Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

CIRCUITRON CORP.
EAST FARMINGDALE, NY

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The Circuitron Corporation Superfund site (the Site) is located at 82 Milbar Boulevard, East Farmingdale, New York. Circuitron Corporation manufactured electronic circuit boards on the 1-acre property from 1961 to 1986. The manufacturing process at the facility included drilling, screening, plating and scrubbing processes, all of which generated chemical wastes. Facility operations contaminated groundwater, soils, sediment and the Circuitron building with heavy metals and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily 1,1,1-trichloroethane and tetrachloroethene. VOCs are potentially harmful contaminants that easily evaporate in the air and can migrate from the soils into the groundwater. Short-term cleanups called removal actions have addressed immediate threats to human health and the environment. The site’s long-term cleanup is ongoing.

 

Circuitron Corporation was a subsidiary of FEE Industries, which ADI Electronics, Inc. bought in 1984. The property, which had been leased by Circuitron Corporation, was owned by 82 Milbar Boulevard, Inc. from the time of Circuitron Corporation's tenancy until March of 2007. In March 2007, Suffolk County brought about the transfer of ownership of the property through a public auction because of 82 Milbar Boulevard, Inc.'s failure to pay real estate taxes. The circuit board process at the facility included drilling, screening, plating, and scrubbing processes, all of which generated chemical wastes. Wastes were reportedly placed in aboveground and underground tanks and storm drains. Thousands of gallons of plating wastes were discharged to an underground leaching pool that was licensed under the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) and to an unauthorized leaching pool beneath the floor of the plating room. In 1986, the company vacated the facility. In 1987, EPA found potentially explosive conditions at the site. Over 100 drums, most unmarked, were left throughout the building. Incompatible and reactive wastes were not segregated. Three aboveground storage tanks located behind the building and six concrete holding tanks containing unknown materials beneath the floor were also identified. The site is in a densely populated industrial and commercial area of Long Island. Approximately fifteen municipal wells serving local residents are located within three miles of the site and serve over 215,000 people. The nearest well is located within 1,300 feet of the site and is in the path of the groundwater flow. A shallow well, which could be used for drinking water, has been closed since 1978 due to contamination.

This site is being addressed in three stages: an emergency action and two long-term remedial phases, which focus on remediation of contaminated groundwater and cleanup of the contaminated soils, sediments and building.
 

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

Emergency Actions: In 1987, EPA initiated an emergency removal of some of the more than 100 chemical containers and storage tanks on Site. In 1988, EPA sampled and removed approximately 20 drums and 3 aboveground tanks, and the contents of 7 underground storage tanks, 2 below surface treatment basins, and several leaching basins still on-site. In total, 120 cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris, 56 drums of hazardous liquids, and an additional 1,400 gallons of tanked hazardous liquids were removed and properly disposed of off-Site.

Soil, Sediments, and Building Demolition: Following a comprehensive site investigation in 1991, EPA selected a remedy, documented in the March 1991 Record of Decision (ROD), to address contamination in the soil and sediments. The remedy included excavating the contaminated sediments from the leaching pools, cesspools, and storm drains and treating and disposing of them off site; VOCs in soils were to be treated by in-place soil vapor extraction (SVE). EPA later determined that the Circuitron building was not structurally sound and needed to be demolished. The demolition and offsite disposal of the building was completed in August 1996. This was followed by excavation and off-site disposal of contaminated underground structures and sediments and soils within and around the structures. About 50 tons of contaminated sediments and 1,200 tons of contaminated soils were removed in December 1996.

Groundwater: Following a separate investigation completed in 1994, EPA selected the remedy to address groundwater contamination in the Site’s 1994 ROD. The remedy included the extraction of the contaminated groundwater, treatment via precipitation and air stripping, and the reinjection of the treated groundwater. Construction of the groundwater  extraction and treatment facility was initiated in September 1999 and completed in September 2000. The groundwater extraction and treatment facility treated the contaminated groundwater and discharged the treated effluent on-site as part of EPA’s long-term response actions (LTRA) at the site.

To optimize cleanup of the groundwater, EPA is pursuing a source removal strategy in the southwest corner of the site where moderate levels of VOCs were detected in the groundwater. EPA installed a single integrated groundwater circulating well with an in-well vapor stripping and SVE (GCW/IVS/SVE) system to address the contaminated subsurface soils and groundwater located in the southwest corner of the site. The purpose of the GCW/IVS/SVE system is to physically separate the contaminants from the soil and the groundwater in vapor form. This process occurs below the ground surface. Contaminated vapors collected from the soil and groundwater are drawn off and treated above ground through carbon adsorption. In March 2008, EPA began operation of the GCW/IVS/SVE system. The GCW/IVS/SVE system replaced the groundwater extraction and treatment facility. The groundwater extraction and treatment building and the associated on-Site reinjection trench and off-Site extraction wells were dismantled in June 2012.

The emergency actions taken to remove the chemical containers, drums and storage tanks of hazardous materials have resulted in the removal and off-site disposal of 120 cubic yards of contaminated soil and debris, 56 drums of hazardous liquids, and an additional 1,400 gallons of tanked hazardous liquids. This eliminated the potentially explosive conditions and greatly reduced the potential for exposure to contamination at the Circuitron Corporation site.

Additionally, about 50 tons of contaminated sediments and 1,200 tons of contaminated soils were removed from the site in December 1996. The cleanup and disposal of the site sediments has further reduced the potential for exposure to contamination at the site and minimized the possibility of further cross media contamination of groundwater.

Construction of the groundwater extraction and treatment facitity was initiated in September 1999 and completed in September 2000. During construction activities in the northeast portion of the Site, EPA uncovered 7 drywells approximately 10 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep. Contaminated soils and sediments were removed from the 7 drywells, totaling approximately 340 tons. This amount includes the removal of two of the drywall structures that were in the pathway of the groundwater reinjection trench. All materials were disposed of as hazardous waste at an appropriate off-Site facility. From September 2000 to August 2007, the groundwater extraction and treatment facility treated about 90 million gallons of groundwater.

In March 2008, EPA began operation of the pilot GCW/IVS/SVE system; it replaced the groundwater extraction and treatment facility. In June 2011, NYSDEC assumed responsibility for operation and maintenance of the GCW/IVS/SVE system. In January 2013, NYSDEC shutdown the operation of the GCW/IVS part of the system and installed air sparging wells in its place in October 2016. Until the ROD's soil and groundwater cleanup goals are achieved, NYSDEC will remain responsible for operation and maintenance of the SVE system and the air sparging wells.
 

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The cleanup goals cited in the RODs have not been met for the groundwater or for the soils located in the southwest corner of the Site. The contaminated subsurface soils and groundwater are currently being remediated through operation of the GCW/IVS/SVE system. The GCW/IVS/SVE system replaced the groundwater pump and treat facility. EPA completed dismantling the groundwater pump and treat facility in June 2012.

Remediation of the soil and groundwater will continue until the remaining VOC contamination is remediated. Soil sampling conducted by EPA in August 2010 and in May 2011 showed a significant reduction in soil contamination levels since the start-up of the GCW/IVS/SVE system. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), EPA can perform LTRA for only ten years after which the operation and maintenance of the GCW/IVS/SVE system are transferred to the State. In June 2011, the New York State Department of Conservation (NYSDEC) assumed responsibility for operation and maintenance of the GCW/IVS/SVE system. NYSDEC conducts routine groundwater sampling to monitor the groundwater plume and the cleanup process. In January 2013, NYSDEC shutdown the GCW/IVS part of the system to determine the extent of the remaining groundwater contamination plume under ambient conditions and to evaluate possible enhancements to the GCW/IVS/SVE system that would accelerate the soil and groundwater remediation. Groundwater sampling conducted by NYSDEC showed significant reductions of contaminant levels in the groundwater and in the size of the groundwater plume. Based on NYSDEC's evaluation, NYSDEC installed additional air sparge wells in the southwest corner of the Site to accelerate the remediation of the remaining source of VOC contamination in October 2016. The SVE system and the air sparge wells will remain operating until the ROD soil and groundwater cleanup goals are achieved.

NYSDEC will remain responsible for the remediation of the Circuitron Corporation site until the ROD soil and groundwater cleanup goals are achieved. NYSDEC will conduct soil and groundwater sampling to confirm meeting the ROD cleanup goals.

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Sampling and Monitoring

The NYSDEC conducts biannual groundwater sampling. In the most recent groundwater sampling, the highest level of VOCs detected was 86 micrograms per liter. Soil sampling will be conducted to confirm soil cleanup levels.

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