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NPL Site Narrative for Li Tungsten Corp.

LI TUNGSTEN CORP.
Glen Cove, New York

Federal Register Notice:  October 14, 1992

Conditions at Proposal (July 29, 1991): The Li Tungsten Corp. site covers approximately 20 acres at the intersection of Herb Hill Road, Dickson Lane, and Garvies Point Road in an industrial area along the north bank of Glen Cove Creek in Glen Cove, Nassau County, New York. From the 1940s to the early 1980s, tungsten ores imported from around the world were smelted at the facility to produce tungsten carbide powder, tungsten wire, and welding rods. The facility was owned and operated by Wah Chang Smelting and Refining Co. of America, Inc., and was later operated by its wholly owned subsidiary, Li Tungsten Corp. Glen Cove Development Co. (GCDC) purchased the property in November 1984 to develop it as a residential area. In June 1985, Li Tungsten ceased operations and filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Federal bankruptcy code.

In early 1988, a consultant to GCDC took the following actions at the site: (1) inspected 50 tanks to determine whether they were secure against rupture or leakage; (2) sampled, drained, drummed, and disposed of the contents of two tanks determined not to be secure; (3) packed identifiable laboratory chemicals and disposed of them; (4) over-packed and/or staged 108 drums containing acids, organics, and waste oil to a secure area at the site, and subsequently disposed of them; (5) inventoried, sampled, and removed pressurized gas cylinders; (6) removed approximately one tank truck of anhydrous ammonia from the facility; and (7) established 24-hour security.

The consultant also sampled 10 existing monitoring wells and installed 13 new wells. Analyses of samples from these wells identified four plumes of contaminated ground water in the Upper Glacial Aquifer. Not all plumes are associated with Li Tungsten. One plume, around Mud Pond, contains waste processing water and heavy metals. Chlorides, sulfates, lead, cadmium, tungsten, chromium, arsenic, barium, silver, and PCBs are present in monitoring wells in this area, according to tests conducted in 1988. Materials leaking from the pond have scarred the surface in this area. An estimated 51,500 people obtain drinking water from public and private wells within 4 miles of the site, the nearest within 1.2 miles.

In March 1989, the New York State Department of Environmental Control (NYSDEC) found that many problems still existed at the site: (1) approximately 100 drums holding liquid chemicals tentatively identified as containing cyanide, acids, and alkalis; (2) numerous storage tanks containing unknown quantities of liquid chemicals; (3) approximately 26 pressurized cylinders containing chemicals; (4) approximately 12 transformers, some leaking and suspected to contain PCBs; (5) waste piles with elevated radiation levels, believed due to radium, thorium, and uranium resulting from the tungsten refining process; (6) tungsten ore stored in wooden crates and drums, some broken; and (7) asbestos fibers from decaying tank covers and pipe-wrapping materials.

On July 21, 1989, EPA filed an Administrative Order on Consent under CERCLA Section 106(a) requiring GCDC to undertake certain initial cleanup actions at the site. In response, the company removed the drums, the contents of the tanks, the laboratory chemicals, and electrical transformers. Following GCDC's activities, EPA inspected the site during March - May 1990.

Status (October 1992): EPA sent "Special Notice Letters" to several parties potentially responsible for wastes associated with the site in February 1992, offering them an opportunity to conduct a Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site and identify alternatives for remedial action. After no settlement agreements were reached, EPA started to develop an RI/FS workplan, which should be completed in late 1992.

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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