EPA Adds the Brillo Landfill Site to the National Priorities List
NEW YORK – In a move that will protect the nearby community, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it is adding the Brillo Landfill in Victory, New York to its Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), along with four other sites across the country. EPA will also propose two sites to the NPL, where releases of contamination pose significant human health and environmental risk.
"Adding the Brillo Landfill to the Superfund National Priorities List will provide the federal funding and capabilities needed to address this legacy pollution in Cayuga County," said Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. "We will work with our state, local and community partners to investigate the extent of contamination, weigh our cleanup options and pursue those responsible to pay for the mess they've left behind."
Now closed, the Brillo Landfill received various industrial and sanitary waste, as well as paint sludge and wastewater treatment sludge. As a result, it is currently contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and metals such as lead and mercury, found in numerous waste disposal units and in the surrounding soil. Further New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) investigations in 2021 found similar contamination and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in nearby wetlands bordering Little Sodus Creek.
EPA conducted an immediate removal action to protect public health starting in June 2018 through 2019, removing approximately 2,000 intact drums and drum carcasses, including about 8,000 gallons of liquid waste and 782 tons of contaminated soil and other solid debris. However, a long-term cleanup is still required to address the remaining contamination at the site. Groundwater sampling results from facility monitoring wells show site-related contaminants above federal and state groundwater standards. NYSDEC has tested private drinking water wells within one mile of the site and has not identified impacts to these wells.
Thousands of contaminated sites, from landfills, processing plants, to manufacturing facilities exist nationally due to hazardous waste being dumped, left out in the open, or otherwise improperly managed. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will accelerate EPA’s work to help communities clean up these contaminated sites with a $3.5 billion investment in the Superfund Remedial Program and reinstates the Superfund chemical excise taxes, making it one of the largest investments in American history to address legacy pollution. This historic investment strengthens EPA’s ability to tackle threats to human health and the environment, and EPA has already set action in motion to clear the backlog of the 49 contaminated sites which had been awaiting funding to start remedial action.
The Superfund National Priorities List includes the nation’s most serious uncontrolled or abandoned releases of contamination. The list serves as the basis for prioritizing EPA Superfund cleanup funding and enforcement actions. Only releases at non-federal sites included on the Superfund National Priorities List are eligible to receive federal funding for long-term, permanent cleanup. Cleanup at federal facilities is funded by the lead federal agency responsible for the site.
EPA proposes sites to the Superfund National Priorities List based on a scientific determination of risks to people and the environment, consistent with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan. Before EPA adds a site to the Superfund National Priorities List, a site must meet EPA’s requirements and be proposed for addition to the list in the Federal Register, subject to a 60-day public comment period. EPA will add the site to the Superfund National Priorities List if it continues to meet the listing requirements after the public comment period closes and the agency has responded to any comments.
Superfund cleanups provide health and economic benefits to communities. The program is credited for significant reductions in both birth defects and blood-lead levels among children living near sites, and research has shown residential property values increase up to 24 percent within three miles of sites after cleanup.
Thanks to Superfund cleanups, communities are now using previously blighted properties for a wide range of purposes, including retail businesses, office space, public parks, residences, warehouses, and solar power generation. As of 2021, EPA has collected economic data on 650 Superfund sites. At these sites, there are 10,230 businesses operating on these sites, 246,000 people employed, an estimated $18.6 billion in income earned by employees, and $65.8 billion in sales generated by businesses.
For information about Superfund and the Superfund National Priorities List, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund.
For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for Superfund National Priorities List and proposed sites, please visit:
For additional site information and background, visit the Brillo Landfill Superfund Profile Page.