Superfund Site Profile


The Hiteman Leather site was the location of a former tannery and leather manufacturing facility located in the Village of West Winfield, New York. Approximately 180,000 gallons of chromium-containing wastewater was discharged from the tannery into three unlined lagoons and nearby wetlands, which drain into the Unadilla River. Settled solids in the lagoons were periodically excavated and deposited as bank material around the lagoons.

In 1996, the EPA conducted an investigation at the site that found elevated levels of chromium in the soil and surface water. Several other contaminants were detected at low levels in soil, including metals, pesticides, semi-volatiles and volatiles. The investigation also found asbestos-covered pipes throughout the main former tannery building and determined that the wood-framed sections of the building were structurally unsound.

Following a comprehensive study to determine the nature and extent of the contamination and to evaluate cleanup alternatives, the EPA selected a cleanup remedy for the site in September 2006. It included excavation of contaminated soil hot spots from the former tannery property; excavation and dredging of contaminated wetland and river sediments next to the former tannery property; solidification (the addition of cement additives to change the physical and chemical characteristics to immobilize contaminants) and consolidation of the excavated/dredged soils and sediments on the former tannery property; placement of a soil cover; and intermittent groundwater extraction and treatment. The cleanup remedy also indicated that the need for remediation of river sediments downstream of the former tannery would be determined based on further testing.

During the design of the cleanup remedy, the EPA determined that soil did not require solidification prior to disposal, that downstream sediment did not need to be remediated, and that groundwater contamination was not related to disposal activities at the site. The EPA updated the site’s cleanup remedy to reflect these findings in 2008. The site cleanup finished in September 2008.

After addressing the contaminated soil and sediment, EPA removed the site from the National Priorities List in February 2012. The EPA will continue to assess conditions at the site every five years to ensure that the cleanup continues to be protective of human health and the environment.