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Tri-Cities Barrel
Broome County, NY

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Larisa Romanowski - (518) 407-0400 

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The EPA added the Tri-Cities Barrel site, located in the Town of Fenton, Broome County, New York, to the Superfund National Priorities List on October 4, 1989 due to high levels of hazardous chemicals found in the soil and ground water. The 14.9-acre site contained a facility that cleaned and reconditioned the interiors and exteriors of drums and barrels. Wastewater from the process was discharged into unlined lagoons. Following cleaning, the drums and barrels were reformed, if necessary, and repainted for future use. Barrel reclamation ceased in 1992 and all commercial operations at the site had ended by 1994.

As part of an initial response from 1996 to 1997, the EPA removed over 350 drums, as well as all containers, tanks, process equipment, and buildings from the site. Also, all of the equipment that was used while the drum reconditioning business was still in operation was decontaminated. All structures located on-site were demolished, and the debris was disposed of off-site.

An investigation to determine the nature and extent of the contamination at the site found that the soil, sediment, and ground water were contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), pesticides, and metals. In 2000, the EPA selected a cleanup plan for the site that included excavating and disposing of the contaminated soil and sediment off-site and extracting and treating the ground water to remove contaminants. The cleanup of the soil and sediment was completed in 2003.

Prior to the selection of the final cleanup plan, EPA had evaluated three alternatives to address the site-wide ground water contamination: (1) taking no action, an option that must be considered under the Superfund law, (2) extracting and treating ground water, and (3) letting the contaminants naturally break down while regularly monitoring the site. At the time that the cleanup remedy was selected, sufficient data did not exist to demonstrate that natural breakdown of contamination was occurring at the site, and ground water extraction and treatment was selected as the most appropriate cleanup alternative. Since the remedy was selected, monitoring has shown that natural processes are effectively reducing contaminant levels in the ground water, and it was determined that the extraction and treatment of ground water is not needed. In September 2011, an amendment to the 2000 Record of Decision was signed, modifying the ground water remedy. The EPA is requiring semiannual collection and analysis of ground water samples to verify that the level and extent of contaminants are declining and that people’s health and the environment remain protected.


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