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Sophia Kelley – (212) 637-3670
Hertel Landfill is an 80-acre inactive waste disposal area located in the Town of Plattekill, New York. The site is situated in the valley of a tributary to Black Creek and is surrounded by wetlands. It was first established in 1963 as a municipal waste landfill, and later expanded its service to neighboring Dutchess County in 1970. Hertel Landfill was permanently closed in 1977.
After the site was added to the Superfund National Priorities List in 1986, EPA investigations examined the nature and extent of ground water, surface water and soil contamination at the site. Surface water and sediment sample analysis detected the presence of volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, and some metals (notably iron and manganese) at sampling locations.
EPA’s cleanup approach involved long-term cleanup phases focusing on: 1) the reduction of soil contaminant movement by installing a solid waste landfill cap and 2) the implementation of institutional controls and long-term monitoring involving annual collection of sediment, ground water, surface water, and nearby residential well samples. Installation of the landfill cap in 1998 included the removal of approximately 10,000 cubic yards of waste material from the adjacent wetland area and consolidation of that waste in one main area of the landfill. Approximately 50 containers with varying amounts of waste were also removed from the landfill and sent to an off-site disposal facility.
Improved surface water, sediment, and ground water quality has primarily been attributed to the construction of the landfill cap. Following the installation of the cap, the volatile organic compounds and semi-volatile organic compounds previously present in surface water and sediment samples have no longer been detected. Though surface water and ground water on site still have levels of iron and manganese, the concentrations of these metals do not pose a human health risk at this time. Overall, the quality of surface water, sediment, and ground water has improved and stabilized.
The Hertel Landfill site is currently in the five-year review stage of the Superfund program. Five-year reviews are designed to evaluate the implementation and performance of cleanup work and ensure that cleanup measures remain protective of human health and the environment. The fourth five-year review is being initiated and the final report is scheduled to be issued in January 2015.