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EPA Selects Final Dewatering Sites for Use in Hudson River PCBs Cleanup; Ft. Edward & Bethlehem, New York Sites Chosen

Release Date: 12/15/2004
Contact Information:
(#04182) New York, N.Y. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that the Energy Park site in Ft. Edward, New York and the O.G. Real Estate site in Bethlehem, New York have been selected as the dewatering and /or sediment transfer sites for the Hudson River PCBs cleanup. The specific operations to be performed at each of the sites will be determined after transportation methods - rail or barge, and routes and the disposal site or sites have been selected. The dewatered sediment will be transported out of the area for disposal.

The Bruno/Brickyard Associates/Alonzo (Bruno) site in Schaghticoke, the Old Moreau Dredge Spoil (Old Moreau) site in Moreau and the New York State Canal Corp/Allco/Leyerle (Canal Corp) site in Halfmoon will no longer be considered for use as sites for a dewatering/ sediment transfer facility for the project.

Three main operations may occur at these facilities:

    1. transferring of dredged sediment from barges or pipelines to the facility
    2. processing and dewatering of the sediment
    3. transferring the processed sediment to barge or rail for off-site disposal.

The facilities will be constructed using proven technology to ensure that dredged material is handled safely. Quality of life performance standards will also be in place to minimize impacts on local communities.

In early 2003, EPA began evaluating and screening hundreds of sites and narrowed the number to 24 in June and then to 7 in September of the same year. In June 2004, EPA further narrowed the sites under consideration to three recommended and two back up sites. Today, EPA has eliminated three sites from further consideration.

Selected Sites:

    • Energy Park/Longe/New York State Canal Corporation (Ft. Edward, Washington County)
    • OG Real Estate (Bethlehem, Albany County)
Eliminated Sites:
    • Bruno/Brickyard Associates/Alonzo (Schaghticoke, Rensselaer County)
    • Old Moreau Dredge Spoils Area (Moreau, Saratoga County)
    • New York State Canal Corp/Allco/Leyerle (Halfmoon, Saratoga County)
In December 2002, EPA began the facility site selection process by focusing on industrial and/or commercial properties within a half-mile of the river between the Hudson Falls Dam and the area just below the Port of Albany. Properties within this area were evaluated using three groups of criteria that narrowed the focus from hundreds of sites to the two sites EPA announced today.

The application of the engineering criteria decreased the number of sites to 24 by evaluating sufficient space for facility construction and operations; river, road and rail access; availability of utilities; and proximity to the areas that will be dredged. Twenty-four sites were reduced to seven after further evaluation using additional criteria that included sensitive or cultural resources, existing and historic land uses, rare or unique ecological communities, threatened and endangered species, ease of purchasing/land ownership, wetlands, geology or surface features, and mapped 100-year flood plain or floodway data. From the seven sites, EPA selected five after considering factors such as usable space, rail yard and waterfront suitability, site characteristics and conditions, road access, and river navigation.

The Energy Park and O.G. Real Estate sites were selected because they offer substantial benefits and meet the facility siting criteria that allow for easier design of a dewatering facility. The Bruno site was not selected due to a number of design considerations and limitations including rail transport logistics, the presence of cultural and archaeological resources, safety concerns along a nearby, heavily used pedestrian road and traffic congestion. Two previously-identified back up sites, the Old Moreau site and the Canal Corp. site, will no longer be considered for use as dewatering/transfer facility sites for the project because of design considerations such as placement of rail lines and usable space and have been eliminated from further consideration.

During a 90-day public comment period on the Draft Facility Siting Report, which ran from May 3 through July 31, 2004, the public submitted over 2000 comments. EPA reviewed the comments and prepared individual responses released today in a responsiveness summary.

EPA will continue its extensive outreach and involvement efforts by hosting public forums in the two selected sites communities in early 2005 to further explain the site selection process and answer questions. EPA will work with community members to schedule the meetings and will announce the date, time and locations as soon as the information is available.

The Facility Siting Decision Summary and a responsiveness summary are available on the project Web site at http://www.epa.gov/hudson/facility_siting.htm and at information repositories located in:

    • Glens Falls
    • Ft. Edward
    • Ballston Spa
    • Albany
    • Poughkeepsie
    • New York City
    • Edgewater, New Jersey.
Copies are also available by calling the Hudson River Field Office at (518) 747-4389.