(This story is reprinted from timesunion.com and is used here with permission)
NASSAU–The town wants the federal government to increase filtering of contaminated water from the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund Site to prevent a suspected carcinogen from entering the Valatie Kill.
Supervisor David Fleming wrote the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Sunday, March 12 asking for action to stop 1,4-dioxane from entering the creek that runs past the landfill site in Rensselaer County and flows south and west through northern Columbia County.
“Your agency is able to take simple corrective action to resolve this issue by either adding additional filtration or simply recirculating water through the plant treatment process to guarantee clean discharge into our community water resources,” Mr. Fleming wrote.
His email was addressed to Catherine R. McCabe, the acting regional administrator for the EPA’s Region 2 office headquartered in New York City.
The EPA adjusted its $2.5 million water treatment system at the 16-acre, PCB-tainted landfill in 2014 to filter 1,4-dioxane. The EPA has identified 1,4-dioxane, a solvent as likely to cause cancer in humans.
An EPA fact sheet states the synthetic industrial chemical is used in products, including paint strippers, dyes, greases, varnishes and waxes and is also found as an impurity in antifreeze and aircraft de-icing fluids and in some consumer products such as deodorants, shampoos and cosmetics.
Supervisor Fleming said the regular discharge of water with levels of 4.6 parts per billion of 1,4-dioxane into the creek is unacceptable to the community. He pointed out that New Hampshire has established a groundwater reporting threshold of 0.25 parts per billion for the chemical.
Adding more filters or running the water through the plant more than once is not unreasonable, Mr. Fleming said Monday. “It seems like an easy thing to do.”
He wants the additional filtering until the EPA determines what is an acceptable level of 1,4-dioxane contamination in the environment.
The dumpsite was added to the Superfund list in 2011. About 46,000 tons of toxic industrial waste are believed to have been dumped at the site from 1952 to 1968.