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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Proposes $1.9 Million Cleanup Plan for Koppers Pond in Horseheads

New York Public Meeting: August 4, 7:00pm at Elmira College

Contact Information: 
Michael Basile (basile.michael@epa.gov )
(716) 551-4410

(New York, NY – July 25, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a plan to address contaminated soil and sediment at Koppers Pond, a part of the Kentucky Avenue Wellfield Superfund site in Horseheads, N.Y. The pond is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals. The EPA plans to cap the pond bottom to prevent exposure to the pollutants and restrict activities that could damage the cap.

The EPA will hold a public meeting on August 4, 2016 to explain the proposed plan and is encouraging public comments.  The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Elmira College in Elmira, NY, at Peterson Chapel in Cowles Hall located at the corner of Washington Avenue and Park Place. Written comments will be accepted until August 22, 2016.

Koppers Pond, approximately 12-acres in area, is part of the Kentucky Avenue Wellfield Superfund site located in the Village of Horseheads in Chemung County, N.Y. The Kentucky Avenue Wellfield site was added to the federal Superfund list in 1983 following detection of trichloroethylene (TCE) in a public water supply operated by the Elmira Water Board.  Since the 1980’s, several cleanup actions were taken at the site. The wellfield was closed, and residents that had used private wells were connected to the public water supply.  As part of earlier cleanup actions, soil that was contaminated with TCE was removed, and a system to treat contaminated groundwater was installed.  In addition, sediment that was contaminated with PCBs in the ditch that connects to Koppers Pond was removed.

The proposed plan would require a six inch thick underwater cap on the pond’s bottom and continued restrictions on how the capped area can be used in the future to ensure that activities at the site do not damage the cap. Long-term monitoring of the sediment and fish will be conducted. Fish advisories that have been in place since the late 1980’s would have to be revisited and updated as needed. The EPA will conduct a review of the completed action within five years to ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup.

The Superfund program operates on the principle that polluters pay for the cleanups rather than passing the costs to taxpayers. This phase of the cleanup will cost approximately $1.9 million.  EPA expects to enter into negotiations with a group of potentially responsible parties for performance of the work at the site.

Written comments may be mailed or emailed to:

Isabel R. Fredricks, Remedial Project Manager

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

290 Broadway

20th Floor

New York, N.Y. 10007


The proposed plan and more information about the site are available at: www.epa.gov/superfund/kentucky-avenue

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