES, GOODRICH CORPORATION, KOCH-GLITSCH LP and BEAZER EAST INC., and by LIBERTY ASSOCIATES and WILLIAM HELLER. From 1980 until 1986, the defendants JEFRY ROSMARIN, JAN BURMAN and JEROME LAZARUS owned and/or operated the site. Since 1987, the defendants CUBBIES PROPERTIES INC., 55 MOTOR AVENUE COMPANY, J. JAY TANENBAUM, and JEFRY ROSMARIN have owned and/or operated the site.
The proposed settlement is subject to a 30-day public comment period, which will begin shortly, upon the publication of a notice in the Federal Register. In addition, the settlement requires approval by the United States District Court before becoming final.
The lead negotiators on behalf of EPA were Assistant United States Attorney Sandra L. Levy and Assistant Regional Counsel Michael Mintzer of EPA. The settling federal agencies were represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles P. Kelly and Paul Kaufman.
Coltec Industries Inc., 5605 Carnegie Boulevard, Charlotte, North Carolina