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Sinclair Refinery
Wellsville, NY

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

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The physical cleanup activities at the Sinclair Refinery site in Wellsville, New York (Allegany County) were deemed “completed” after a site inspection was conducted by EPA, NYSDEC and Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) in June 2012.  The inspection confirmed that all work had been accomplished in accordance with design specifications and that systems were operating as designed and protective of human health and the environment. Environmental easements/restrictive covenants called for in EPA’s 2009 Explanation of Significant Differences are in the process of being acquired.

EPA added the Sinclair Refinery site to the Superfund National Priorities List on September 1, 1983, because of harmful chemicals present at the site.  The refinery, located on a 100-acre site adjacent to the Genesee River, was built in the late 1800s and operated until 1958.   Gasoline, oil, grease, acid and pesticides were manufactured at the refinery.

A 1991 EPA study found that volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, some that can cause liver and kidney damage were found in the site’s groundwater and soils.  Some 6,000 people live with one mile of the site and several businesses and the State University of New York at Alfred’s Wellsville Campus occupy part of the site.

Clean up of the site began in 1983 when ARCO, as successor to Sinclair, removed some harmful material, and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Village of Wellsville and Allegany County acted to prevent contaminated landfill material from entering the Genesee River.   During the ‘80s and ‘90s, ARCO  channelized the river, consolidated and capped the landfills on the site, removed some 150,000 pounds of contaminated soil and materials and demolished several buildings on the site. 

In addition they completed a groundwater extraction and wetland treatment system which has been operational since 2008.  Extensive work involving the excavation and backfilling of oil sheen-impacted sediment and soil in the river and main drainage swale was completed in 2010. 

Post-construction restoration work, including the restoration of the recreational trail running atop the western bank of the river was accomplished in early 2012.

ARCO will undertake maintenance and monitoring activities at the site and obtain necessary easements as part of their ongoing commitment to site management.

 


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