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EPA removes Hyde Park Landfill from superfund list

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized its decision to remove the Hyde Park Landfill site in Niagara Falls, New York from the Superfund National Priorities List of hazardous waste sites after a successful clean up. The ground water and the sediment in Bloody Run Creek and Niagara Gorge Face were contaminated with volatile organic compounds, which can cause serious harm to people’s health. The EPA concluded that the work to reduce contamination in ground water and creek sediment has eliminated the threat to public health and the environment. Monitoring conducted over the past 20 years and continuing today confirms the effectiveness of those actions.

The 15 acre site was used from 1953 to 1975 to dispose of approximately 80,000 tons of chemical waste, including dioxin. The site was added to the Superfund list in 1983.

The clean up included capping the landfill and areas around its perimeter to prevent water from flowing through it and constructing a system to collect and treat the contaminated oily substance leaching out of the landfill. In addition, ground water is pumped inwards toward the landfill and then treated to prevent contamination from spreading to surrounding bodies of water. The ground water, which continues to be treated to reduce contamination, is not used for drinking water. The contaminated sediment in Bloody Run Creek and Niagara Gorge Face was removed and the cleanup work at the site was completed in September 2003. The clean up work was conducted by the Occidental Chemical Corporation, the company responsible for the contamination, with EPA oversight to ensure that the actions taken were effective and protective of people’s health.

Ground water is sampled quarterly and the EPA reviews quarterly and annual sampling reports to determine that the cleanup goals have been met. An environmental easement that imposes restrictions on the use of the property to prohibit building or any other activity that could potentially damage the cap was placed on the property in 2010. The EPA has concluded that the cleanup work has been effective and that the site can now be taken off of the Superfund list.

The Hyde Park Landfill will continue to be monitored by EPA.