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Colesville Municipal Landfill
Colesville, NY

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

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The 30-acre Colesville Municipal Landfill site was owned and operated by the Town of Colesville from 1965 to 1969, when ownership was transferred to Broome County. The landfill accepted about 9,000 tons of municipal refuse each year. From 1973 to 1975, industrial wastes, such as organic solvents, dyes, and metals were deposited in the landfill. Two streams collect drainage from the landfill and empty into the Susquehanna River. The New York State Department of Health inspected the site in 1984 and detected volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the ground water. The site was placed on the Superfund National Priorities List in 1986.

Approximately 1,900 people live within three miles of the site and depend on private wells as their source of drinking water. The closest residence is 300 feet from the site. Rural and woodland areas surround the landfill. The Susquehanna River is used for fishing and recreational activities.

The Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) and the State of New York signed a Consent Order in 1987. Under this Order, the PRPs performed a Remedial Investigation Feasibility Study (RI/FS) and agreed to conduct design and cleanup activities under state supervision.

A Record of Decision (ROD) was signed in 1991, selecting a remedy for the site. The selected remedy included capping the landfill, installing a leachate collection system, collecting and treating contaminated ground water, and constructing and operating a new water supply system for the affected residents. The landfill cap and wetlands restoration was completed in October 1995. The alternate water supply (deep wells) design was approved by the state in 1995 and two new deep wells were installed.

The results of pre-design field tests showed that the ground water extraction well system called for in the ROD was not likely to be an effective means of remediating the ground water. A final ground water remediation design, using an in-situ reactive zone process in combination with a down gradient ground water extraction and treatment system, was approved by NYSDEC. Construction of the ground water remedy commenced in 2000. After signing a new Consent Order with New York State, the County completed the construction in September 2002. In September 2002, EPA issued an Explanation of Significant Difference to enhance the ground water remedy specified in the ROD by injecting molasses at the landfill on a periodic basis. The capping of the 35-acre landfill and the treatment of the contaminated ground water has significantly reduced the site’s threat to public health and the environment.

Five year reviews are undertaken at sites to ensure that the implemented remedies protect public health and the environment and that they function as intended by site decision documents. During an inspection of the site for an April 2000 five-year review, EPA found a spring and a low-lying wet area in the vicinity of the landfill. Contaminated water from these areas are discharged to nearby streams. An in-place treatment system was installed in late summer 2003 to prevent the migration of contaminated water from the spring. Measures were taken in July 2004 to prevent the migration of contaminated water from the low-lying wet area. In September 2004, it was concluded that all actions at the site were complete. EPA conducted a second five-year review in April 2005 and a third five-year review in April 2010. The five-year review reports concluded that the site remedy protects human health.


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