EPA Cleanups: GE-Pittsfield/Housatonic River Site
Silver Lake - Overview
The Silver Lake Cleanup Area is located directly west of and across from Silver Lake Boulevard from the 30s Building Complex Removal Action Area (RAA) and includes the lake and its banks. Silver Lake is approximately 26 acres large with a maximum water depth of about 30 feet. The lake currently receives stormwater flow from several outfalls, including a NPDES-permitted outfall which receives stormwater from a portion of the GE Plant Area that has been transferred to PEDA. Silver Lake drains to the Housatonic River by an underground 48-inch diameter, concrete, culvert pipe located near the intersection of Fenn Street and East Street.
Silver Lake has a history of extensive contamination. PCBs have been detected in moderate to high amounts in the lake's sediment, bank soils and surface water. Historic discharges of PCBs and other chemicals in process water and wastewater from GE's operations have been reported.
How is Silver Lake contamination being cleaned up?
The Consent Decree and the final August 2011 Work Plan require that GE dredge 400 cubic yards of "hot spot" sediment adjacent to one of the historic GE outfalls, remove additional near-shore sediment around the perimeter of the lake, clean up contaminated bank soil, and place a sand-based cap on the entire bottom of the lake. A 2005 Bench-Scale Study and a 2006 one-acre Pilot Study of capping techniques help to ensure the effectiveness of the cap design.
As part of the final bank restoration, a 2,000 foot long walking path will be installed along the north and east shores, with over 1,000 native trees and shrubs planted among native grasses and wildflowers. Cleanup and removal of the bank soil, and capping of the lake bottom is currently underway with work completion anticipated by the fall of 2013.
Documents related to this portion of the cleanup are available under the "Reports" tab for Silver Lake.