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EPA Seeks Public Input on Plan to Clean Up Peninsula Boulevard Superfund Site in Hempstead, New York; Chemicals Used in Dry Cleaning to Be Cleaned Up Next to Woodmere Middle School

Release Date: 07/28/2011
Contact Information: John Senn, (212) 637-3667, senn.john@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a plan to clean up the Peninsula Boulevard Superfund site in Hempstead, N.Y. by removing and treating contaminated ground water from the site. The ground water is contaminated with the volatile organic compounds tetrachloroethylene and tricholoroethylene, chemicals used in dry cleaning that can adversely impact people’s health. Residents in the area get their drinking water from the Long Island American Water Company, which operates a well field approximately 1,000 feet north of the Peninsula Boulevard site. Water extracted from this well field is treated to remove contaminants before distribution and is sometimes mixed with water from other sources. EPA did not detect any contaminants above acceptable levels in ground water from the Long Island American Water Company during its investigation of the Peninsula Boulevard Superfund site.

EPA is encouraging public comments on the proposed plan and will hold a public meeting to discuss the plan and receive comments at 7:00 p.m. on August 3, 2011 at the Village of Hewlett High School, 60 Everit Avenue, Hewlett, N.Y. The plan is available on EPA’s website at: http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/peninsulablvd/index.html.

“Volatile organic compounds can pose serious health risks – especially in drinking water – so removing them is the best way to protect the health of people who live and work in the area,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “We encourage community residents, business owners and area workers to give us feedback on EPA’s proposed plan to clean up the contamination on the Peninsula Boulevard site.”

Four cleanup options for addressing the contaminated ground water are described in EPA’s proposed plan for the site:

  • Extracting ground water from the site using pumping wells and treating the water to remove the contaminants before the water is disposed of at a public wastewater treatment facility or sent back into surface or ground water. This is EPA’s preferred option for the cleanup.
  • Using microorganisms to break down the contaminants in the ground water.
  • Installing devices that aerate the ground water and capture contaminants in air vapor, which are then treated or released into the atmosphere.
  • Taking no action, which is an option that EPA is required to consider for any cleanup plan.

The Peninsula Boulevard Superfund site is the former home of Grove Cleaners, which operated at 1274 Peninsula Boulevard from 1987 to 1992. A series of investigations from 1991 to 1999 revealed an extensive ground water contaminant plume extending to the north and south of Peninsula Boulevard.

The Peninsula Boulevard site sits adjacent to a number of commercial and residential properties, with the Woodmere Middle School located at the western site boundary. The site was added to the Superfund list of the most contaminated hazardous waste sites in 2004. EPA conducted an investigation at the site from 2005 to 2010, and identified ground water contaminated with tetrachloroethylene and low levels of other volatile organic compounds. Information obtained from Long Island American Water Company and from EPA sampling indicates that one of the company’s well fields may have been impacted by the contamination from the Peninsula Boulevard site.

Comments on EPA’s plan will be accepted until August 27, 2011. Written comments may be sent to:
Gloria M. Sosa
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
290 Broadway, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10007-1866
sosa.gloria@epa.gov

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