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News Releases from Region 02

Corrected: EPA Proposes to Add Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Site in Hoosick Falls, N.Y. to the Federal Superfund List

Groundwater Contaminated with PFOA and Volatile Organic Compounds Pub. Comments due by Nov 8 CORRECTED VERSION: Corrected Comment Period Close Date (Nov. 8, not Nov. 10) and Corrected Chemical Name (1,2-Dichloroethane, not 1,2-Dichloroethe)

09/07/2016
Contact Information: 
John Martin (martin.johnj@epa.gov)
(212) 637-3662
David Kluesner (kluesner.dave@epa.gov )
(212) 637-3653

(New York, N.Y. – September 9, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed adding the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics site in the Village of Hoosick Falls, N.Y. to its Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) of the country's most hazardous waste sites. Groundwater at the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility, located at 14 McCaffrey Street, is contaminated with Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Trichloroethylene. Groundwater supplying the village’s public water supply wells is contaminated with PFOA, as well as Vinyl Chloride and 1,2-Dichloroethane (1,2-DCA). The Vinyl Chloride and 1,2-DCA are both below EPA drinking water standards. PFOA does not break down easily and therefore is very persistent in the environment. Its toxicity and persistence in the environment can pose adverse effects to human health and the environment. The Village of Hoosick Falls has added carbon filtration to its public water supply, thereby providing clean water to local residents.

"The toxic contamination of groundwater in Hoosick Falls, New York has put the health of residents potentially at risk and has required the village to filter its public drinking water supply," said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. "By placing this site on the federal Superfund list, the EPA will continue to work hard to address the contamination at the source, and hold the polluters accountable for the full cost of cleanup.”

The McCaffrey Street facility was built in 1961, and had been used to manufacture circuit board laminates, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)-coated fiberglass and other PTFE products. In 1999, Saint-

Gobain Performance Plastics purchased the facility and began operations there, using PFOA in its manufacturing process. PFOA belongs to a group of chemicals used to make household and commercial products that resist heat and chemical reactions and repel oil, stains, grease and water.

PFOA was widely used in non-stick pots and pans, stain-resistant carpets, and water-resistant outerwear. In 2006, the EPA reached a nationwide agreement with eight manufacturers to phase out the production and use of PFOA. These manufacturers stopped using PFOA in 2015.

  • In January 2016, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation added the Saint-Gobain site to the state’s Superfund list and nominated the site for inclusion in the federal Superfund list.
  • In April 2016, the EPA installed groundwater monitoring wells near the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility.
  • In early May 2016, the EPA conducted groundwater sampling at and around the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics facility.
  • In mid-May, the EPA conducted drinking water sampling at drinking water wells used by the Village of Hoosick Falls.
  • After testing in Hoosick Falls, the EPA determined that inclusion in the federal Superfund program was an effective course of action to address the contamination.
  • In addition to the Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics site, the EPA is proposing to add 7 other sites to the National Priorities List today. The EPA typically nominates sites to the National Priorities List twice each year, in the spring and in the fall.

With the proposal of this site to the National Priorities List, a 60-day comment period will begin. During this time, the EPA will be accepting public comments, which must be received by November 8. After the comment period closes, a final National Priorities List designation will make the site eligible for funds to conduct long-term cleanup. The Superfund program operates on the principle that polluters should pay for the cleanup rather than passing the costs on to taxpayers. The EPA searches for parties legally responsible for contaminating a site, and holds those parties fully accountable for cleanup costs.

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for these final and proposed sites, visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/current-npl-updates-new-proposed-npl-sites-and-new-npl-sites. With the proposal of this site to the NPL, a 60-day comment period will begin during which the EPA solicits public input regarding this action.

For instructions on how to submit comments, go to: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/public-comment-process.

Comments can be submitted, identified by Docket number by one of the following methods:

Docket number for the site: EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0434.

Follow the online instructions for submitting comments at http://www.regulations.gov.

Email: superfund.docket@epa.gov

Mail: Mail comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; (Mail Code 5305T); 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20460

Hand Delivery or Express Mail: Send comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW; EPA West, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays).

For more information on the NPL Site listing process, visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm or contact Ildefonso Acosta, Region 2 NPL Coordinator, at 212-637-4344, acosta.ildefonso@epa.gov

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://facebook.com/eparegion2.

16-078   Corrected                                          # # #