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EPA to Oversee Cleanup of a Portion of the Newburgh Landfill; Public Information Session Set for May 18

Release Date: 05/16/2011
Contact Information: (News Media Only): John Senn, (212) 637-3667, senn.john@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will oversee the removal of deteriorated drums, containers of hazardous materials and contaminated soil from a portion of the Newburgh landfill in Newburgh, N.Y. Investigations have revealed that the drums contain hazardous waste including chromium, lead, ignitable materials and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Some of these substances, such as chromium, lead, and PCBs, carry serious health risks from direct exposure or inhalation. Ignitable substances pose a fire risk. EPA will hold a public availability session on May 18 at 7:00 p.m. at Newburgh City Hall located at 83 Broadway (3rd floor) in Newburgh to discuss the cleanup.

“These drums pose a risk to anyone who might come in contact with them or if they leak, and it is important that we promptly remove them,” said Judith Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “They are leaking and could catch on fire, but this cleanup will remove that risk.”

Investigations conducted between 2002 and 2008 by the town of Newburgh and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation identified drums and containers buried in a three acre area in the western portion of the landfill that contain various hazardous substances. In late 2009, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation requested that EPA address the threats at the landfill. EPA has documented and verified the findings of the previous site investigations and weighed options for how best to alleviate the risk. More than 450 drums containing hazardous waste are buried close to the surface, with an unknown quantity of drums buried more deeply. Because many of the drums are deteriorated and are leaking contamination into the soil, and ignitable materials pose the risk of fire, EPA is requiring that these drums and surrounding soil be removed and placed in an approved hazardous waste facility. The work will be performed by E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Company and Bayer CropScince, Inc. because the companies or their predecessors arranged for the disposal of hazardous waste in this area of the landfill between the 1950s and the mid-1970s. The cleanup is tentatively scheduled to begin on July 5, 2011 and is expected to take about 18 months to complete.

For more information about the cleanup, visit http://www.epa.gov/region2/superfund/npl/newburgh/index.html

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