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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Arkema Incorporated in Piffard, New York

On this page:

  • Cleanup Status
  • Site Description
  • Contaminants at this Facility
  • Site Responsibility

Cleanup Status                         

Since 1986, Arkema has conducted investigations of the facility to locate and characterize potential impacts related to their operations. Out of facility’s 17 solid waste management units (SWMUs), the following five SWMUs were identified for further investigation:

  • the former container storage area,
  • the east and west landfill areas,
  • the building 35 surface impoundment,
  • the thermal treatment unit – burn pit,
  • the drying bed.

Hazardous waste constituents were released to the environment from four of them. There were no releases from the fifth SWMU--the drying bed--so no further action was required for this unit. Arkema has conducted a “sitewide corrective measures study” (CMS) to evaluate remedial alternatives for the site, which included the following SWMUs:

  • the former container storage area,
  • the east and west landfill areas,
  • the building 35 surface impoundment,
  • the thermal treatment unit. 

The study presented many alternatives for the cleanup of these SWMUs and was approved by EPA on March 26, 2002. The CMS was public noticed on June 2, 2003 and included a human health risk assessment and a fish and wildlife impact assessment, to evaluate the collected investigation data and review potential corrective action. Previously, Arkema replaced more than 3000 feet of sewer lines to minimize the potential release of contaminants into the environment.

The final corrective actions were selected in the statement of basis, issued on March 9, 2004. Corrective measures consisting of a combination of institutional measures and soil excavation, and off-site disposal were developed for the facility.

The New York State Department of Conservation (NYSDEC) has determined that these corrective measures are sufficiently protective of human health and the environment.  The corrective measure implementation (CMI) work plan was approved by NYSDEC on July 27, 2004.

The CMI activities report was approved in August 2005. The RCRA CMI activities were performed in 2005, and consisted of the following:

  • source removal excavation and removal of waste materials at east landfill;
  • excavation and removal of contaminated soils at the former container storage area and thermal treatment unit; and
  • containment/closure/stabilization with a soil and geosynthetic cover system for the building 35 surface impoundment.

Corrective measure construction monitoring report was approved in February 2006. Corrective measure certification of closure was received on March 10, 2006 and approved by the New York State Department of Conservation (NYSDEC) on November 23, 2006.
Subsequent to completing these activities a two-year groundwater monitoring program has been implemented to assess the impact of remedial activities. There is no an onsite vapor intrusion problem at the facility.
NYSDEC has determined that based on the groundwater data and with the completion of surface impoundments, equalization impoundments 1 and 2, clean closure, and the implementation of the final corrective action program, the monitoring wells are no longer needed or required at the facility. The removal of the groundwater wells was conducted in October 2005. The groundwater monitoring well abandonment report was approved by NYSDEC in August 2006.

The January 2008 RCRA permit renewal indicates that no further corrective action is required at all 17, originally identified solid waste management units (SWMUs) at the site.

Site Description

The facility occupies approximately 300 acres off Route 63 in Piffard, Livingston County, New York. Approximately 75 acres are used for material processing, and the remainder is undeveloped. The site is bordered by the Genesee River on the north, agricultural and undeveloped land on the east and west, and a residential area to the southwest.

The residential property nearest to the facility is approximately 2,000 feet southwest of the site. Drinking water for residents and the facility is provided by the Town of York, which purchases its water from the Township of Geneseo.

The facility began operations in 1953. The primary products manufactured at the facility are organic peroxides which serve as feed materials for the plastic industry. 

Contaminants at this Facility

During the corrective action investigations, elevated levels of volatile and semi‑volatile organic compounds were discovered to have contaminated onsite soils and groundwater in the areas of the east landfill, the building 35 surface impoundment and the former container storage area. Two other areas that handled hazardous wastes, equalization impoundments 1 and 2, were clean closed in 1997 which means that no contaminants above health risk levels are present, and no further cleaning is needed. All hazardous wastes were removed from these units and disposed off-site.

Site Responsibility at this Facility

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is responsible for the regulatory oversight of site remediation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Corrective Action program, which is being implemented through a NYS Part 373 Operating Permit.

The NYS Part 373 Operating Permit was renewed on January 16, 2008 for a period of ten years. Under this permit Arkema Incorporated is authorized to store hazardous waste in the Container Storage Area.