Mead Rd., Nassau, NY 12123

Nassau

superfund contamination PCBs benzene TCE "water contamination"

Dewey Loeffel and Rensselaer County
From 1952 until 1968, the Dewey Loeffel Landfill was used for disposal of more than 46,000 tons of waste materials generated by several industries, including General Electric (GE), Bendix Corporation, and Schenectady Chemicals.[1]  The waste materials were dumped into a lagoon area, oil pit, and drum burial area. In 1968, the State of New York ordered the operator to stop discharges from the disposal facility and perform cleanup work. Over several years, the operator covered and graded the lagoon area, the oil pit and the drum disposal area, and constructed drainage channels to control surface water runoff.

NYSDEC has overseen the investigation and cleanup actions at the Dewey Loeffel Landfill since 1980. That same year, GE entered into an agreement with NYSDEC to perform additional investigations and cleanup work at the facility. During a two-year time span beginning in 1982, GE removed approximately 500 drums and four 30,000-gallon oil storage tanks. As part of the 1980 agreement, GE paid the NYSDEC $2.33 million to conduct remedial construction, monitoring and maintenance of the site. From September 1983 to November 1984, NYSDEC built a slurry wall, clay cap and leachate collection system. Since that time, the state has been maintaining the landfill and disposing of landfill leachate at an off-site permitted facility. Starting in 1992, Remedial Investigations and Feasibility Studies were conducted by GE under NYSDEC oversight. Records of Decision selecting cleanup options for the ground water and surface water drainage pathways were completed by NYSDEC in 2001 and 2002. Interim Remedial Measures were conducted during this period as well, including the installation of residential well treatment systems to address site-related volatile organic compounds. Between 2001 and 2004, under NYSDEC oversight, GE removed approximately 15,000 tons of PCB-contaminated soil and sediments from the drainage-way between the facility and Nassau Lake. In 2008, the NYSDEC completed an off-site ground water collection system consisting of three bedrock extraction wells and a containment system. In 2009, GE completed construction on the replacement of Nassau Lake dam. The state has also established monitoring programs for residential wells, ground water, surface water, suspended sediment, and fish.

NYSDEC referred this site to federal EPA in October 2009 and the site was nominated to the EPA's Superfund Program in March 2010. 

Site Environmental Assessment[2] 
Contaminants of concern that exceed SCGs include VOCs, SVOCs and PCBs. VOC contaminants continue to escape the landfill to groundwater and produce a plume extending to the southeast, impacting private domestic groundwater supplies. Treatment is provided at the well head and adjacent homeowner wells are monitored. Surface water drainage from the site to and including Nassau Lake have been impacted by PCBs. PCB source areas in the drainage ways have been remediated where feasible. Continued PCB release from site is not occurring. The design is underway to address groundwater contamination and enhance source controls (OU2). PCB source areas in the surface water drainage has been remediated and long term monitoring is underway. Studies are ongoing to determine remedial effectiveness and to assess natural resource damage (OU3). The site presents a significant environmental threat due to the ongoing releases of contaminants into groundwater and due to fish flesh containing PCB-contamination resulting in fish advisories.

Site Health Assessment
The contamination of Nassau Lake and its watershed with PCBs is of concern at this site. Off-site environmental and biota (fish) sampling continue to show elevated levels of PCBs. The NYSDOH advises against eating fish from Nassau Lake and the Valatiakill Creek upstream of the lake. However, levels of PCB in sediment are low and recreational use of the lake is not restricted. A hydrogeologic investigation has confirmed that groundwater is affected in an area south of the site which was previously thought to be outside the drainage area. GE has provided filters on three private drinking water wells to the south of the site and one well to the north. A Remedial Design project to enhance the operation of the containment system is underway.

Contaminants of Concern
Type of Waste Quantity of Waste
BENZENE (D001 AND F005) UNKNOWN
CHLOROBENZENE (D001 AND F002) UNKNOWN
METHYLENE CHLORIDE (F001 AND F002) UNKNOWN
PCBS (B007) UNKNOWN
PHENOLS (U188) UNKNOWN
TOLUENE (F005) UNKNOWN
TRICHLOROETHYLENE (F001 AND F002) UNKNOWN
XYLENE (F003) UNKNOWN
Additional Resources
Town of Nassau "Dewey Loeffel Landfill Cleanup" document repository.

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