SHENANDOAH ROAD GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION
EAST FISHKILL, NY
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The Shenandoah Road Ground Water Contamination site (Site) is located in East Fishkill, New York, in an area known as Shenandoah. The Site is an area of contaminated groundwater that has affected residential well drinking water. Tests showed that 60 residential drinking water wells in the area exceeded maximum levels for tetrachloroethene (PCE) and/or trichloroethene (TCE), harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used in industrial solvents. PCE is considered a potential human carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the levels detected during testing indicated an immediate threat to public health. After immediate actions to protect human health and the environment, EPA put the Site’s long-term remedy in place. Site cleanup and monitoring are ongoing.
In April 2000, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) received information from a resident in the Shenandoah area indicating possible contamination of a private residential well with PCE. Residential well sampling at the site by NYSDOH and EPA since April 2000 had indicated that a total of 60 residential wells have been contaminated at or above the federal maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 5 parts per billion (ppb) for PCE and/or trichloroethene TCE. Point-of-Entry Treatment (POET) systems were installed on all of these wells to remove the contaminants of concern. MCLs are the maximum permissible levels of a contaminant that may be present in water used for drinking purposes. The levels of PCE range as high as 1,600 ppb.
In October 2000, EPA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) conducted investigatory work at a former commercial facility at 7 East Hook Cross Road in Hopewell Junction, New York, and discovered a 1,200-gallon metal septic tank containing materials exhibiting extremely high concentrations of PCE. The facility was used between the late 1960s and early to mid-1970s for the cleaning of microchip holders, or “racks.” According to former employees of the facility, waste cleaning solvent (PCE) from this process was discharged into the septic system.
During excavation of the contaminated soil associated with the former septic tank, two additional PCE disposal areas were discovered. Also, in August 2001, EPA discovered a buried “acid pit” behind the former 7 East Hook Cross Road facility. Based on the high levels of PCE detected in the soil surrounding the acid pit, the acid pit was likely used for disposal of PCE. The septic system, other disposal areas and the acid pit are believed to be the sources of the groundwater contamination at the Site.
In June 2001, after immediate actions to protect human health and the environment, as well as Site investigations, EPA placed the Ssite on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List.
In December 2011, in order to address the dense non-aqueous phase liquid (DNAPL) source of groundwater contamination at the original facility, EPA selected a groundwater extraction and treatment system to be constructed at the source (near the original 7 East Hook Cross Road facility).
In March 2012, the extraction and treatment system became operational, consisting of four groundwater extraction wells and two granulated activated-carbon (GAC) adsorption vessels in series to treat the contaminated groundwater.
On Sepetmber 30, 2012, EPA issued a Record of Decision for the Site. The selected remedy included the continued operation and maintenance of the existing source extraction and
treatment system, the monitored natural attenuation of the groundwater plume and a comprehensive monitoring program.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
Immediate Actions: EPA delivered bottled water to affected residences in June 2000. POET systems were installed by EPA to ensure a safe supply of water in homes with wells contaminated at or above drinking water standards. POET systems include a cartridge particulate filter, two granular activated carbon tanks and an ultraviolet (UV) light. Three homeowners installed POET systems at their own cost prior to EPA’s involvement at the site. EPA then installed UV lights and particulate filters on these treatment systems and assumed responsibility for system maintenance. EPA monitored wells near the Site without POET systems to make sure they met drinking water standards.
In November and early December 2000, EPA excavated the septic tank associated with the 7 East Hook Cross Road facility and removed its contents for transportation and off-site treatment and disposal. EPA also excavated contaminated soil associated with the septic tank. High levels of PCE still remained in the soil beneath the facility. As a result, it was necessary for EPA to demolish the facility before excavating the underlying contaminated soils. During excavation of the contaminated soils, two additional PCE disposal areas were discovered. In August 2001, roughly 4,000 tons of contaminated soils associated with the former septic tank and the two PCE disposal areas were excavated for off-site disposal. EPA also discovered a buried “acid pit” behind the former 7 East Hook Cross Road facility. Excavation activities finished in January 2002. About 1,600 tons of contaminated soil associated with the former acid pit, as well as about 4,500 tons of additional contaminated soils, were excavated and disposed of off site.
In August 2004, EPA selected the Town of Fishkill’s municipal water supply as the permanent water supply for affected residents at the Site. Potentially responsible party (PRP) IBM designed and installed the transmission lines, the distribution system and house plumbing connections for the Shenandoah Town Water District. The permanent public water supply system is in place and currently operating.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The Site is being addressed in two stages: immediate actions and a long-term remedial phase focused on investigation and remediation of contaminated groundwater.
As part of the initial emergency response action to deliver water to residents, EPA installed POET systems in homes where residential wells were contaminated at or above MCLs to ensure a safe supply of water. EPA also provided operation and maintenance of these systems.
Vapor intrusion is also being investigated at the Site. Since 2004, EPA has conducted indoor air sampling and subslab sampling at several residences in the Shenandoah Road area affected by groundwater contamination. In February 2009, EPA installed vapor mitigation systems at four properties in the area as a preventive measure. EPA will continue to maintain these systems and to monitor the indoor air at these properties, as well as a few additional properties in the area. At the present time, EPA has not identified any public health issues concerning indoor air quality within the Site area.
On July 2, 2014, the Consent Decree (CD) between EPA and IBM was filed with the Department of Justice. The Remeidal Design/Remedial Action (RD/RA) CD identified the requirements necessary to continue the remedial action work at the Site. IBM will continue to perform the operation and maintenance of the groundwater extrcation and treatment system and the groundwater monitoring until the performance standards are achieved, as required the ROD, the RD/RA Work Plan and the CD. Regular reporting to EPA is being performed both on the source treatment facility and the MNA remedy for the groundwater plume.
As part of the Institutional Conrtrols Implementation and Assurance Plan (an appendix to the CD), the Declaration of Covenants, Restrictions and Environmental Easements for the three property parcels associated with the Site were lodged with Dutchess County on September 25, 2018.