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Michael Basile (716) 551-4410
The five acre Diaz Chemical site was initially used as an industrial plant in the 1890s. In 1974,the property was purchased by Diaz Chemical Corporation, a manufacturer of specialty organic intermediates for a variety of industries. The nearest municipal drinking water supply well is located two-thirds of a mile south of the site.
The Diaz Chemical facility's long history of spills, releases and discharges to the environment began in 1975. An investigation of the site from 1994 to 1999, led by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, revealed contamination with volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Following an accidental release of 75 gallons of a chemical mixture in January 2002, members of the public complained of acute health effects. As a result of the release, residents voluntarily relocated from some of the homes in the neighborhood to area hotels with assistance from Diaz Chemical. In March 2002, the State of New York obtained a court order requiring Diaz Chemical to continue to fund the relocations. On May 16,2002, EPA assumed responsibility for the relocation expenses of the residents who remained relocated at that time, secured the site, and removed contaminated materials. In June 2003, Diaz Chemical filed for bankruptcy and abandoned the facility, leaving behind large volumes of chemicals in drums and tanks.
In March 2005, EPA signed a Record of Decision (ROD) to relocate and acquire the property of eight owner-occupants and two tenants who remained in temporary quarters at that time. EPA purchased all eight homes, provided the owners with relocation assistance, and continues to maintain those properties. EPA has shipped over 9,000 drums and over 112,000 gallons of hazardous wastes off-site for reuse and/or disposal, removed over 95% of facility piping and dismantled many facility buildings.
On September 26, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized a plan to clean up contaminated soil and ground water at the Diaz Chemical Corporation Superfund site in Holley, New York. The soil and ground water are contaminated with volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds. The EPA's cleanup plan uses a technology to treat six areas of soil and ground water that continue to cause contamination of ground water in a broader area. For contaminated ground water outside of the six source areas, the EPA will rely on natural processes that allow the contaminants to disperse, dilute and degrade to groundwater cleanup levels. The plan also calls for the sale or transfer of the eight properties EPA purchased in 2005.