The Route 203 site is
located near the intersection of Route 203 and Sweets Crossing Road in the town
of Nassau, New York. In July 2018, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) learned that the property may have been used historically for waste oil
handling and disposal activities by the property owner.
EPA performed an
assessment of the property in October 2018 and subsequently collected samples
from the property in December 2018. EPA received final sampling results in
March 2019 which showed elevated levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and
volatile organic compounds in soil and pond sediment. As a result, EPA
collected samples from the surrounding environment later in 2019. In March
2019, EPA collected samples from 26 groundwater wells in the vicinity of the
property, including a village of Nassau public supply well. The groundwater
sampling results showed no detections above federal or state drinking water
standards in any of the wells. EPA also conducted additional soil sampling in
May 2019, which revealed detections of PCBs in soil at two adjacent properties.
The data collected in 2019 confirmed that past releases of hazardous substances
had occurred at the site.
EPA entered into an
Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent with General Electric
Company (GE) in March 2020 to perform additional Removal Action investigation
activities at the site to define the nature and extent of contamination. Under
EPA oversight, GE investigated the site from May until November 2020. The
investigations revealed a total of 14 drums and two underground storage tanks
containing water and waste oil. GE’s report summarizing the investigation
results was finalized in July 2021 and is available at the site’s information
repository (Nassau Free Library).
In October 2021, EPA
sampled tap water at 61 residences near the Route 203 site to evaluate if there
has been any change in conditions since EPA collected samples in March 2019 and
to expand the sampling area to the south and southwest. EPA found Trichloroethylene
(TCE) in the Route 203 on-site commercial well and at 12 residences located to
the south of the site. Of these 13 wells, one located
south of the site showed TCE levels above the federal and state drinking water
standards. EPA installed a treatment system at the residence where TCE was
found above federal and state standards.
EPA did not find TCE at
the remaining 48 residences, including all of those to the west of the Route
203 site and west of the Valatie Kill.
sampled tap water from 12 additional residences in the Route 203 area in
December 2021 and found TCE in two wells; however, results were below federal
and state drinking water standards.
In spring 2022, EPA
reached agreement with the General Electric Company (GE) to perform additional
sampling and to install, operate and maintain water treatment systems at the
homes where TCE was detected. The water treatment systems will prevent any
potential exposure to TCE, even if the TCE levels are below state and federal
standards. These standards apply to public water
supplies but can also be used as guidelines to recommend actions to reduce
exposures in private wells.
Under the agreement, GE
- Maintain and monitor the residential treatment system already installed by EPA
- Temporarily provide bottled water and install water treatment systems at all homes where TCE was detected, and maintain and monitor the systems
- Monitor drinking water at homes in the area where contamination was detected
EPA will oversee all of
the work performed under the existing legal agreement. GE is expected to begin
all actions in spring 2022 and will continue monitoring
and maintenance until they are determined to no longer be necessary or are
taken over by other parties. Additional information about the agreement is
available in the March 2022 Community Update.
Under the latest
agreement, GE has proposed installing additional groundwater monitoring wells
along the southern boundary of the Route 203 property to test for volatile
organic compounds (VOCs).
In spring 2022, GE will
remove the drums located on the Route 203 property. The liquid in the two
underground storage tanks will also be pumped and disposed off-site. This work
is being performed by GE under an existing legal agreement with EPA.
The New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has designated the Route 203
site as a state Superfund site and will be working with the responsible party
or parties on the long-term cleanup of site soil, sediment and groundwater. It
is anticipated that NYSDEC will oversee future monitoring and maintenance of
the treatment systems installed, and the sampling of homes in the impacted
area, as they transition to the lead agency in the future. The New York State
Department of Health is assisting with health-related questions and concerns.
For questions or more
information about New York State actions or the long-term cleanup of the site,
Kyle Forster, New York
State Department of Environmental Conservation: (518) 402-8644, firstname.lastname@example.org
Eamonn O'Neil, New York
State Department of Health: (518) 402-7860, email@example.com