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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Chevron Incorporated-NWPMG00037 Bacon Site in Glenham, New York

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status 

The Recreation Area (excluding the Tank Farm) was investigated and remediated from 1985 to 1986 under the New York State Superfund Program. During this time period, all waste materials and soils exhibiting visual staining or detectable volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were excavated. A total of approximately 25,300 tons of waste, soil, sludge, and stabilizing materials (sand, kiln dust, and lime) were transported to properly permitted treatment or disposal facilities.

Approximately 455,000 gallons of waste liquids (primarily decontamination wash water and extracted groundwater) were also properly transported and disposed of. Six monitoring wells were placed just down gradient of the lagoon after its remediation. Prior to termination of monitoring these wells, groundwater from the wells met the New York State groundwater standards, and the wells were removed in January, 2000.

The removal of additional material (solid waste only) within Trash Pile C and replacement with clean fill was performed in the fall of 2000.

A Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Facility Investigation (RFI) was completed in 2001. In 2005, an additional investigation was conducted by the party interested in acquiring the Site.

In 2006, Chevron completed the closure of the Industrial Sewer System (ISS) and the completion of the Recreation Area interim corrective measure (ICM). The sewers have been evaluated, remediated, and closed in 2006.

In 2007, Chevron has implemented two RCRA interim remedial measures (ICM). The first ICM consisted in the excavation and removal of all sewer line pipes, including the cleanup of their residual soils and sediments. The second ICM addresses the residual soil contamination in the Trash Pile D section of the Recreation Area, a former disposal area of drums, barrels, bottles, cans, etc. Trash Pile D, which was the major source of soil and groundwater contamination, was further excavated, backfilled and restored. Both ICMs were completed.

Once the source removal was completed, the onsite and offsite groundwater contamination has dropped, in some cases to concentrations below NYSDEC detection levels. Texaco is continuing the monitoring of groundwater and reporting sampling results on a quarterly basis. In addition, a slurry wall will be built around the perimeter of the excavation area in the Recreation Area to control groundwater.

Site Description

Chevron, Inc., former Texaco Research Center, also known as Texaco or Chevron Texaco, operated a Research Center in Glenham, New York from 1931 until its closure in 2003. The Main Facility includes all of the developed areas located north of Fishkill Creek and has been used as an on shore, non-production, non-transportation laboratory complex engaged in research, development, and technical services related to petroleum products and energy. Petroleum, coal products, and solvents have been used at the Property in connection with the research functions. The facility consists of two distinct areas.

The main portion of the Research Center is located on approximately 50 acres of land north of the Fishkill Creek. The Recreation Area portion of the property is located on approximately 90 acres of land south of the Fishkill Creek. Several reports have been prepared and submitted by various consulting companies describing work performed on the Recreation Area.

The site is bounded to the south by Fishkill Creek, to the north by Old Glenham Road, to the west by the Metro North Railroad line and the Former Church Property, and to the east by private property including parking, residential housing and businesses. The site includes parking areas, offices and laboratory buildings, decommissioned aboveground storage tanks, roads, wastewater treatment plants and covered storage areas.

Texaco Chevron operated the facility as a laboratory complex engaged in research, development, and technical services related to coal, petroleum products and energy during 73 years. As a result, groundwater and soils were heavily contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals. From 2006 to the present, Chevron has conducted an aggressive cleanup activity with the purpose of selling it to a real estate company.

A residential complex and a shopping center are planned to be built at the site. Currently, there is still groundwater contamination at the facility and we are still evaluating groundwater sampling results prior to conclude that there is no off-site groundwater migration from the facility.

With regard to Site Wide Remedy Selection and Construction Complete remedial performance standards, the existing Interim Corrective Measures and sitewide groundwater monitoring, which are already in place, will be the final remedies. 

Contaminants at this Facility

Site wide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semi-volatile organic compound (SVOCs) and to a lesser degree, metals have been found in and around the buildings north of the Fishkill.

Contaminated Areas of Concern

Container Disposal Site: This area was believed to be one of the oldest disposal areas in the Recreation Area. Disposal activities may have been initiated in the 1930s although the actual disposal period is unknown. The container disposal site reportedly received empty containers and trash through direct dumping onto the ground.

Disposal Pit: The disposal pit was reportedly used for the disposal of liquids. The exact method of disposal remains unknown.

Old Sludge Lagoon: This area was used for the disposal of sludges generated at the waste water treatment plant located on the Research Center portion of the property. The sludge lagoon was unlined and surrounded by an earthen berm. Disposal at this site was conducted from 1959 through 1963.

Chemical Burial Sites: Three separate areas were utilized for the disposal of laboratory wastes at various times. Chemical burial site No. 1 was utilized from July 1961 through March 1966. Chemical burial site No. 2 was utilized from June 1966 through June 1970. Chemical burial site No. 3 was utilized from September 1970 through November 1977.

New Sludge Lagoon: The New Sludge Lagoon was located just south of the tennis courts and east of the access road. It was an unlined lagoon used for the disposal of industrial wastewater treatment plant sludge during the early 1980's.

Buildings 83 and Building 58: These drum storage areas has a number of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and some petroleum products in the soils beneath the buildings and the dirt road between them. Contamination occurred during the transfer of waste oil to drums at Building 83 and the leaking of drums while being stored in Building 58. These buildings have roofs but no walls and are unoccupied.

The Building 55 area includes Building 55 (offices), Building 56 (garage), Building 29 (mechanical laboratory, fuel/lubricant testing), Building 26 (Boiler House), Building 44 (electrical switch house), Building 30 (Health and Safety) and Building 65 (laboratory).
Chlorobenzene was identified in a sample from the north side of Building 55 (850 ppb).

Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were also found in a majority of the samples with concentrations exceeding the risk specific constituents (RSCOs). PAHs were the only semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) identified with exceeding concentrations in areas located south of Building 55. SVOCs detected in the Building 55 overburden groundwater included isomers of dichlorobenzene. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) with concentrations exceeding the criteria in the groundwater sample from overburden wells north of Building 55 include benzene, chlorobenzene, ethylbenzene, cis 1,2 dichloroethylene, 2 butanone, trichloroethylene and vinyl chloride.

The Building 45 area includes the lower section of the Site along Fishkill Creek downstream of the dam. Texaco operations in this area included the sanitary and industrial wastewater treatment plants. Soil samples had metals concentrations in exceedance of the RSCOs. Metals with exceedance included arsenic, barium, beryllium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, nickel, zinc and mercury. The higher metals concentrations correspond with the extensive fill areas.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) detected in the Building 45 wells above the criteria included benzene, chlorobenzene, chloroform, 1,1 DCA, cis-1,2dichloroethylene, tethrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), vynil chloride (VC) and xylene. SVOCs with concentrations above the criteria included include Bis(2-ethylhexy) phathalate (BEHP), naphthalene, 1,2dichlorobenzene and 1,4dichlorobenzene. Metals detected in the groundwater samples from bedrock wells included aluminum, iron, magnesium and sodium.

The industrial sewers
The main facility has had many releases or spills over the years. Some of these were spills of petroleum products. They were cleaned up under the direction of the New York State of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Spills program shortly after each one occurred. Other areas of the main Facility have had recurring releases due to the large number of transfer operations of petroleum products and a wide variety of chemicals used in the research laboratories at the site.

Threats from Contaminated Groundwater

Groundwater at the Main Facility occurs in the overburden and in the bedrock. Groundwater is present in the fill as well as the native deposits but is not found across the entirety of the Site. Overburden groundwater flow is generally toward Fishkill Creek. In most area of the Site where overburden groundwater is present, there was no confining layer and bedrock and overburden groundwater are connected.

There appears to be a downward hydraulic gradient at the site. With this downward gradient and the presence of fractured bedrock within the upper portion of the bedrock formation, there is the potential for migration of soluble constituents from the overburden groundwater to the bedrock. The impacts to groundwater are restricted to overburden water. Contaminates at this location range up to 1605 ppb total VOCs and 301 ppb semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and will be addressed in the Corrective Measures Study as part of permit requirements.

Many of the Buildings in the main Facility have some levels of contaminants in nearby groundwater monitoring wells. Building 55 has a well adjacent to its north wall with 683 ppb of total VOCs. The Building 58/83 area has VOCs of up to 428 ppb and SVOCs of up to 421 ppb. The rest of the site (Building 51 and the Northeast Area) contain similar hot spots of up to 30,771 ppb of VOCs near Building 41 and 51, and up to 219 ppb of SVOCs in the same location.

In general the areas of contamination are located in buildings that are close to the Fishkill. Those buildings that are closer to Old Glenham Road (furthest north from the Fishkill) have contaminant levels that are mostly undetectable. Groundwater in the Recreation Area has only low levels of VOCs (under 10 bbp) and these numbers are expected to decrease even further over the next few years.

Threats from Air Contamination

Indoor Air
Several buildings are situated over contaminated groundwater or soil. It is possible that VOCs or semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) may migrate up though the floors of the buildings and collect in the basement or the first floor of the buildings.

In response to the high levels of groundwater contamination under several Buildings at this site, Texaco submitted a Report on Indoor Air Quality Sampling Results to the New York State Department of Conservation (NYSDEC) on March 8, 2001. The air in Buildings 51, 67, 68 and 74 were tested and a variety of VOCs, including acetone, trichlorofluoromethane, methylene chloride, trichlorotrifluoroethane, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, toluene and xylene were present, but at levels that were below or within the median range of values listed in New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) air quality database. These buildings have since been made uninhabitable.

Only Building 55 is currently occupied, and that only by one full time worker. No indoor air tests have been conducted for this building and it is not known if there is a potential problem at this time. Tests for contaminants will be conducted in the near future. If tests at Building 55 indicate that a potential pathway exists, a new building will house the worker or a vapor mitigation plan will be implemented.

Outdoor Air
Laboratory analyses of air samples from three outdoor ambient air locations detected several Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) but most were below or within the median range of values listed in NYSDOH's air quality database. Only toluene and trichlorofluoromethane exceeded the median range of values for outdoor air listed in NYSDOH's database, but did not exceed the 95th percentile value.

Threats from Contaminated Soil (Surface and Subsurface)

There is a significant amount of contaminated soil at this site. Almost all of the contaminated soil is currently covered by roads, parking lots or buildings and a typical worker would not encounter any contaminated soil.

Although on site industrial worker and construction worker receptors may contact surface soil, all onsite activities for these people will be governed by the use of personal protective equipment as outlined in the project specific Health and Safety Plan, which will effectively eliminate any potential exposure. The site is fenced and guarded, which prevents uninvited pedestrians from trespassing onto the site.

Threats from Water
The groundwater is contaminated but is not used for drinking purposes at this site or in this city.

Surface Water Risk
There is no detectable volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) contamination in the creek from any source and only slightly elevated levels of iron and aluminum that were not related to operations at the former Chevron/Texaco facility. Fishkill Creek is the dominant surface water body near the Site. The surface water elevations of the Creek are controlled by dams. The upper dam (Texaco Dam) is located on the Site between Building 6 on the north side and the west end of the Tank Farm area. However, the Creek is hard to access and if it is accessed, the physical dangers of the cliffs and dams constitute a far greater risk than any contaminants that may be found in the surface water.

Threats from Sediments
In May 1997 sediment in the Fishkill Creek were tested for VOCs and SVOCs. Most of the eight sediment samples had VOC concentrations below detection levels except for one sample near Building 45 which had a total of 50 ppb and one sediment sample near Building 58 which had 7 ppb of total VOCs. With regard to SVOCs, all eight samples contained some SVOCs, the results ranged from 88 to 13,939 ppb total SVOC.

The only contaminants of concern that slightly exceeded New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) guidance values for sediment were polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in the two samples taken immediately downstream of the rail road bridge downstream of the Main Facility Plant. Human exposure to these contaminants is prevented due to the topography (steep cliffs) and dense vegetation along the banks of the Fishkill. 

Site Responsibility at this Facility

Chevron has a NYSDEC Part 373 Hazardous Waste Management Permit which expired on March 29, 1996 and is currently operating under a New York State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) extension until a new permit covering corrective action is issued or until corrective action is completed at the site. The permit regulates Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action and the operation of a groundwater monitoring network used to assess the performance of the interim corrective measures (ICMs). The ICMs have been enhanced and will be adopted as final measures.