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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Stauffer Management Company in Skaneateles Falls, New York

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status 

The final Remedial Investigation Report was completed in August 1994. A final Feasibility Study Report was completed in December 1995. The 1996 Record of Decision laid out the components of the selected remedies. A Consent Order addressing the design and construction of the remedies was signed on March 28, 1996 and the remedial design was approved in February 1999.

An amended Record of Decision (ROD) was issued on December 2001. The amended ROD eliminated the use of the on-site treatment and disposal cell, but included the removal off site for disposal of areas of contamination associated with the Former Landfill, the Former Organic(s) Plant/Northern Plant, the Main Plant Building, the area in front of the Main Plant Building, and the South Plant Area.

As of September 2007, the following tasks have been performed:

  • The Former Landfill was excavated and capped in December 2003, and more than 150,000 cubic yards of contaminated material were shipped off-site for disposal. A large containment trench and wall were built to accumulate water and pump out for treatment at the Waste Water Treatment Plant.
  • The Former Organic(s) Plant/Northern Plant was demolished, and 84,000 tons of impacted material was excavated, characterized and shipped off-site for disposal.
  • A permanent shallow groundwater pump and treat system was installed in the Shallow Groundwater Area on October 2004. Groundwater contamination in the shallow overburden aquifer to the deep bedrock aquifer has decreased since the main sources were removed.
  • Sampling results of (sediments of Skaneatales Creek) performed in 2004, 2005 and 2006 indicate presence of organic and inorganic constituents onsite and downstream off site.
  • The Main Plant Building was demolished, and debris and soil were removed off site. Excavation of contaminated bedrock soil was completed in October 2004.
  • The sub-basement was also excavated and disposed off-site. Therefore, there are no longer indoor air quality problems at this site. Off-site monthly air monitoring shows no exceedances to date.
  • The area in front of the Main Plant Building was excavated in August 2004.
    The South Plant Area was excavated in September 2004.
  • Institutional controls were implemented in 2004, which facilitates inspection, maintenance and monitoring of remedial process operations

In September 2006, a Supplemental Investigation and Remedial Activities (SI/RA) Workplan was approved. The SI/RA identified potential contaminated areas that were investigated under the Workplan, and were designated as Areas of Investigation (AOI) and included the following: Area East of AEC-2 across the Creek (AOI-1), Area around AEC-2 satellite area (AOI-2), Wetlands (AOI-3), Northern area of the site between the Creek and the property line (AOI-4), Area between AEC-8A and the Creek (AOI-5), Former Settling Basins and Sludge Lagoons (AOI-6) and Off-site (AOI-7). A SI/RA Report was submitted in June 2007.

The implementation of the Supplemental Investigation and Remedial Activities (SI/RA) was performed between September 29, 2006 and February 1, 2007 with the following results:

  • Two test pits were excavated along the Creek bank in AOI-1 and were found no significant levels of contaminants of concern. An additional test pit as close to the Creek as possible will be excavated by October 2007.
  • Results of AOI-2 indicate levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and metals that were consistent with levels found throughout the site and off-site and no further action was recommended.
  • Four large test pits were excavated to bedrock in AOI-3, and results show it contains slag with elevated levels of PAHs and metals, which are not site related contaminants.
  • Six test pits were excavated at AOI-4 and samples results indicated elevated levels of PAHs and metals consistent with levels found throughout the site and off-site.
  • AOI-5 is not an area of concern for site related contaminants.
  • At AOI-6 (former settling basins and sludge lagoons) the only source of contamination is from Lagoon No. 1, which is being excavated under an Interim Remedial measure (IRM) Workplan approved by NYSDEC on May 29, 2007.
  • At AOI-7 there are elevated levels of PAHs and metals that are consistent with historical levels found at the site. Surface and subsurface slag up to 6" are present along the nature trail and near the old Skaneateles Paper Mill.

A total of 12,740 tons of materials was excavated as part of the Supplemental Investigation and Remedial Activities (SI/RA) and more than 297,000 tons of material has been shipped offsite for disposal for the entire project since 1998. Only AOI-1 remains as an area of concern until sampling results of additional excavation is completed. The non-site (on-site and off-site) related compounds such as Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals and hexachlorobenzene that are near the background levels and do not meet site Standards, Criteria and Guidance (SCGs) for PAHs may be left at the site and managed under NYSDEC Part 375 regulations. 

Site Description

Stauffer Management Company (SMC) is located at 4512 Jordan Road in Skaneateles, New York. The facility is approximately 120 acres in size, of which about 20 acres were used for industrial operations. The site has been used to manufacture various organic, inorganic chemicals and detergent since the mid-1940s. Manufacturing processes ceased in 1985 and the site remains inactive. Past waste management practices and releases have impacted soil and groundwater at this site, as well as sediments in Skaneateles Creek. Area residents are served by a public water supply from a remote location.

Contaminants at this Facility

The Remedial Investigation conducted in 1994, and additional field investigations completed in 1997, have identified that the principal sources of environmental contamination were the Former Landfill and the Former Organic Plant/Northern Plant. Samples within the Former Landfill showed high levels of organic chemicals and metals. Primary contaminants in the Former Organic Plant/Northern Plant include xylene, toluene, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and metals.

Seepage from the Former Landfill has been observed discharging into Skaneateles Creek. Contaminants are present in the soil; creek sediments, groundwater in the overburden, upper bedrock and the deep bedrock. Both the Former Landfill and the Former Organic Plant/Northern Plant have been identified as sources of groundwater contamination. Several organic and inorganic compounds including volatile organic compounds, semi volatile organic compounds, and some metals have been detected in groundwater at levels exceeding EPA Maximum Contaminant Levels and NYSDEC Class A and Class GA Standards.

Groundwater contamination in the vicinity of the site ranges vertically from the shallow overburden aquifer to the deep bedrock aquifer. Horizontally, contamination in the groundwater in the eastern portion of the site has been shown to approach, or in some cases extends past the facility boundaries. Samples of waste from the Former Landfill showed xylene concentrations up to 25,000 parts per million (ppm) with an average concentration of 2,700 ppm, and toluic acid concentrations ranging from non-detect to 8,500 ppm with an average concentration of 500 ppm.

Primary contaminants in the Former Organic Plant/Northern Plant include xylene, toluene, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and metals. Preliminary sampling results from the Skaneateles Creek Sediments indicate that organic and inorganic constituents are present in sediments of Skaneateles Creek onsite and also downstream off site.

Indoor and outdoor air could potentially be contaminated due to volatilization from subsurface soils, predominantly from the areas north of the Main Plant Building and the Former Landfill.

Responsibility at this Facility

The facility has interim status under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) program, but New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Division of Environmental Remediation has the lead for corrective action at this site under a NYS State Order on Consent.

A RCRA Hazardous Waste Part A Permit Application was filed in 1980. The facility no longer operates as a Treatment, Storage or Disposal Facility (TSDF) since 1982.