Superfund site gets new treatment system

NASSAU – As announced by the Environmental Protection Agency last July, a new treatment system (HiPOx) is being added to the water treatment plant at the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site to further address the long-term treatment of the chemical 1,4-dioxane.

Direct discharge from the plant to the Valatie Kill at an effective flow rate of 0.5-0.6 gallons per minute is expected to begin on or around December 1.

Once direct discharge has begun the treatment plant is expected to run at a flow rate of 2 gallons per minute (gpm) for about 4 weeks and then a slow ramp up will begin by January 2015. By April 2015, the plant is expected to be operating at a flow rate of about 4 gpm.

Operation of the five new extraction wells will begin in May. Each of the wells will be brought online one at a time. By September 2015 all 8 extraction wells (3 existing, plus the 5 new wells) are expected to be online. At this time, the plant will be operating at a flow rate of approximately 6.5 gpm.

Decisions on further increasing the flow rate will be made based on the data collected to date and continuing evaluations of plant operations. The flow rate is not expected to exceed 8 to 12 gpm. Sampling of the treated water from the plant will continue to meet or exceed the requirements set by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Surface water will also be sampled at least three times after direct discharge is approved.

From 1952 until 1968, the Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site was used for the disposal of an estimated 46,000 tons of waste materials generated by several Capital District companies including General Electric (GE), Honeywell International, Inc., and Schenectady Chemicals. The waste included industrial solvents, waste oils, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), scrap materials, sludge and solids. Volatile organic compounds and other hazardous substances have seeped out of the landfill and contaminated the ground water.

In April 2012 the EPA reached an agreement to perform a removal action at the Site with two of the parties responsible for the contamination, GE and SI. As part of the agreement, the companies would also construct a treatment plant adjacent to the landfill to treat the contaminated ground water and leachate. The construction of the treatment plant was completed in last November and treated water from tanks have been released into the Valatie Kill since last winter.

The site and the water treatment plant are in the Rensselaer County Town of Nassau. The Valatie Kill flows southwest from Nassau through parts of Columbia County and Kinderhook Lake, which borders on the Towns of Kinderhook and Chatham.


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