Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

OLD ROOSEVELT FIELD CONTAMINATED GW AREA
GARDEN CITY, NY

Cleanup Activities

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Background

EPA is addressing Site cleanup through federal actions in discrete phases, or operable units (OUs). EPA has designated two OUs for the Site. OU1 addressed groundwater contamination predominantly in the western portion of the Site, while OU2, the subject of this Proposed Plan, is the final planned phase of response activities at the Site, and addresses that portion of the contaminated groundwater that is in the eastern portion of the Site.

 

The Site includes an area of groundwater contamination in the Village of Garden City, in central Nassau County, New York. The groundwater contamination is associated with the former Roosevelt Field airfield (Airfield) which is generally east of Clinton Road, south of Old Country Road, north of the Long Island Railroad tracks, and extends beyond the Meadowbrook Parkway to the east.

 The former Airfield currently includes a large retail shopping mall and other shopping centers. Office building complexes (including Garden City Plaza) are situated on the western perimeter of the shopping mall and the Meadowbrook Parkway is located on the eastern perimeter of the shopping mall. A thin strip of open space along Clinton Road (known as Hazelhurst Park) serves as designated parkland and a buffer between a residential community and the mall complex. Two recharge basins, the Pembrook Basin and Nassau County Storm Water Basin number 124, are located directly east and south, respectively, of the mall complex. Two municipal supply well fields are located south (downgradient) of the former Airfield hangers. The Village of Garden City public supply wells (designated as Wells 10 and 11) are located just south of the former hanger area along Clinton Road. The Village of Hempstead Wellfield is located approximately 1 mile south of the Village of Garden City Wells 10 and 11.

 

The Airfield was used for aviation activities from approximately 1911 to 1951. Prior to World War I, the U.S. military used the Airfield as a training center for Army and Navy officers and military pilots. After World War I, the U.S. Air Service maintained control of the Airfield but authorized aviation‐related companies to operate from the Airfield. On July 1, 1920, the U.S. Government sold the buildings and relinquished control of the Airfield for commercial aviation uses.

During World War II, the Airfield was again used by the Army and the Navy. The Army used the field to train personnel on airplane and engine mechanics. As of March 1942, the Airfield accommodated six steel/concrete hangars, 14 wooden hangars, and several other buildings used to receive, refuel, crate, and ship Army aircraft. In November 1942, the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics established a modification center at the Airfield to install British equipment into U.S. aircraft for the British Royal Navy under the Lend/Lease Program. The U.S. Navy was responsible for aircraft repair and maintenance, equipment installation, preparation and flight delivery of aircrafts, and metalwork required for the installation of British modifications. The facility also performed salvage work on crashed British Royal Navy planes.

The U.S. Navy vacated all but six hangars shortly after the war ended, and vacated the remaining six hangars by 1946. The Airfield resumed operations as a commercial airport from August 1946 until its closure in May 1951. In 1952, the Village of Garden City installed two public supply wells (Wells 10 and 11) just south of the former hangar area along Clinton Road. These supply wells were put into service in 1953. Over the subsequent years, several other private supply and cooling water wells were installed and operated on the former Airfield. The Roosevelt Field Mall was constructed and opened in 1957.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, investigations conducted by Nassau County discovered tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) contamination in Wells 10 and 11, and concentrations continued to increase requiring the installation of air‐stripping treatment system to treat the water from the supply wells in 1987. Elevated levels of contamination were also found in cooling water wells used in building air conditioning systems at the Site. Chlorinated solvents such as PCE and TCE have been widely used for aircraft manufacturing, maintenance, and repair operations since about the 1930s.

The Site was listed on the National Priorities List (NPL) on May 11, 2000.





 

 

 

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

In 1987, the Village of Garden City installed an air stripping treatment system to remove volatile organic compounds from the raw water being pumped from the two public supply wells (GW-10 and GW-11). Nassau County conducts regular well sampling and analysis of the public supply wells. EPA is addressing Site cleanup through federal actions.

Routine monitoring of groundwater at the Site is being performed by EPA as part of a long-term monitoring program to verify remedy effectiveness and to monitor remedial progress. The results from the most recent annual groundwater sampling event performed in November 2017 (Round 7) indicate that TCE and PCE concentrations in Garden City supply wells GWP-10 and GWP-11 decreased by over 50 percent between 2011 and 2017, although they continue to exceed the EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) and New York State drinking water standard of 5 micrograms/liter for TCE and PCE. Institutional controls are in place to restrict groundwater use at the Site.

 

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The site is being addressed in three stages: initial actions and two long-term remedial phases or operable units focused on cleanup of the entire site

Initial action:

In 1987, an air stripping treatment system was installed on Garden City supply wells GWP-10 and GWP-11 to remove volatile organic compounds from the raw water being pumped from the two contaminated wells. The treatment system was upgraded in 1999. Nassau County conducts regular well sampling and analysis of the public supply wells.

Long-term remedial phases:

OU1

A comprehensive remedial investigation (RI) was conducted from 2001 to 2007. The primary purpose of the RI was to determine the extent of groundwater contamination and to characterize site geology and hydrogeology. A number of Site‐related contaminants were identified in the groundwater during the RI, including TCE, PCE, cis-1,2-dichloroethene (DCE), 1,1-DCE, and carbon tetrachloride. Following the RI, a feasibility study (FS) was completed to evaluate the remedial alternatives to treat the groundwater contamination.

 

In 2007, EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) to address the identified groundwater contamination (OU1) which called for the extraction of contaminated groundwater, ex-situ treatment, discharge of the treated groundwater to a nearby recharge basin, and institutional controls. EPA completed construction of the treatment plant and three groundwater extraction wells (EW-1S, EW-1I, and EW-1D) as part of the remedy selected in 2007 and operation of the treatment system started in 2012. Subsequent to the startup of the treatment system, elevated concentrations of Site-related contaminants were detected in a groundwater monitoring well located to the south of the former Airfield, and outside the influence, of the treatment system. To address the contamination, three additional groundwater extraction wells (SEW-1S, SEW-1I, and SEW-1D) were installed immediately south of Stewart Avenue and piped to the same groundwater treatment plant. These extraction wells are referred to as the southern groundwater extraction wells. To accommodate the additional volume of groundwater requiring treatment, modifications to components of the treatment system within the plant were made in 2015. On-going activities for OU1 include operation, maintenance, and monitoring of the treatment system and confirming compliance with discharge requirements for the treated water. Routine monitoring of groundwater monitoring wells at the Site are being performed as part of a long-term monitoring program to verify remedy effectiveness and to monitor remedial progress. Institutional controls are in place to restrict groundwater use at the site.

 

 As part of the long-term monitoring program for the 2007 remedy, groundwater samples are collected from a network of wells to track and monitor changes in groundwater contamination. In addition, a capture zone analysis was conducted for the groundwater extraction well network to verify remedy effectiveness and to monitor remedial progress. This analysis revealed elevated concentration of Site-related contamination in a cluster of monitoring wells installed in the eastern area of the Site. This contamination, which is adjacent to the area addressed by OU1, resulted in the need for further investigation of groundwater contamination in the eastern area of the former Airfield, identified as OU2.

OU2

A comprehensive remedial investigation (RI) was conducted from 2014 to 2016 to delineate the extent of groundwater contamination in the eastern portion of the Site. Site-related contaminants identified for OU2 include PCE, TCE, cis-1,2-DCE, 1,1-DCE, and vinyl chloride. Based on analytical data, PCE and TCE were the most persistent contaminants and were detected at the highest concentrations. Following the RI, a feasibility study (FS) was completed to evaluate the remedial alternatives to treat the contaminant plume. In 2018, EPA issued a ROD to address the identified groundwater contamination (OU2) which called for the extraction of groundwater via pumping and ex-situ treatment of extracted groundwater prior to discharge to a recharge basin or reinjection to the aquifer (to be determined during the remedial design phase).
In September 2018, EPA issued a work assignment to CDM Smith for implementation of the remedial design for OU2. During the remedial design phase, the plans and specifications for the remedy will be developed. EPA anticipates that the remedial design phase for OU2 could take two to three years to complete.

 

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