HOOKER (HYDE PARK)
NIAGARA FALLS, NY
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The Hooker (Hyde Park) site is located in Niagara Falls, New York. The 15-acre area was used for the disposal of about 80,000 tons of waste, some of it hazardous material, from 1953 to 1975, resulting in sediment and groundwater contamination with hazardous chemicals. Following cleanup, the site no longer poses a threat to nearby residents or the environment. Construction of the site’s remedy finished in September 2003. Long-term groundwater treatment and monitoring are ongoing.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
In 1985, EPA selected cleanup remedies that included: (1) a source control extraction well system to remove non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) from overburden in the landfill; (2) an overburden drain system surrounding the landfill; (3) a bedrock remedial system to prevent the migration of leachates composed of (a) a NAPL plume containment system and (b) an aqueous phase liquid (APL or contaminated leachate) plume containment system; (4) a shallow and deep groundwater study; (5) a Niagara Gorge seep program; and (6) treatment of leachates.
Since 1995, Occidental Chemical Corporation (OCC), the site’s potentially responsible party (PRP), has implemented these remedies. Two source control wells were pump tested in 1993 and are operating. Four additional source control wells were installed in 1994 and are also operating. Construction of the Overburden Barrier Collection System, a drain surrounding the landfill to collect and contain leachate, finished in 1990. This drain system prevents leachate from migrating outwardly through the overburden from the landfill. The bedrock NAPL containment system is a system of extraction wells that recover NAPL and APL from the bedrock. Currently, the system includes 12 extraction wells operating around the site. The APL plume containment system consists of two extraction wells placed near the Niagara Gorge that recover APL and prevent it from reaching the Niagara River. These wells were completed in 1994.
Construction of the on-site leachate storage, handling and treatment facility finished in 1989. APL is treated on site with activated carbon. NAPL is collected at this facility and transferred to an approved-off-site facility for incineration. The Niagara Gorge Face seeps have been remediated. Contaminated sediment was removed and some water diverted into a culvert so that people no longer have access to these seeps. In addition to these remedial measures, an Industrial Protection Program to protect nearby workers from contaminants has been completed. The draft Lake Ontario Dioxin Bioaccumulation Study was completed in 1989, distributed for scientific review and was available to the public in September 1992. Fish and sediment samples from Lake Ontario were collected and analyzed, and laboratory studies were conducted. The community monitoring program, consisting of monitoring wells placed within the community and sampled quarterly to provide early warning of contamination from Hyde Park indicator chemicals, is ongoing.
The landfill and its perimeter have been capped. To prevent pollution from migrating out of the site while collecting contaminated liquid for treatment, a system of 12 pumping wells cause groundwater to flow inward toward the landfill. These wells prevent groundwater from seeping out of the landfill and into the surrounding bodies of water. Chemicals have been removed from the water and sediment in Bloody Run Creek. The Niagara Gorge Face has also been cleaned up. In addition to these cleanup measures, a program to protect nearby workers from contaminants has been completed. Further health safety measures have been taken, including an ongoing program that monitors for chemical contamination in wells throughout the area.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The site was addressed in a single long-term remedial phase focused on cleanup of the entire site. Remedy construction has been completed.
The cleanup actions at the Hooker-Hyde Park site were completed in September 2003. The removal of contaminated soils and sediments and the leachate control and treatment operations have substantially reduced potential health risks and further environmental degradation.
Operation and maintenance of the groundwater removal and treatment systems will continue over the next 30 years to ensure the wellbeing of the community. The removal of contaminated soils and sediments, combined with the treatment and monitoring operations, has substantially reduced potential health risks and further environmental degradation.
An Explanation of Significant Differences was issued by EPA in May 2012 to document both that the remedy is a containment remedy and that an institutional control is in the form of a “Declaration of Restrictive Covenants and Environmental Easement” which was placed on the deed to the property. The site was deleted from the National Priorities List in September 2013