75-20 Astoria Blvd, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY 11370

Jackson Heights

VCP VOCs CVOCs "Vapor Intrusion" brownfield

Bulova Corporation and LaGuardia Corporate Center Associates, LLC
Site Description[1] 
The Site is located at 75-20 Astoria Boulevard, Jackson Heights, Queens County, New York, also referred to as Tax Block 1027, Lot 50. The Site is bordered to the south by 25th Avenue, to the east by 77th Street, to the north by Astoria Boulevard South and the Grand Central Parkway, and to the west by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Boody Street. The Site encompasses approximately 17 acres and contains one building. The surrounding properties in proximity to the site consist of residential and commercial uses. The Lexington Hearing and Speech Center (School for the Deaf) is located south of the Site across 25th Avenue. A park is located adjacent to the southeast portion of the Site. The Volunteers for the Site are Bulova Corporation and LaGuardia Corporate Center Associates, LLC. Bulova Corporation is a PRP and LaGuardia Corporate Center Associates is the current owner. The VCA was signed on December 11, 2000. Bulova purchased the Site in 1951 and developed it into a watchmaking factory with the construction of the current building. Solvents were used for cleaning and degreasing during the manufacturing process. These operations and possible leaks from the supply/connection lines are suspected to have caused the contamination on the Site. The Site was renovated into an office building in late 1990s and will likely remain that way for foreseeable future. The Voluntary Cleanup Agreement limits the contemplated use of the site to commercial use, but excluding daycare, childcare and medical facilities. During Bulova’s ownership of the Site from the 1950s to the 1980s, various petroleum and chemical products were stored in several underground storage tanks on the property. As a result of leaks from underground storage tanks and their supply/connection lines, soil at the Site is contaminated with (among other chemicals) 1,1-dichloroethane, benzo(a)anthracene, chrysene, and benzo(a)pyrene at elevated levels, and groundwater at the Site is contaminated with (among other chemicals) 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,1,1-trichloroethane at elevated levels. The tanks have since been removed. Environmental investigation of the Site was completed. Additional investigative study including soil gas and indoor air sampling has been completed in the former Bulova Corporate Center building and in several residential homes adjacent to the area where the solvent storage tanks were formerly located. This study assessed the potential for soil gas movement both on-site and off-site in the vicinity of the tanks and demonstrated that the residential properties in the vicinity of the Site have not been impacted by the on-site contamination. The remedial strategy was developed after the investigation was completed and a pilot remedial test was conducted. A public review for the RAWP ended in October 2007. Remediation began in Spring 2008. The primary cleanup remedy will be bio-stimulation, which involves the addition of nutrients into the ground to increase the biological degradative capabilities of the native bacteria within the groundwater. Based on results from a comprehensive biological field study completed at the Site, adding lactate (a derivative of milk) will result in the biological degradation of the Site contaminants. To complete this, a groundwater recirculation system will be constructed. Groundwater will be pumped from extraction wells to a central area where nutrients will be added. The amended water will then flow back out and into injection wells where it will re-enter the ground. Additionally, the groundwater recirculation system has been designed so that the pumping and re-injection of the groundwater will be completely isolated; therefore, there will be no human exposure to the groundwater. The DNAPL present at depth under a portion of the Site’s parking lot is expected to be broken down in two years, with operation of the remediation system continuing to break down residual contamination. The impacted soils are at depth and there is no anticipated human exposure to the impacted soils. The Site and surrounding neighborhood are supplied with municipal water derived from Upstate New York reservoirs; groundwater from this Site is not used for drinking water. The site’s use will continue as an office building after the remediation is complete. An off-site investigation was conducted and no off-site impacts were found. Following completion of the appropriate public comment period, the RAWP was approved on March 26, 2008.

Site Environmental Assessment
Previous sampling programs performed at the Site identified the presence of certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in groundwater, soils and soil vapor (i.e., the air that is present in underground soil) beneath the parking lot on the Site. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and NYS Department of Health approved a plan proposed by Bulova to conduct precautionary testing to further delineate the presence of these compounds on-site, and to determine whether they are present in soil vapor off-site. Such testing demonstrated that the VOCs are not present in the soil vapor off-site. Samples of soil vapor were collected beneath grassy areas on-site. Samples of indoor, outdoor and sub-slab air were obtained from the building on-site and from nine residences located near the eastern perimeter of the property along 77th Street. The Site and surrounding neighborhood are supplied with municipal water derived from Upstate New York reservoirs and groundwater from this site is not used for drinking water. Sampling of the subsurface soils and groundwater found a plume of DNAPL above a confining layer. the primary contaminant is TCA. A remedy of bio-stimulation has been reviewed and the documents are being finalized. Remediation is expected to begin in Spring 2008 and is expected to take 2 years to remove the DNAPL with continued bio-stimulation to break down the remaining contamination. At two years, an evaluation report will be submitted, and a contigency plan to excavate will be considered by the Department. Groundwater and indoor air will be monitored. A site management plan and deed restriction will be required if residual contamination is left on site.

Site Health Assessment
Site related contamination has not been found in surface soils on-site or in the nearby park. The area is served with public water; therefore, exposure to contaminated groundwater is unlikely. Soil gas and indoor air at nearby residences and the on-site facility was investigated. Based on these results, no further investigation of the nearby community is needed. Although there is no evidence of vapor intrusion in the on-site building, continued monitoring is needed based on the levels of contaminants found in sub-slab soil gas. On-site contaminated soils are vegetated or covered by pavement and the site is fenced; therefore, dermal exposure to on-site soils is unlikely.

Contaminants of Concern
Type of Waste Quantity

admin, Debra Hall



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