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EPA readies new PCB cleanup near landfill, Valatie Kill


Reprinted with permission by the Times Union

NASSAU – The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered the removal of PCB-laden soil and sediments along a tributary to a trout stream as part of a second round of cleaning up polluted land near the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site, the town said last Thursday.

Soil testing discovered very high levels of contamination along the 1,900-foot-long creek identified as T11A that feeds the Valatie Kill, according to the town.

“We reached out to EPA expressing our concerns. We’re very happy that they agreed. This is a good result. This is not only the removal of PCB-laden soil and sediments, it’s also the restoration of the habitat for the Valatie Kill,” Supervisor David Fleming said in an interview Thursday.

The costs of this round of cleanup – estimated to be several million dollars — will be paid for by General Electric and other parties responsible for the contamination at the site, the town said. Dewey Loeffel was declared a federal Superfund site in 2011. Between 1952 until 1968, an estimated 46,000 tons of toxic industrial waste was dumped at the site. EPA has already outlined that these wastes included industrial solvents, waste oil, PCBs, scrap materials, sludge and solids. PCBS – polychlorinated biphenyls – are a suspected carcinogen.

The remedial work is expected to be finished in fall 2018.

Town officials and residents have worked to stop the continued contamination of local waterways and supplies by runoff from Dewey Loeffel. Mr. Fleming said the steep slopes of the ravine where the tributary flows were of specific concern. He said prior cleanup work had not gone up high enough along the ravine slopes to remove contaminated materials.

The tributary designated as T11A flows into the Valatie Kill which empties into Kinderhook Lake, south of the Dewey Loeffel site. The Valatie Kill is a protected trout stream.

“I’m thankful for the continued community support to force action on a complete remediation of the Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site,” Mr. Fleming stated.

“This PCB clean-up is an important step but there are many more projects that need to be completed to help heal wounds from decades of failed remediation and government incompetence in protecting the health and safety of Capital Region residents,” Mr. Fleming continued.

Earlier this year, Mr. Fleming wrote the EPA, asking for action to stop the solvent 1,4-dioxane from entering the Valatie Kill. The EPA has identified the solvent as likely causing cancer in humans.

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