EPA settlement nets $12 million for cleanup
of Newburgh Superfund Site
Parties considered potentially responsible
for the contamination at the Consolidated
Iron and Metal Superfund site in
Newburgh, New York agreed to pay
the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) just over $12 million toward
cleaning up the site. An agreement
with the cities of Newburgh and Poughkeepsie,
Connell Limited Partnership, International
Business Machines Corporation, and
Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Inc.,
as well as 13 other settling parties,
was entered with the United States
District Court for the Southern District
of New York on February 3, 2009.
EPA will use the funds to clean up
the contamination at the site.
The Consolidated Iron and Metal Company
operated at the site for approximately
45 years before closing in 1999.
The company processed cars and other
metals for resale and operated a
smelter on the site primarily to
melt aluminum scrap materials, transmissions
and other metallic materials. These
activities created contaminated soil,
lead-contaminated ash and other by-products.
The site was covered with piles of
debris, scrap metal and numerous
areas of dark-stained soil.
In the late 1990s, the New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation
(NYSDEC) conducted several inspections
at the facility and cited the owner
for a number of violations. Subsequent
inspections by NYSDEC revealed that
the owner had not corrected the violations.
In the fall of 1999, the New York
State Attorney General shut down
operations at the site.
In 1998, EPA sampled an ash pile
at the site and found it was contaminated
with lead and PCBs. Approximately
6,600 tons of materials were removed
from the site in 1999 and placed
in an approved treatment, storage,
and disposal facility. EPA also constructed
a mound at the site to prevent storm
water from carrying contaminants
into the Hudson River. The site was
placed on the National Priorities
List of the country’s most contaminated
sites in June 14, 2001.
EPA constructed a security fence
and began removing thousands of tons
of debris and contaminated soil from
the site in June 2003. After an extensive
investigation, EPA issued a final
cleanup plan, called a Record of
Decision, in October 2006. This plan
includes removing and disposing of
approximately 78,000 cubic yards
of contaminated soil from the site
and backfilling with clean fill,
groundwater monitoring, and institutional
controls in the form of deed restrictions.
This past fall, EPA began preparing
the site for the final cleanup. These
preparatory activities included the
demolition and removal of remaining
building foundations, the removal
of scrap metal, debris, and contaminated
soil. EPA plans to begin removing
the soil later this year.
Under the agreement, EPA will get
$12,062,000 in three payments ending
in January 2010. The money will be
used, along with other Superfund
and state money, to clean up the
site, which will cost an estimated
$20 million. As part of the agreement,
EPA won’t sue the companies for any
more cleanup costs for this site.
The companies also agreed that any
money they get by suing third parties
would be split 50-50 with EPA, until
each party has received $1 million;
with varying percentages beyond that
dollar amount. Newburgh will give
EPA the net proceeds from selling
the property if the price exceeds
the appraised value.