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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Akzo Nobel Polymer Chemicals, LLC, Burt, New York

On this page:

  • Cleanup Status
  • Site Description
  • Contaminants at this Facility
  • Institutional/Engineering Control
  • Land Reuse
  • Site Responsibility

Cleanup Status                         

More than 3,854 tons of contaminated soil have been removed, and most of the 3,000 feet of process sewers have been replaced in interim remedial measures. Further characterization of the soil and groundwater contamination in the Equalization Basin and Building 2 Sump was completed in December 2003.

The Corrective Measure Study (CMS) report concluded that monitored natural attenuation, in combination with deed restrictions and institutional controls, is the best remedy at this facility. On April 19, 2004, the agencies (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Department of Health and EPA) concluded that additional investigatory work is needed at this time, however, the groundwater monitoring system along the monitoring natural attenuation program must continue for a foreseeable future.

Site Description

Akzo Nobel Polymer Chemicals, LLC is located in northern Niagara County, south of Lake Ontario. The facility encompasses 350 acres, of which 30 acres are used for the production of organic peroxides. 

Eighteen Mile Creek is located immediately west of the facility. There is a residential area to the north of the facility, and the north and south portions of Akzo are undeveloped. The groundwater table is 10 to 15 feet below the surface and the direction of groundwater flow in the bedrock is westerly, toward Eighteen Mile Creek.

Areas associated with Akzo Nobel's hazardous waste management include two hazardous waste container storage pads, three inactive landfills, a drum storage area, closed underground storage tanks and associated buildings. The facility has ceased organic peroxide manufacturing operations in April 2003, but remains in operation as a warehouse and distribution center.

Contaminants at this Facility

Results of groundwater sampling conducted in 2001 and 2002 confirmed that the contamination is contained within
the property. The current source locations are: the former Underground Storage Tank No. 2, areas of the western perimeter, and the East/West Influent wells. Any potential for migration of contaminants in overburden groundwater away from these source areas is low. The main contaminants detected above NYS groundwater quality standards are volatile organic compounds (VOC), mainly acetone, benzene, chlorobenzene and methylene chloride.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation (RFI) Report was approved on October 25, 2002. As a result of the RFI report, two additional groundwater monitoring wells, including a bedrock well, were installed along the western perimeter as part of an additional study to demonstrate that monitored natural attenuation is a viable corrective measure at the facility. Results from the groundwater monitoring activities in the western perimeter reported by Akzo in 2002 show elevated conductance, and elevated carbon dioxide levels, which are indicators that groundwater may be undergoing bioremediation in the near source locations. Additional data gathered as part of the Corrective Measure Study (CMS) in 2003 and 2004 continued to support the conclusion that biological degradation processes are taking place at the facility.

In addition, the Risk Assessment Report, also approved in October 2002, concluded that under current site conditions, no non-carcinogens risks to public health were identified at the site. Also, sampling results obtained during the CMS field work in December 2002 eliminated the potential of groundwater to pose an indoor air risk to workers and site residents. The Corrective Measures Study Report was approved in March 2004. 

Site Responsibility at this Facility

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is responsible for administering the corrective action (site remediation) program under an NYS Part 373 hazardous waste facility permit. The permit also authorizes the operation of a hazardous waste storage facility and two storage tanks for the treatment of hazardous waste.

The NYS Part 373 permit was initially issued in July 1994, renewed in July 2000 and expired in July 2004. The permit, for Corrective Action only, was renewed in December 2005 and expired in November 2010. Subsequently it was renewed in August 2011 and will expire in August 2021.