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Malta Rocket Fuel Area
Malta and Stillwater, NY

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Larisa Romanowski - (518) 747-4389
romanowski.larisa@epa.gov

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The Malta Rocket Fuel Area Site (site) located in Saratoga County, New York includes a square parcel of approximately 165 acres of developed land that was used by the U.S. Government as a research and development facility for rocket and weapons testing for more than 50 years, beginning in 1945. Operations at the Malta Test Station (Test Station) involved the use of hazardous substances. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency added the site to the Superfund National Priorities List in 1987 because hazardous chemicals were found in the ground water, surface water, and soil in the vicinity of the Test Station. 

The ground water and surface water at the site are contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are potentially harmful contaminants that can easily evaporate into the air. Site soils were contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead, and mercury at concentrations that posed a threat to human health and the environment. However, these soils have since been excavated and disposed of off-site.

In 2009, the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation began construction of the Luther Forest Technology Campus. GlobalFoundries, the first tenant at the Luther Forest Technology Campus, has already redeveloped a portion of the site. Eventually, the entire Malta Rocket Fuel Area site will be encompassed by the technology campus.

Cleanup actions taken at the site since it was listed on the NPL include excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated soil and debris, treatment of the Test Station water supply, and ground water and surface water monitoring. From 1987 until 2010, the ground water, which was used as a drinking water supply for the Test Station, was treated by an air stripper to remove unacceptable levels of VOCs. In 2010, operation of the air stripper was discontinued and the technology campus (including the Test Station) was connected to the Saratoga County water supply which uses the Hudson River as a water source.

In addition, 560 drums were removed; several septic tanks, dry wells, and catch basins were cleaned out; and two cylinders of toxic gas were decommissioned and removed. In the summer of 2011, during field work related to construction of the technology center, buried drums were discovered in an area of the site different from the original drum removal. As a result, GlobalFoundries conducted an investigation in this area which resulted in the removal and off-site disposal of more than 50 additional buried drums.

Under Superfund, the EPA conducts reviews every five years at cleanup sites to evaluate if they continue to protect human health and the environment. The EPA issued Five-Year Review reports for the Malta Rocket Fuel Area site in 1999, 2004, and 2009, which showed that the cleanup continues to be effective and protective of human health and the environment. The next Five-Year Review will be completed by June 2014.


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