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U.S. EPA Selects Four New York Communities with Federal Superfund Sites for National Site Redevelopment Pilot Program

Release Date: 07/13/2000
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(#00132) NEW YORK, N.Y. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has chosen four New York communities, with federal Superfund sites in their midst, to be part of a national redevelopment pilot program for the reuse of these sites after EPA cleanups are completed. Two of the municipalities named will be awarded $100,000 to create site redevelopment plans that have broad-based community support. This includes the Village of Gowanda, where the Peter Cooper Landfill Superfund site is located; and, the Village of West Winfield, with its Hiteman Leather Superfund site.

Of the two other communities selected for this pilot program, the City of Saratoga Springs where the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation (NMPC) Superfund site is located, will receive funding directly from NMPC to redevelop the site using community-based planning efforts. The City of Glen Cove on Long Island, where the Li Tungsten Superfund site is undergoing a major hazardous waste cleanup, already has redevelopment plans for the site. The city was selected for the pilot program to recognize its outstanding Superfund site redevelopment planning effort which can be a model for other communities around the country.

"We clean up Superfund sites to protect the health and environment of these communities, but we don’t want to just stop there," said EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox. "The communities included in today’s announcement are reaching out to a promising future, and this new Superfund pilot program can be an important part of helping them grasp it," Ms. Fox explained.

The 26-acre Peter Cooper site in Gowanda consists of an inactive waste disposal area and some areas of soil contaminated with heavy metals and volatile organic compounds. In 1998, EPA added the site to its National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites needing cleanups. The site was used to manufacture animal glue until 1972, and industrial adhesives until the plant closed in 1985. Contaminants from the site have been observed leaking into Cattaraugus Creek, one of New York’s top 30 fishing waters for rainbow/steel head trout and coho or chinook salmon. The creek is also the top salmonid spawning stream among Lake Erie tributaries. The community plans to use Pilot funds to develop a reuse plan that fits both short- and long-term community needs, including enhancing recreational activities.

The 14-acre Hiteman Leather Company Superfund site in the Village of West Winfield was used for a leather tanning facility starting in 1820. A New York State investigation concluded that contamination from the site caused a fish kill in the nearby Unadilla River in August 1959. The facility was closed in 1968 due to economic factors. In January 1999, EPA added the site to the NPL. The Village will use the funds to formulate a redevelopment plan for the site.

The 7-acre Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. Superfund site in Saratoga Springs was used for coal gas manufacturing and coal tar waste from 1853 to the 1940s. NMPC has operated the site since 1950 as a multipurpose service center. EPA added the site to the NPL in February 1990. The pilot program will help the community develop a plan to reuse the site, which may include a rails-to-trails path and preservation of a historical Round House.

The Li Tungsten Superfund site in the City of Glen Cove covers roughly 30-acres and includes both the former Li Tungsten facility and the Captain’s Cove former dump site. From the 1940s to the early 1980s, the facility received tungsten ores from around the world and smelted them to produce tungsten carbide powder, tungsten wire and welding rods. The heavy metals and radioactive ore wastes from the production process contaminated the property. In October 1992, EPA added the site to the NPL. The city is preparing prime waterfront property, including portions of the Li Tungsten Superfund site, for development in 2001.

These four Superfund sites and communities in New York State were included in a national announcement today that named a total of 40 sites and municipalities across the country that will be part of the Superfund Redevelopment Pilot Program.

For more information about the pilot program, as well as site cleanup status and background information, the public should visit EPA’s Website:

Note to Editors: Reporters should call Rich Cahill at (212) 637-3675 for more site specific information and local government contacts.