COLONIE — This month, cleanup will begin at a former steel plant, abandoned since the mid 80s, as part of the state Superfund Program.
The $5.9 million job to clean up inactive hazardous waste at the former Adirondack Steel site at 191 Watervliet-Shaker Road is expected to take eight months. It is currently listed as a “class 2” superfund site, which “represents a significant threat to public health or the environment.”
The job will include:
• Excavation and off-site disposal of some 20,500 cubic yards of PCB contaminated soils and sediments. A large, 22-foot long by 7.5-foot wide by 8-foot tall dumpster is 40 cubic yards.
• Analysis of samples to ensure remedial goals are achieved. Surface water sampling will be conducted to ensure that removal of the waste addresses migration of contaminants to surface water.
• Bring in clean fill as needed to replace excavated material.
• Record an environmental easement to control future land use.
Cleanup will focus on 4.2 acres of the 38.5-acre site at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Watervliet-Shaker Road near the Watervliet line.
There are eight dilapidated unoccupied buildings, two of which are located on the designated, overgrown cleanup acreage, foundation slabs of the original production buildings and deteriorating access roads.
The site was home to a steel casing foundry from 1918 to 1987. When it closed, according to the DEC, scavengers looking for scrap metal opened the old transformers that were left behind and some 3,000 gallons of transformer oil containing PCBs spilled into the earth.
In 1993, contaminated soils were excavated and stored in a small, secured warehouse building on site. A year later, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, ordered the property owner at the time, Timrnons Corp, to consolidate the contaminated soils and put them in another building on the east side of the site but it never happened.
The EPA completed disposal of what was excavated in 1999, but a state evaluation of the property, which began in 2005, found PCBs at levels above safety standards.
The site is located within a mile of four other sites currently classified as Class 2 inactive hazardous waste disposal sites in the New York State remedial program. It is approximately a half mile north of Al Tech Steel and the former Bearoff property and a quarter mile west of Perfection Plating and what is known as the Watervliet Arsenal Siberia Area.
There is a 9-acre, unlined landfill on the north end of the site where spent foundry and core sands, furnace slag and refractories and dust from collector furnace and slag are buried. Previous testing determined it is not leaking into the environment and it is not part of the cleanup.
There is a small stream/drainage ditch that runs through the site that is sedimentary in some spots and flows in others and eventually leads to the Hudson River. A portion of the site along the ditch is slated for more cleanup under the current plan.
As part of an remedial interim measure, from May to July, 2009, 2,044 tons of hazardous soils and 1,611 tons of non-hazardous soils from along the ditch were disposed of off-site, according to documents from the DEC.
A final record of decision was issued in 2010 and part of that was work to stop hazardous materials from migrating off the site.
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