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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Triumvirate Environmental Incorporated in Astoria, New York

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status 

Triumvirate Environmental, Inc. is served by the New York City municipal water supply system. Potentially contaminated groundwater is not used for any purpose onsite. However, the State considers all its groundwater to be a potential source of potable water and therefore mandates that it be remediated to groundwater quality protection standards.

Total renovation of the old facility was completed in 2006, including the installation of air sparge and soil vapor extraction systems. The construction of the interim corrective measure is complete, and includes:

  • A groundwater air sparging/soil vapor extraction system to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the groundwater and saturated soils beneath the inner and outer warehouses, and
  • A soil vapor extraction system for removing VOCs from the unsaturated soils beneath the sidewalk adjacent to the facility structure and 19th St.

The interim corrective measures (ICMs) are operating. Groundwater monitoring will continue to assess the performance of the ICM and determine if natural attenuation is an acceptable remedy for the remainder of the groundwater contamination.

 Site Description

Triumvirate Environmental, Inc. (TEI) is located at 42-14 19th Avenue in Astoria, New York. This location has been in continuous operation as a waste storage and transfer facility since 1964.  The site was formerly owned and operated by Chemical Waste Disposal Corporation and Chemical & Solvent Distillers Co. Since August of 2003, TEI has operated the facility which transports containerized and labpack hazardous waste, PCB waste and solid waste from local off-site generators to its facility for short term storage prior to shipment to authorized recycling, treatment and disposal facilities. Hazardous waste is not generated, treated or disposed of at Triumvirate Environmental (NYC), Inc. 

The facility lies on a 110 feet x 100 feet parcel which is entirely covered with structure, with the exception of an alley-way on the north side. The original structure, located along 19th Ave. (the inner-warehouse), is 3,000 square feet in area with the remainder of the site having been enclosed in 2006 (the outer-warehouse) and covering 7,700 square feet for a total of 10,700 square feet of conditioned storage space. The site is level and surroundings are impervious pavement and other structures.

Chemical & Solvent Distillers Company, operated as a subsidiary of Chemical Waste Disposal Corp. at this site from 1964 until 1986, and was identified as the primary contributor to the site contamination. The companies operated a dry-cleaning solvent distribution and recovery service employing batch stills, boilers and both enclosed and open storage areas. Solvents were reprocessed and lab chemicals were repacked for land disposal.  After 1986, Chemical Waste Disposal Corp. took responsibility for the corrective action responsibilities of Chemical & Solvent Distillers Co. and continued to operate as a waste storage and transfer facility until 2003 when Triumvirate Environmental (NYC), Inc. took over operations.

Contaminants at this Facility

Numerous chlorinated and non-chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and polychlorinated biphenyls, have been detected in the unsaturated soils and groundwater at concentrations that exceed New York State Department of Environmental Conservation soil cleanup objectives and NYS groundwater quality protection standards, respectively. The VOCs detected included benzene, dichloroethene, tetrachloroethene, toluene, trichloroethane, trichloroethene, vinyl chloride and xylene.

The highest concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in groundwater monitoring wells on-site and immediately off-site. The wells located further off-site and across 19th Street from the facility contain relatively low concentrations of VOCs. The groundwater data suggests that some of the contamination may be attributable to a source other than the former Chemical Waste Disposal Corp. site. The nearest surface waters are located about one quarter of a mile northeast, and have not been impacted by contaminated groundwater from the site. Trespassers would not be expected to come into contact with contaminated groundwater. Workers sampling and managing contaminated media do so following an appropriate health and safety plan.

Soil sampling performed to date indicates that the contamination has not moved a significant distance from the site. The concrete loading and unloading area precludes direct or indirect contact with contaminated soils by employees or possible trespassers. Contaminated soils can serve as a source for contamination of groundwater, but it is expected that the air sparging/soil vapor extraction systems that have been installed (see Cleanup, below) will address this threat.

Indoor air sampling was last conducted in 2004. At that time, several sampling events concluded that there were no concentrations of organic chemicals exceeding OSHA standards in the indoor air. The currently operating groundwater air sparging/soil vapor extraction system helps to prevent volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from entering the indoor air. 

Responsibility at this Facility

The New York State Part 373 Hazardous Waste Management Permit addresses:

  • The storage and management of hazardous waste in containers and lab packs;
  • The closure of the sheet metal storage sheds and the construction of new storage facilities; and
  • RCRA corrective action remedial investigation, corrective measures study, and interim corrective measures design submissions.

A 6NYCRR Part 373 hazardous waste permit renewal was issued on June 30, 2006 and expired on June 30, 2011. This permit has been extended as required by State law and will stay in effect until the issuance of a renewal permit. The draft renewal permit addresses:

  • The storage and management of hazardous waste in the new storage facilities;
  • The operation and maintenance of the Interim Corrective Measure;
  • The continued monitoring of the groundwater; and the assessment of indoor air for possible contamination from the subsurface.