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Peter Cooper Corporation, Markhams
Town of Dayton, NY

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Mike Basile - (716) 551-4410
basile.michael@epa.gov

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EPA added the Peter Cooper Corporation (PCC) site near the hamlet of Markhams in the Town of Dayton, New York to the Superfund National Priorities List on February 4, 2000, because hazardous chemicals were found in the soil and groundwater. The 106-acre Superfund site, located off Bentley Road in Cattaraugus County, was used as a disposal site for industrial wastes from PCC’s Gowanda plant. Contaminants found on-site included sludges that contained arsenic, metals and organic compounds.

By September 1971, a 15-acre disposal area was almost completely covered with approximately 9,600 tons of manufacturing waste from the Gowanda plant. In addition, a New York State Supreme Court Order required PCC to move about 38,600 more tons of waste from the Gowanda site to the Markhams site, which was done between August 1971 and late 1972. 

EPA oversaw PCC’s investigatory tests on the waste material, soil and groundwater in the area. The tests showed the waste material contained high levels of contamination. In addition, ground water and soil around the waste piles were polluted. EPA has reviewed the data collected and coordinated with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in planning the cleanups. Site preparation work began in July, 2008 and included clearing of trees, shrubs, and brush to facilitate construction work. Waste piles currently scattered throughout the site will be moved to a single area. Starting in late August of 2008, a cap of clean soil will be installed over the waste to prevent it from contaminating other soils and ground water. The primary risks are from the ingestion of contaminated groundwater and other exposure to contaminants by site workers. The contaminants do not currently threaten public health. 


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