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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Phillips Display Components in Seneca Falls, New York

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status 

As part of an interim corrective measure conducted in 1996, more than 2,300 tons of contaminated soils were removed and disposed Phillips Display Components offsite. In August 2000, more than 50 tons of soil was removed near the Prospect Hill apartments. In July 2001, a sampling plan for the sewer-pipe effluent and bedrock wells was submitted. The sampling plan was implemented in late 2001, and as a result six additional monitoring wells were installed in the bedrock interface and in the bedrock to collect groundwater data and determine the flow direction in this area.

Currently, a site-wide groundwater monitoring program is in place. Semiannual sampling is conducted in the spring and fall of each year. The analytical results generated in 2004-2007 indicate that volatile organic compounds (primarily trichloroethylene (TCE) and associated breakdown products) are still present in the overburden aquifer monitoring wells at levels above New York State groundwater standards.

On May 7, 2003, a Soil Vapor Intrusion Investigation (SVII) Workplan was submitted as part of the site wide corrective action activities. The SVII Workplan, approved in June 2003, addressed potential indoor air and subsurface soil gas contamination in all site buildings. The SVII Report was submitted on September 13, 2004. A mitigating system was installed at Building 9 on July 11, 2004; this system reduced the TCE indoor air concentration in Building 9 to below the New York State Department Health action level for TCE of 5 ug/m3.

Additional indoor air sampling for Buildings 2, 7 and 11 were conducted in 2005-2006, and a summary report for indoor air quality in those buildings was submitted in June 2007. Additional measures were implemented in Buildings 7 and 11. Confirmatory indoor samples will continue to be collected in 2008 to evaluate the effects of ventilation systems on indoor air and sub-slab vapor quality.

The approved Historic Outfall Evaluation Sediment Work Plan (HOESWP) addressing metals, mainly cadmium, in ravine soils associated with historic outfalls was implemented in July 2004. The Historical Outfall Evaluation Report was submitted on December 10, 2004. The report confirmed that soils along the ravines leading to the lake and canal adjacent to the facility are contaminated with metals (primarily cadmium).

A Historic Outfall Evaluation Sediment Work Plan, addressing sediment sampling in Van Cleef and the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, was approved on February 28, 2005. The summary of sediment sampling results, along with a Hydraulic Modeling and Aquatic Resource Assessment, was submitted in August 2005. A Corrective Measures Study (CMS) Work Plan, which has incorporated soil and sediment investigation, indoor air sampling and groundwater monitoring activities, was submitted in 2006 and a CMS Report is anticipated to be submitted by 2008.

Site Description

The facility is located on Johnston Street, Seneca Falls, New York, and occupies approximately 85 acres. The facility is bordered by Van Cleef Lake and the Cayuga-Seneca Canal to the south, undeveloped and agricultural areas to the north and east, and a residential area to the west. The residential area is located upgradient of the contamination, approximately half a mile from the site. A Senior Housing Community (Prospect Hill Apartments) is located southwest of the site.

The five original site buildings were constructed by Rumsey Pump Company in 1914. In the late 1940s, Sylvania Electric Products Corporation (Sylvania) purchased the plant, expanded the facilities, and began the manufacture of black and white television components. During the 1960s, Sylvania began to manufacture color television components. In 1981, North American Philips Corporation (Philips) purchased the property and continued production until the mid-1980s.

The facility was subsequently sold to the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency. In 1989, the H.P. Neun Company, Inc. began leasing the site and currently subleases building space to several tenants. The facility is currently used for commercial and industrial purposes including offices, light manufacturing, and warehousing. GTE Operations Support Incorporated (GTEOSI), is voluntarily performing the remedial work at the site. 

Contaminants at this Facility

A RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) to characterize the site and evaluate the vertical and horizontal extent of contaminants has been conducted. The RFI, completed in 2003, reported elevated levels of metals, volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds in on-site soils and groundwater. A December 10, 2004 Historical Outfall Investigation Report confirmed the presence of soils contaminated with metals along the northern shore line of the lake and canal adjacent to the facility. 

Site Responsibility at this Facility

The site is regulated under the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) interim status. The Corrective Action is being conducted on a voluntary basis by GTEOSI.

The former manufacturing facility is no longer operating. The facility does not currently have a RCRA Permit or an Order on Consent. The Corrective Action is being conducted on a voluntary basis.