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EPA Proposes to Remove Newburgh, NY Site from Superfund List; $45 Million Spent to Address Bankrupt Metal Processing Site on the Hudson River

    (New York, N.Y.) After demolishing buildings and removing more than 68,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil, 30,000 tires, 1,400 tons of scrap metal, 380 tons of concrete from the Consolidated Iron and Metal site in Newburgh, New York, the U.S. EPA is proposing to remove it from the Superfund list of the most contaminated hazardous waste sites.

    Past operations at the site contaminated the soil and groundwater with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds and metals. PCBs persist in the environment and can affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems and are potentially cancer-causing. Exposure to volatile organic compounds and metals can also cause serious health problems.

    “Ironically, the Consolidated Iron Metal site is located on the banks of a beautiful stretch of the Hudson River. I am happy that the cleanup is complete and this important land can become a useful asset to the Newburgh community,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck.

    The EPA and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation have determined that all necessary cleanup actions have been completed and the site no longer poses a threat to people’s health or the environment.

    The EPA will continue to oversee groundwater monitoring and will conduct periodic reviews to ensure that the cleanup continues to be protective. The public is encouraged to comment on the proposed deletion of the site through October 30, 2014.

    The Consolidated Iron and Metal Company operated at the site from the 1950s until 1999. The company processed cars and other metals for scrap and resale. It operated a smelter on the site primarily to melt aluminum scrap materials, transmissions and other metallic materials. In the late 1990’s, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation conducted several inspections at the facility and cited the owner for a number of violations. NYSDEC inspections revealed that the owner had not corrected the violations. The state found oil and other waste liquids in the soil, and in stormwater being discharged into the Hudson River without appropriate testing or permits. In the fall of 1999, the New York State Attorney General shut down operations at the site. Sampling performed by the EPA indicated that soil was contaminated with volatile organic compounds, PCBs, and metals.

    In 1999, the EPA removed an estimated 6,600 tons of soil containing metals and PCBs from the site. The EPA constructed a berm to prevent storm water from carrying pollutants from the site into the Hudson River. The site was added to the Superfund list in 2001. To facilitate the investigation, in 2004, the EPA removed tires, scrap metal and concrete and demolished buildings on the site. Tires removed from the site were shipped to a facility that used them for fuel. Scrap metal, concrete and hydraulic oil were recycled. In all, about 68,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil was removed from the site by 2009 and disposed of at a facility licensed to receive the waste. The excavated areas of the site were filled with clean soil.

    To date, EPA has spent approximately $45 million to address the site, of which more than $14 million has been paid by parties potentially responsible for the contamination at the site. As part of its work under a consent decree with EPA, the city of Newburgh has developed a plan to manage the site and determine how to redevelop the property.

    The EPA has monitored all the cleanup work performed at the site to ensure that the actions remain protective of people’s health and the environment. The groundwater has been sampled since 2004. Results show that contaminants are no longer spreading from the site into the groundwater.

    EPA has concluded that the cleanup work has been successful and that the site can now be taken off of the Superfund list.

    The public is invited to comment on the proposed decision to delete this site from the Superfund list. The public comment period ends on October 30, 2014. Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID no. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2001-0002 or by one of the following methods: On the internet: Follow on-line instructions for submitting comments.

    Email or mail: Michael Negrelli, Remedial Project Manager,