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December 2003

Hazardous Waste Removed from New York Facility

Extensive Cleanup Needed at Air Force Base

New York, NY— The U.S. Environ-mental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun to remove hazardous wastes and drums of chemicals from the Saratoga Radar Station site in Stillwater, New York. The site, originally a U.S. Air Force radar base, a Federal Aviation Administration facility and most recently the headquarters of LaQuidera Construction, contains about 70 PCB-containing electrical transformers; leaking drums of chemicals; and storage tanks containing thousands of gallons of gasoline, diesel and fuel oil.

“There was a critical need for intervention at this site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. “Not only were some drums perforated allowing chemicals to leak onto the ground, but there were risks to people trespassing on the site. EPA immediately secured the site, and now we are moving forward to remove the hazardous wastes.”

The site consists of approximately 30 buildings, approximately 10 of which contain various wastes left behind by the military or the current owner. Hazardous substances in the buildings and at other locations throughout the site include asbestos, waste oil, PCB-containing transformers, gasoline, fuel oil and other chemicals.

New York State requested EPA assistance at the site after a fire in 2002 involving some drums of hazardous chemicals. EPA has since conducted a thorough site investigation, including sampling of soil and ground water, and will be testing local residential drinking water wells.

The work, which began in early October, will take three months to complete and will cost an estimated $600,000. EPA intends to seek reimbursement from those parties responsible for the contamination.

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