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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Summit Research Laboratories Incorporated in Huguenot, New York

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status 

The site remediation consists of primarily source removal via soil vapor extraction and monitored natural attenuation. The monitoring results show that the soil vapor extraction system and the monitored natural attenuation program have been effective in reducing the levels and extent of benzene in groundwater.

Soil vapor extraction system
The soil vapor extraction system was to eliminate the flux of benzene in the unsaturated zone to groundwater. The operation of the system began in 1991. Soil vapors were pressure-pulled via extraction wells and then were treated with catalytic oxidation. The system operated intermittently to allow soil vapors to rebound during down periods. The system was utilized until 1997 when the concentrations of benzene in soil vapors were significantly reduced and, therefore, the system was determined no longer effective.

Natural attenuation via naturally-occurring microorganisms
The monitored natural attenuation program is to eliminate or reduce benzene in groundwater via naturally-occurring processes. The laboratory study performed in 1991 and 1992 showed that benzene in groundwater could be metabolized naturally by naturally-occurring microorganisms. The groundwater data show that the monitored natural attenuation program has been effective in reducing the levels and extent of benzene in groundwater.

Potential for vapor intrusion
Potential for vapor intrusion at the site was assessed in 2002 through 2003 utilizing the Johnson and Ettinger model. The results showed no potential for unacceptable risks.  Soil vapor samples were collected and analyzed in 2005 for five locations around the outdoor perimeter of the operations building. No benzene was detected.

Two sub-slab ventilation systems, as a precautionary measure, were installed and operated in 2008 for the operations building. The baseline vapor samples were collected and analyzed for benzene. Vapor samples were collected and analyzed again for benzene after the systems operated continuously for six months.  In all cases, benzene was not detected. The systems subsequently discontinued in late 2008.

Sub-slab and indoor/outdoor air samples for the operations building were collected and analyzed in February 2010 to assess whether there was potential for vapor intrusion.  The results showed that all detected concentrations in indoor were below typical background concentrations. It was concluded that no further action was required concerning the potential for vapor intrusion at the site.

Ongoing remediation
The ongoing long-term groundwater monitoring shows that the monitored natural attenuation program has been effective in reducing the levels and extent of benzene in groundwater. The program will continue as the remedy for the site.

 Site Description

The site is approximately 10.9 acres in size and located approximately five miles northeast of Port Jervis, Orange County, New York. There are residences to the west, south, and east of the site, and a wooded area to the northwest. 

Wickhen Products began operations at the site in 1962, producing cosmetic-grade emollients along with ingredients for antiperspirants. Dow Corning Corporation purchased the property in 1986 and operated until 1992 when it was sold to the parent company of Summit Research Laboratories, Inc. The current operations produce primarily ingredients for antiperspirants. The products are sold to other companies for incorporation into consumer products.

Contaminants at this Facility

Remedial investigations of the site began in 1987. The investigations showed that benzene was the constituent of concern in soil, groundwater, and soil vapor. The primary area of impact was delineated between the west side of the operations building and the tank farm. Wells at off-site residences near the site were sampled and analyzed in 1990 for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), but no VOCs were detected. Groundwater is not used as potable at the site. On-site groundwater was monitored quarterly until 1998 and, since then, it has been monitored semi-annually.

Responsibility at this Facility

The drum storage areas and tanks at the site which were utilized for storage of hazardous wastes were closed in 1991. The site is currently a small quantity generator.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is the lead office overseeing the site remediation.