EPA OFFICIALS SCHEDULE AUGUST 8 MEETING TO DISCUSS CAYUGA COUNTY GROUND WATER CONTAMINATION SITE CLEAN-UP

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[Environmental News]
EPA will host Aug. 8 meeting at Union Springs High School (located at 239 Cayuga Street, Union Springs, New York) to discuss clean-up plan for groundwater contamination in the area.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and New York Regional Administrator Pete Lopez, above, have proposed a plan to clean a discrete area of the Cayuga County Ground Water Contamination Site in Cayuga County, New York, extending towards Union Springs.

The proposed plan calls for continued monitoring of surface water and groundwater wells to ensure the effectiveness and expected natural decrease of contaminants in the area.

“This proposed plan is one component of EPA’s long-term efforts to provide a cleanup for the Union Springs community,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “This plan reflects EPA’s commitment to prioritize the Superfund program and ensure that these sites are cleaned up as quickly and safely as possible.”

EPA is proposing a process of natural attenuation, or a naturally occurring reduction of levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in the site. The decision was reached based on data and trends collected since the initiation of EPA sampling in 2002. The referenced Area 3 is one of three in the site EPA is monitoring and periodically sampling. For cleanup planning purposes, Area 1 consists of the impacted area immediately south of the facility and extends approximately 700 to 900 feet south of West Genesee Street. Area 2 consists of the impacted area immediately south-southwest of Area 1 and extends southwest to the Town of Aurelius. Area 3 consists of the impacted area immediately southwest of Area 2. The other two areas’ remedies include natural attenuation and a bioremediation to promote breakdown of VOCs.

The proposed plan for Area 3 comes after a deferred action as a result of public comments in 2012. After conducting a supplemental investigation, EPA’s cleanup plan matches its initial recommended action of natural attenuation.

EPA will hold a public meeting on August 8, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. to both further discuss and answer questions about the plan for the selected area. The meeting will take place at the Union Springs High School, located at 239 Cayuga Street, Union Springs, New York.

In addition, any and all public comments will be accepted until August 27, 2019. Written comments on the EPA's proposed plan may be mailed or emailed to: Isabel R. Fredricks, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10007, Email: rodrigues.isabel@epa.gov

The General Electric Company (GE) owned and manufactured semiconductors at a facility on Genesee Street in the City of Auburn. For a time, Powerex, Inc., a joint venture of GE and others, bought the facility and conducted similar operations there. These companies have been identified as parties potentially responsible for the Cayuga site. Groundwater at the site is contaminated with volatile organic compounds, which can cause serious damage to people’s health and the environment.

The comprehensive cleanup proposal is available at www.epa.gov/superfund/cayuga-county-groundwater The Superfund program is a top priority for EPA and the agency is making strides in accelerating sites through remediation and back to productive use by implementing the Superfund Task Force recommendations. For more information about EPA’s Superfund Task Force: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at www.twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/eparegion2 19-065

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