OLD BETHPAGE, NY
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The Claremont Polychemical site is the former location of a manufacturer of pigments for plastics and inks. The facility operated from 1966 to 1980. The 9.5-site is located in an industrial section of Old Bethpage in Nassau County, New York. Facility operations contaminated soil, groundwater and a building with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Short-term cleanups called removal actions have addressed immediate threats to human health and the environment. The site’s long-term cleanup is ongoing.
The Claremont Polychemical Site, situated on an approximately 9.5-acre site, is a former manufacturer of pigments for plastics and inks that operated from 1966 to 1980. During its operation, Claremont Polychemical Corporation (Claremont) disposed of liquid wastes in three leaching basins and deposited solid wastes and treatment sludges in drums or in old, aboveground metal tanks. During a series of inspections in 1979, the Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) found 2,000 to 3,000 drums containing inks, resins, and organic solvents throughout the site. Some of the drums were uncovered, while others reportedly were leaking. NCDOH inspectors noted that an area east of the building was contaminated with organic solvents that resulted from spills and discharges. Claremont sorted and removed the drums from the site in 1980. A subsequent investigation by NCDOH revealed most of the drums were gone, but an area of soil (referred to as the "spill area") was visibly contaminated with inks and solvents. As a result, Claremont was directed to install groundwater monitoring wells. The closest residences are located approximately 1/2 mile from the site. Approximately 47,000 people draw drinking water from wells located within 3 miles of the site. The nearest public water supply well is 3,500 feet northwest of the site Site Responsibility: This Site is being addressed through Federal actions.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
The removal action disposed of 13,000 gallons of hazardous liquid wastes contained in 700 drums; the removal of 32 tons of mixed debris, 2,600 linear ft. of asbestos materials and 86 tons of asbestos tank coatings from the building; the excavation and off-site disposal of 15 underground storage tanks; the treatment of 8,762 tons of contaminated soils; the decontamination of the building’s interior structure; the operation of the SVE system to address VOC contaminated soil under the former Process Building and the continuous extraction and treatment of the groundwater plume have greatly reduced the potential for exposure to hazardous materials at the Claremont Polychemical Site. Removal of the construction and demolition debris piles and decommissioning the pits has eliminated potential safety concerns for trespassers and has increased the amount of land that can be put back into productive use at the Claremont Polychemical Site.
Soil excavation and treatment started in the fall of 1996 and finished in March 1997. About 8,762 tons of contaminated soils were remediated. Building decontamination started in summer 1997 and finished in December 1997. About 32 tons of mixed debris, 2,600 linear feet of asbestos materials and 86 tons of asbestos tank coatings were removed from the building.
During the decontamination effort, sampling of a hole in the floor slab led to the detection of a new source of contaminated soil beneath the building. Additional sampling detected soil contaminated with elevated levels of VOCs and cadmium. In August 2002, EPA began a pilot study to address the VOCs in the soil underneath the building using a soil vapor extraction (SVE) system. In April 2003, EPA updated the site remedy to include additional remedial actions. These actions include treating the VOCs in the soil under the building by operating the SVE system and maintaining the integrity of the building's floor over time to prevent exposure to cadmium-contaminated soil. Additional actions also included the removal of about 20,000 cubic yards of demolition and construction debris located on the northern part of the site and the decommissioning of five concrete-lined pits, which served as former wastewater treatment basins. These remedial actions were completed in September 2003. In April and May 2009, EPA investigated and removed the water and sludge material in septic tanks. The tanks were subsequently backfilled with clean fill and sealed with concrete. Also, the sanitary leaching pools associated with the septic systems were backfilled and sealed with concrete.
On September 28, 2007, Old Beth II, LLC became the new owner of the Claremont Polychemical property. In March 2013, the 35,000-square foot one-story Process Building structure was demolished by the owner, however the concrete floor of the building remained intact and undisturbed as an institutional control required by the ESD to prevent exposure to cadmium-contaminated soil. Also, the site owner had leased the property to a tenant which is
operating a large-scale landscaping and construction business at the Site.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The site is being addressed in three stages: immediate actions and two long-term remedial phases focused on the removal and disposal of hazardous materials and on-site soil and groundwater cleanup.
Immediate Actions: In 1989 and 1990, EPA removed 13,000 gallons of hazardous liquid wastes in drums, aboveground tanks and basins, and took them to an approved off-site treatment, storage and disposal facility. In 1991, EPA removed 15 underground storage tanks and took them to an off-site treatment, storage and disposal facility.
Soil and Groundwater Contamination: Following a comprehensive site investigation completed in 1990, EPA selected a remedy in the site’s 1990 Record of Decision, or ROD, to address soil and groundwater contamination. It included excavation and treatment of contaminated soil by low heat to enhance the volatilization of the contaminants, and deposition of the treated soil in the excavated areas; decontamination of the on-site building by vacuuming contaminated surfaces and by removing asbestos insulation; and extraction and treatment of the contaminated groundwater by air stripping and carbon adsorption and then reinjection of the treated water into the ground.
On September 28, 2007, Old Beth II, LLC became the new owner of the Claremont Polychemical property. In March 2013, the 35,000-square foot one-story Process Building structure was demolished by the owner, however the concrete floor of the building remained intact and undisturbed as an institutional control required by the ESD to prevent exposure to cadmium-contaminated soil.
In December 2010 and May 2013, EPA conducted soil sampling under the slab of the former process building. Upon evaluation of the sampling data, and in discussions with NYSDEC, it became apparent that the SVE system had reached a plateau and was no longer effective in extracting VOCs from the soil. In general, the volume of soil that was still above the soil cleanup goals was limited to approximately 1,100 tons. Subsequently, soil excavation was completed and approximately 1,100 tons of soil was excavated and shipped off-site. Analytical results of post-excavation sampling of all areas indicated VOC concentrations, specifically PCE and TCE, were below the soil cleanup goals established in the ROD.
At the period of SVE shutdown, it was estimated that conservatively, approximately 4,025 pounds of total VOCs were recovered. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 cubic yards of soil was treated by the SVE system, SVE and approximately 1,100 tons of soil were excavated and disposed of off-site at a CECLA approved facility.
The groundwater portion of the site’s remedy has two phases. During the first phase, extraction wells were put in at the site boundary to capture the most contaminated groundwater. Construction of the groundwater treatment system began in May 1997 and full-scale operation started in February 2000. Currently this system is not operating.
The second phase focuses on off-site groundwater cleanup. An ongoing groundwater remediation program at the Old Bethpage Landfill Superfund site, located nearby, is capturing significant levels of contaminants from this plume. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is currently responsible for both phases of the groundwater cleanup.