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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Bausch & Lomb Incorporated in Rochester, New York

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status                         

In November 1995, Bausch & Lomb removed and disposed of approximately 1,175 cubic yards of contaminated sediment and soil from the on-site drainage ditch as an interim measure. Subsequently a Record of Decision (ROD), which was signed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) in February 1998, called for excavation of contaminated soil from three source areas and long-term groundwater monitoring.

In October 1998, an "explanation of Significant Difference" (ESD) was signed which required groundwater extraction and treatment and excavation of a reduced volume of soil from the three source areas. The quantity of contaminated soil specified in the ESD was then excavated and removed in June 1999. The groundwater extraction and treatment system, including on-site and off-site extraction wells, was constructed in the autumn of 2000, and is currently operating.

Based on the information in the site report of October 2006 and the November 2006 site inspection, it was determined that the groundwater remedy continues to perform properly and is effective in preventing the expansion of the groundwater contaminant plume.

Due to elevated concentrations of trichloroethene and tetrachloroethene in the sub-slab soil vapor samples beneath Buildings 40 and 41, several sub-slab depressurization systems were installed in both buildings in April 2006, to remove the contaminants from the soil gas and to prevent infiltration of the contaminants into these buildings. Based on subsequent soil gas sampling, additional depressurization systems were installed in Building 40 in August 2007. As of October 2007, the depressurization system for Building 41 was complete, and the depressurization system for Building 40 was being tested for its effectiveness. 

Site Description

Between 1961 and 1997, operations included production of plastic and metal eyeglass frames involving the use of solvents and plating metals. Hazardous wastes from these operations were stored in containers at this facility, with a total capacity of 82,500 gallons.

In 1997, Bausch & Lomb sold the property to a developer for the purpose of creating an industrial park, but Bausch & Lomb retained responsibility for remediation of the site. Building #40, which is approximately 354,000 square feet, currently is occupied with industrial and commercial tenants. Building #41 (approximately 5000 square feet) is being marketed for use in the near future.

Contaminants at this Facility

There are two distinct areas of contamination. The first consists of chlorinated solvents from the former container storage area, and the second is the heavy metal contamination of the stream bed area, which is due to discharge of rinse water from the electroplating process which was discharged to Black Creek via an unlined open ditch approximately 2100 feet long.

Site Responsibility at this Facility

The facility had interim status for storage of hazardous waste solvents in its container storage area. The hazardous waste management operations at this site were certified closed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) in the mid-1980s and the facility was released from hazardous waste closure requirements in November 1987. The site currently is listed on the New York State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites. The Registry listing includes approximately 40 acres of the 89-acre campus.

There is no active permit for managing hazardous wastes. The facility had interim status until the mid-1980s. As noted above, the facility was certified closed in the mid-1980s, and then released from closure requirements in November 1987.