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NPL Site Narrative for Seneca Army Depot

Romulus, New York

Federal Register Notice:  August 30, 1990

Conditions at proposal (July 14, 1989): The Seneca Army Depot encompasses more than 10,000 acres in Seneca County, New York. It lies between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes in the Finger Lakes region and abuts the town of Romulus. The Army has stored and disposed of military explosives at the facility since its inception in 1941.

Seneca Army Depot is participating in the Installation Restoration Program (IRP), established in 1978. Under this program, the Department of Defense seeks to identify, investigate, and clean up contamination from hazardous materials.

During preliminary investigations, the Army identified a number of potentially contaminated areas, including an unlined 13-acre landfill in the west-central portion of the depot, where solid waste and incinerator ash were disposed of intermittently for 30 years during 1941-79; two incinerator pits adjacent to the landfill, where refuse was burned at least once a week during 1941-74; a 90-acre open burning/detonation area in the northwest portion of the depot, where explosives and related wastes have been burned and detonated during the past 30 years; and the APE-1236 Deactivation Furnace in the east-central portion of the depot, where small arms are destroyed.

Monitoring wells on the depot downgradient of the old landfill contain elevated concentrations of trans-1,2-dichloroethylene and trichloroethylene, according to tests conducted in 1987 by an Army contractor. An estimated 1,350 people obtain drinking water from private wells within 3 miles of the depot.

Status (August 30, 1990): EPA, the State, and the Army are negotiating an Interagency Agreement under CERCLA Section 120 to cover future activities at the depot.

The Army plans to conduct a remedial investigation/feasibility study to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site and identify alternatives for remedial action. Field work is scheduled to start in the fall of 1990.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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