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 assessed the Route 203 property and collected soil, pond sediment, pond water and groundwater samples in late 2018. The results 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 at or near ground surface 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). GE removed the drums and the water and waste oil from a smaller underground storage tank in 2021 and from one compartment of a larger underground storage tank in spring 2022. Additional buried drums were discovered at the site and later removed in February 2023. The liquids from the second compartment of the larger underground storage tank are scheduled to be removed and disposed of in summer 2023. Additional details about the drum removal are available in the May 2023 Community Update.
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.
EPA reached an agreement with GE in spring 2022 to perform additional well water sampling and to install, operate and maintain water treatment systems at the home where TCE was detected south of the Route 203 property. To date, 13 treatment systems have been installed in coordination with the property owners. GE will also periodically test the residential wells in the area where TCE has been detected in groundwater.
Under the agreement with EPA, GE will maintain and monitor the residential treatment systems until 2024. It is anticipated that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) will oversee the installed treatment systems and sampling of residential wells in the impacted area as they transition to the lead agency in the future.
NYSDEC designated the Route 203
site as a state Superfund site in October 2021 and will be working with the responsible parties on the long-term cleanup of the site. NYSDEC expects to reach a legal agreement with the responsible parties this year, with investigation work to begin soon after. 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