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Demolition Done, EPA Moves into Final Phases of Cleanup in Franklin Square

Release Date: 05/23/2003
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(#03059) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has demolished and removed the debris from the former Genzale Plating Company plant building in Franklin Square, Long Island, New York. In the next few weeks, the Agency will begin installing equipment to clean up previously unaccessible soil contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE). Once installed, the system will operate until the soil is cleaned up.

"I know residents were glad to see the building go, and now that it is gone, we can finish the job at this site," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "EPA has already installed filtration systems in the homes affected by soil vapors, but we also want to remove the remaining source of contamination once and for all."

Soil at the former electroplating plant, which operated between 1915 and 2000, was contaminated because the company discharged wastewater into pits on its property. This practice contaminated both the soil and groundwater with heavy metals and other contaminants. In 1982, Genzale began to remove sludge and soil from the pits. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation conducted an investigation of the site, and referred it to EPA for inclusion on the National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites . The Agency chose soil vapor extraction (SVE) to clean up soil at the site. The system works by drawing contaminated air from the soil and filtering it through carbon filters to remove contaminants. Earlier cleanup actions also included excavation and disposal. EPA, with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, completed soil cleanup behind the former facility in 1997. When the company ceased operation in 2000, the Agency sampled the soil and groundwater under the vacated building and determined that additional soil cleanup was required. Air monitoring in the building and nearby residences found elevated levels of TCE, and air filtration systems were installed in three homes to ensure safe air for the residents.

Groundwater at the site is also contaminated, and currently the Army Corps is working to develop a groundwater treatment system. However, since all residents are connected to municipal water supplies, and down-gradient groundwater is not affected, there is no current health risk.

More information regarding activities at the site can be found at the website: Exit EPA disclaimer