HOPEWELL JUNCTION, NY
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The Hopewell Precision Site is located in Hopewell Junction in the Town of East Fishkill, Dutchess County, New York. Hopewell Precision, Inc. has operated at either 15 or 19 Ryan Drive since the early 1970's manufacturing sheet metal parts and assemblies. Various painting and degreasing processes used at these locations generated wastes that were reportedly disposed of directly on the ground, resulting in a groundwater contamination plume which now extends about 1.5 miles in a southwesterly direction from 15 and 19 Ryan Drive. The area surrounding the Site is mostly residential, all of which is served by private drinking water wells and septic systems.
Hopewell Precision, Inc. is a manufacturer of sheet metal parts that are assembled into furniture. The property at 19 Ryan Drive was vacant land prior to 1980. From 1980 to the present, Hopewell Precision has been the sole occupant of the building on the property. Since 1981, the former facility at 15 Ryan Drive has been used by Nicholas Brothers Moving Company for equipment storage and office space.
Processes at Hopewell Precision include shearing, punching, bending, welding and painting. The painting process includes degreasing prior to the wet spray paint application. Hopewell Precision currently uses a water-based degreaser. The company used trichloroethene (TCE) and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA) in a vapor degreasing machine until 1998. Hopewell Precision reportedly no longer uses TCE or 1,1,1-TCA for degreasing.
In October 1979, EPA received a letter from a former Hopewell Precision employee alleging improper disposal practices. EPA inspected what is now the former facility at 15 Ryan Drive in November 1979. EPA observed solvent odors coming from an open disposal area. At the time of the inspection, Hopewell Precision was alleged to have been dumping one to five gallons per day of waste solvents, paint pigments and sodium nitrate directly on the ground. Following additional site inspections, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) determined that Hopewell Precision was in violation of hazardous waste regulations because it was operating as a hazardous waste storage facility without a permit or interim status authorization. Hopewell Precision subsequently performed corrective measures, including waste disposal, which NYSDEC found to be satisfactory.
After additional investigations, EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in April 2005
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
EPA began its cleanup efforts in March 2003. Carbon filtration systems were installed at contaminated wells. Point-of-entry-treatment (POET) systems, which are highly effective in removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from drinking water, have been installed in 41 homes. At 53 homes where indoor air showed elevated concentrations of VOCs, EPA installed sub-slab ventilation systems (SVS), which have been successful in addressing vapor intrusion problem. Drinking water well and soil gas monitoring is ongoing. If EPA identifies additional affected residences, the Agency will install POET systems (depending on the status of the public water supply installation) and/or SVS in those residences. EPA is working to determine whether, under current conditions, there are any potential or actual human exposures to contaminants at the site. Sampling results from June 2013 found all deep bedrock private well water is clean and free of all VOCs.
What Is the Current Site Status?
EPA has divided the Hopewell Precision site into two OUs. OU 1 addresses remediation and restoration of the contaminated groundwater to drinking water standards by using naturally-occurring microorganisms that break contaminants down, making them harmless. OU 2 includes provision of an alternate water supply to the area with private drinking water wells that have been or have the potential to be affected by the groundwater plume from the Hopewell Precision facility. The OU 2 Record of Decision (ROD) was completed in September 2008 and the OU 1 ROD was completed in September 2009.
The OU 2 Remedial Design activities began in July 2009 and were completed in July 2016. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on behalf of EPA, awarded the construction contract in September 2017, and the construction of the water supply distribution system began in spring 2018. The construction of the new water supply system is being sequentially phased by year into three segments that include, Phase 1 - water transmission mains; Phase 2 - pumping station, water storage tank and water system distribution mains; and Phase 3 - residential service line connections to approximately 300 properties and private well abandonment. The construction of the water supply distribution system was expected to be completed in late 2020. However, as a result of the evolving COVID-19 situation and because the work at Hopewell Junction involves contractors entering people’s homes in order to complete the waterline connecitons, EPA, in coordination with the Town of East Fishkill, suspended this work until further notice. This suspension of work is a temporary measure as EPA adjusts to the ongoing situation with COVID-19. Currently, EPA is reassessing this suspension and is prepared to continue the site work, as soon as feasiblee All other work, including site restoration and water line completion, will continue. As the situation evolves, EPA will continue to work with the Town of East Fishkill in order to inform residents of any updates with respect to the homeowner waterline connections.The OU 1 Remedial Design began in September 2010. Due to declining TCE and 1,1,1-TCA concentrations in groundwater, EPA is presently evaluating whether monitored natural attenuation (MNA) can be an effective remedy in achieving drinking water standards within a reasonable time period. If MNA is determined to be effective in restoring groundwater, EPA will amend the OU 1 remedy selected in the September 2009 ROD.