Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

PETER COOPER CORPORATION (MARKHAMS)
DAYTON, NY

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The Peter Cooper Corporation site is located in Dayton, New York. The 106-acre site was an industrial waste disposal area for the Peter Cooper Corporation (PCC), a former animal glue and adhesives plant in Gowanda, New York.

From about 1955 until September 1971, a 15-acre disposal area was almost completely covered with about 9,600 tons of manufacturing waste from the Gowanda plant. In addition, a New York State Supreme Court Order required PCC to move about 38,600 more tons of waste from the Gowanda plant to the site. This took place between August 1971 and late 1972.

Materials disposed of at the site were reported to consist of "cookhouse sludge," residue pile material and vacuum filter sludge. Cookhouse sludge was so named because of a cooking cycle that took place just prior to extraction of the glue. It was derived primarily from chrome-tanned hides obtained from tanneries and leather finishers. Residue pile material is described as air-dried cookhouse sludge, which was stabilized to a fairly dry, granular form. Vacuum filter sludge is produced during dewatering of cookhouse sludge. The waste material has been shown to contain elevated levels of chromium, arsenic, zinc and several organic compounds.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) completed preliminary site investigations in 1983 and 1985. After additional investigations, EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in February 2000.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

Following a remedial investigation and feasibility study to determine the nature and extent of the contamination and to evaluate remedial alternatives, EPA selected the remedy in the site’s December 2006 Record of Decision, or ROD. It included consolidation of waste and fill piles, then capping the consolidated wastes with a low permeability cover; implementation of institutional controls to restrict land uses and groundwater use; and groundwater monitoring.

A total of about 40,000 cubic yards of waste and fill was consolidated and capped. The waste fill consolidated area covers about 4 acres, with an average peak elevation (including cover soil) of 14 feet above surrounding grade. Routine operation and maintenance activities at the site are ongoing. Operation, maintenance and monitoring reports are provided to EPA annually and the monitoring data collected confirm that the cap is operating as designed.

A five-year review of the remedy was conducted by EPA in 2013 and the review concluded that contamination at the site is under control and there is no exposure to human or environmental receptors from site-related contaminants due to permanent measures in place at the site. Based on its review of the monitoring data, EPA took the site off the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in July 2004. EPA continues to monitor
conditions at the site to ensure that the remedy remains protective of human health and the environment.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The site is being addressed in a single long-term remedial phase focused on cleanup of the entire site.

An investigation of the nature and extent of the contamination at the site was completed by a group of potentially responsible parties under EPA oversight in 2005.  In 2006, EPA selected a remedy for the site in a Record of Decision, or ROD.  The remedy called for consolidation of waste and fill piles, then capping the consolidated wastes with a low permeability cover; implementation of institutional controls to restrict land uses and groundwater use; and groundwater monitoring to track any contaminant migration from the site. The remedial design was approved by EPA on July 3, 2008 and onsite cleanup began on July 30, 2008

On November 25, 2008 EPA determined that all construction activities were completed at the site.  Based on its review of the monitoring data collected following completion of the remedial action, EPA deleted the site from the National Priorities List on September 20, 2010. EPA continues to monitor conditions at the site to ensure that the remedy remains protective. The last five-year review of the site was completed by EPA in September 2013, which concluded that the remedies implemented at the site remain protective of human health and the environment. The next five-year review will be completed by September 2018.

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