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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Northeast Environmental Services in Canastota, New York

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status 

An investigation of the groundwater was concluded in March 1992. Based upon this investigation a groundwater treatment facility was constructed and began operating in May 1993. The groundwater treatment system was designed to operate at a rate of up twenty gallons per minute. In the fall of 1998, an additional recovery well was added, and data collected subsequently indicate a need for further investigation and system evaluation.

In July 2001, Northeast Environmental Services (NES) discontinued operating the groundwater treatment system, but the August 2001 order required the facility to restart it. When NES did not do the work, its permit was revoked and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and its contractor restarted the groundwater monitoring system and did other on-site work with the remaining funds that had been set aside.

Groundwater monitoring was conducted in October 2002 to verify that contaminated groundwater was not migrating off-site. The report, submitted to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) in January 2003, indicated the presence of a narrow plume of contaminated groundwater going off-site. Private wells have not been impacted at this time. NYSDEC has recommended to the NY State Department of Health to sample private wells at least every three years.

The groundwater treatment system has ceased operation due to lack of effectiveness and costs even though the monitoring events continued. A groundwater monitoring event was conducted in the summer of 2007. The report of the sampling was received in December 2007 and is under review at this time. The sampling event is to provide the latest ground water condition at the site so that alternate remedial systems can be developed through pilot study.

In June 1999, Northeast Environmental Services completed installation of two soil vapor extraction (SVE) systems to address contaminated soils at the facility. However, both SVE systems were shut down because they were found not to be cost-effective based on vacuum readings, sampling data and high groundwater elevations. A soils investigation completed in October 2002 showed that all soil contamination is within 50 feet of the former plant building, and is inaccessible to the public because it is either completely fenced in or under the former plant building. Final soil remediation plans were on hold due to funding issues and the lack of current human exposure to the contaminated soil.

Currently, NYSDEC is developing a work order plan for conducting a pilot study for remediation efforts including soil vapor evaluation, and request the Central Office Management for approval along with the estimated budget to have a NYSDEC contract Environmental Consulting firm to develop the final work plan and following the Department's approval implement the pilot study. Various remedial technologies will be evaluated including soil vapor extraction, and chemical oxidation.

Based on the task identified and pending approval process, and funds availability, NYSDEC is estimating that some field work will be conducted at about the end of June/July 2008.

Remaining Regulated Wastes
All wastes have been removed from the facility. A total of 1,179 drums/containers and 13 tanks were removed from the container storage area by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's contractor. This action included the removal of more than 13,000 gallons of hazardous and non-hazardous flammable liquids, waste inks, oxidizers, peroxides, corrosives, and waste pesticides.

The soil and groundwater are contaminated with volatile organic compounds at concentrations exceeding state standards. There is a fence around the former manufacturing area, which is where the soil contamination is located, and thus human exposures from contaminated soils are considered to be under control.

Site Description

The Haz-O-Waste Corporation operated this treatment and storage facility for hazardous and industrial wastes from August 1976 until it was purchased by Northeast Environmental Services, Inc., in September, 1986. The facility is located on Canal Road in Canastota (Town of Lenox), New York. It is in a rural area, surrounded by active farmland. The nearest residential dwellings are approximately 2,000 feet from the facility to the east, west and north. Dwellings to the south are a greater distance away, across the Erie Canal. There are no industrial or commercial buildings in the immediate vicinity.

Until July 2001, Northeast Environmental Services operated as a treatment and storage facility for hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. The facility accepted hazardous wastes from off-site generators for storage and treatment prior to shipping, in its licensed transport vehicles, to authorized hazardous waste management facilities. No wastes were disposed of on-site.

Materials that were explosive, radioactive, or contained polychlorinated biphenyls greater than 50 parts per million were not accepted by the facility. The facility's operations involved processing, blending and preparation of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes for final disposal. It's processing operations involved decanting, neutralization, and recontainerizing or blending of solids/sludges, wastewaters, and waste fuels.

Some examples of the hazardous wastes processed were industrial solvents, ink and paint residues, acids, caustics, lab chemicals and bleach. Non-hazardous wastes included oil-contaminated debris, latex paint, waxes and resins. In July 2001, Northeast Environmental Services ceased operating and left waste on-site. This waste has since been removed and disposed of properly. There is a fence around the former manufacturing area to limit access.

Contaminants at this Facility

Northeast Environmental Services investigated two solid waste management units at the facility. Samples of soil and groundwater at the facility showed contamination such as toluene, trichloroethene, and xylene at levels exceeding state standards.

Site Responsibility at this Facility

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is responsible for regulatory oversight of the site remediation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) corrective action program, implemented through a NYS Part 373 operating permit. In August 2001, NYSDEC issued a summary abatement order that required Northeast Environmental Services to remove dangerous wastes from the site, reactivate the groundwater pump and treat system, secure the premises, and adequately staff the facility to minimize risks to the public and the environment.

On January 31, 2002, the NYSDEC commissioner revoked the Part 373 hazardous waste management facility permit for this facility because the company failed to comply with the requirements of the permit and the order. NYSDEC currently is responsible for overseeing corrective action and closure activities at the facility. Funds that were set aside by Northeast Environmental Services, as required by its Part 373 permit, were used for these activities.

A NYS Part 373 Operating Treatment, Storage or Disposal Permit was issued on November 1, 1991. A renewal application was submitted before the permit expired. However, this permit has been revoked, as described above.