EPA proposes cleanup plan for New York superfund site
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a plan to clean up contamination at the Computer Circuits Superfund site in Hauppauge, New York. The two-acre property, which is bordered by Marcus Boulevard to the west, is home to a facility that formerly manufactured circuit boards. “EPA has been working on this site for some time now and we are seeing to it that this cleanup is solidly under way,” Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg said. “We feel that this proposed plan will further advance the work that EPA has been doing.”
EPA’s proposed plan calls for the continued operation of a soil vacuum extraction (SVE) system that extracts volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from soil near the north side of a one-story building on the property, as well as from underneath the foundation of the building. Furthermore, an additional SVE system is being installed to clean up a second area off the southeast corner of the building, which was also found to have residual VOC contamination. This work began as an interim cleanup to minimize the possibility of vapors from the soil seeping into the building through the foundation. EPA is also recommending long-term ground water monitoring through an existing network of monitoring wells. This will allow EPA to make sure the low levels of VOCs in the ground water continue to decline as the sources of the ground water contamination are cleaned up by the SVE systems.
Additionally, EPA is proposing to continue monitoring air inside the building to be certain that concentrations of volatile organic vapors in indoor air remain at levels that are safe for the occupants of the building.
EPA will hold a public information session to explain the proposed action on August 19, 2008 at 7:00 pm at the Smithtown Library in Smithtown, New York.
The site was owned by MCS Realty from 1969 to 1991. The Computer Circuits Corporation was the first tenant and occupied the entire property from 1969 to 1977. Computer Circuits was a manufacturer of circuit boards for both military and commercial applications. Waste liquids from the circuit board manufacturing process were discharged to five industrial leaching pools located off the southeast corner of the building. These waste liquids contained metals, acids, and solvents. Photographic chemicals and waste liquids were also discharged to a single industrial leaching pool adjacent to the north side of the building.
In the mid to late 1970’s, the Suffolk County Department of Environmental Control became concerned about the handling of the discharge and ordered Computer Circuits to remedy the situation. The five industrial pools were excavated and backfilled, and the discharge pipe of the industrial pool on the north side of the building was capped and the discharge ceased. Computer Circuits Corporation vacated the premises shortly thereafter.
In 1989, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation investigated the soil and ground water at the site. Two years later, MCS Realty sold the property to 145 Marcus Boulevard, Inc., the current owner. Additional soil and ground water monitoring was completed in 1989, as well as in 1994 and 1995. Metals including lead, silver, copper, nickel and zinc were detected in the soil samples, and certain VOCs, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethene were detected in the ground water samples.
EPA placed the Computer Circuits site on the National Priorities List of the most contaminated sites in the country in May 1999. In September 2000, EPA entered into an agreement with 145 Marcus Blvd, Inc. to perform a soil and ground water investigation to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site. The company hired a contractor to conduct an investigation. Three additional monitoring wells were installed and sampled as were all the other monitoring wells associated within the site. This investigation found the presence of TCE in soil and ground water samples and in air samples that were collected from inside and outside the building. Based on these results, EPA decided to begin a short-term action to reduce TCE concentrations in on-site soil and within the building.
This work began in December 2005 and focused on cleaning up contaminated soil on the north side of the building where residual soil contamination remained and vapors collect below the slab foundation of the building. An additional SVE system is being installed in an area off the southeast corner of the building that was also found to have soil contaminated with VOCs. A cleanup of these areas helps reduce the amount of vapors that are entering the building.
A 30-day public comment period on the proposal began August 8, 2008 and will close on September 6, 2008. EPA will select a final plan for the site after reviewing and considering all comments submitted during the public comment period.