Route 203

 
Site Contact:
David Rosoff
OSC

(rosoff.david@epa.gov)

Site Location:
5225-5239 Route 203
Nassau, NY 12123
www.epaosc.org/Route203

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.

EPA 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 will:

  • 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, please contact:

Kyle Forster, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation: (518) 402-8644, kyle.forster@dec.ny.gov

Eamonn O'Neil, New York State Department of Health: (518) 402-7860, eamonn.oneil@health.ny.gov