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EPA Poised to Begin Long-Term Cleanup at Newburgh Superfund Site

Release Date: 09/29/2003
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(#03111) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has removed debris and contaminated materials piled at the site of the former Consolidated Iron & Metal scrap yard in Newburgh, New York, and is ready to investigate options for long-term soil and ground water cleanup. Since June, EPA has removed hundreds of tons of scrap, debris and tires to enable the investigation to proceed.

"Our goal is to turn this property into an asset for the community of Newburgh," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "Now that the mountains of debris are gone, it's easy to see that once the contamination is cleaned up, this will be a beautiful and vital riverfront area again."

The Consolidated Iron and Metal site occupies about seven acres along the Hudson River at the foot of Washington Street in the city of Newburgh. When EPA began cleanup work in June, the inactive car and scrap metal junk yard consisted of a tire pile, numerous scrap metal piles and several buildings. For about 40 years, scrap metal was processed and stored at the site. An onsite smelter was used primarily to recycle aluminum transmissions, but other materials were also smelted, resulting in a lead and PCB- contaminated ash/slag byproduct.

EPA has removed approximately 30,000 tires, which will be used for fuel at a power plant in Connecticut; 58 truckloads of scrap metal, several thousand tons of concrete and almost 8,000 gallons of hydraulic oil were also recycled. The Agency also demolished the buildings on the site and disposed of about 2,000 tons of contaminated soil and debris.

The site was listed on the National Priorities List of the nation's most hazardous waste sites in June 2001. EPA will conduct a remedial investigation and feasibility study, to characterize the nature and extent of the contamination, investigate options for cleanup, and evaluate the feasibility of the different cleanup options. The Agency will then use this information to develop a proposed cleanup plan, which will be subject to public comment.