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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Proposes Plan to Protect Residents at Arsenic Mine Superfund Site in Kent, New York

04/08/2020
Contact Information: 
Elias Rodriguez (rodriguez.elias@epa.gov)
(212) 637-3664

Kent, N.Y. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a cleanup plan for the Arsenic Mine Superfund Site in Kent, N.Y. that includes offering to purchase certain contaminated properties and permanently relocate affected residents to prevent exposure to arsenic-contaminated soil. Once the properties are vacated, the homes would be demolished.

“EPA is committed to this community in Kent. We previously took actions at the Arsenic Mine Site that have addressed the immediate risks by reducing residents’ exposure to arsenic contamination in the short-term,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “Today, we are proposing the best course of action to protect residents from arsenic-contaminated soil over the long-term.”

The Arsenic Mine Site includes a former mine that was operated intermittently from the mid-1800s through approximately 1918 to extract arsenic for manufacturing products, such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Decades later, residential houses were built on properties around and downslope from the former mine. Arsenic-contaminated soils are found on the residential properties.

Residents with private drinking water supply wells impacted by arsenic contamination at the site are currently utilizing treatment systems or bottled water. EPA has met one-on-one with residents and government partners and repaired a drinking water system where the potable water well had been compromised. EPA continues to regularly monitor residents’ drinking water supplies to ensure that treatment systems continue to be effective.

To reduce the potential for local residents’ short-term exposure to elevated levels of arsenic in the soil, EPA installed barriers to contaminated soil in high-use areas. EPA has also implemented measures to reduce tracking of arsenic-contaminated soil indoors by removing or replacing contaminated soil at the affected properties in gardens and areas used by pets and livestock. These specific measures vary based on the use of each property.

EPA’s proposed plan to address the conditions includes offering to buy certain affected properties and permanently relocating those affected residents. Permanent relocation would include federal financial and logistical support for residents to move away from the site permanently. Residents would be assisted in the relocation process, including identifying and moving into replacement residences.

The vacated homes would then be demolished. This alternative includes institutional controls, such as environmental easements that would limit the future use of the properties. As long as the residents of affected properties remain in their homes, monitoring and maintenance of existing protective measures would continue to ensure the effectiveness of these measures. The estimated cost of EPA’s proposed remedy is $5.83 million. 

As part of the public comment period, EPA will hold a virtual public meeting on the proposed plan on April 22, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. To participate in the meeting, please visit our website for more information: www.epa.gov/superfund/arsenic-mine Please register in advance of the meeting on our website or by emailing Pat Seppi, Community Involvement Coordinator, at seppi.pat@epa.gov or calling her at (646) 369-0068. Anyone interested in receiving materials for the public meeting in hard copy should either email or call Ms. Seppi with such a request by Friday, April 17, 2020.

Written comments on EPA's proposed plan may be mailed or emailed to: Mark Granger, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10007-1866 or granger.mark@epa.gov.  Comments postmarked up until May 8, 2020, will be accepted.

To view the EPA's proposed plan for the site, visit www.epa.gov/superfund/arsenic-mine

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

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