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Tappan Terminal (Hastings-on-Hudson)


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), in cooperation with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), has selected remedial actions to address contamination relating to the Tappan Terminal Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site located on Railroad Avenue in Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County, New York.


The major elements of the selected remedy include excavation of grossly contaminated soil, which includes soil that is visibly stained with dye and petroleum; treatment of soil and groundwater beneath the site; installation of a two-foot soil cover over the site; and creation of an environmental easement to control land use and require long-term management of the site. Land use at the site would be limited to restricted residential, commercial, recreational and industrial uses, as otherwise permitted by local land use regulations. Restricted residential use is a land use category in which there is common ownership or a single owner of the site, such as apartment complexes, townhouse developments, mixed use development, etc., but does not include vegetable gardens or single family housing.

The site would be subject to a site management plan, which would describe the requirements for managing soil that may be excavated during future development activities, would require an evaluation and mitigation of vapor intrusion into buildings that may be developed on the site, and provide for the operation, maintenance and monitoring of the remedy.


The Tappan Terminal site is located on approximately 15 acres on the eastern shore of the Hudson River in the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County. The site is bounded to the east by the Metro North Commuter Railroad, and to the south and west by the Hudson River. To the north, the site is bordered by the former Anaconda Wire and Cable Company, which is also known as the Harbor at Hastings Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site.

The site comprises two properties: the Exxon/Mobil property, which is located adjacent to the Hudson River, and the Uhlich Color Company, which is located along the railroad tracks that define the eastern boundary of the site. The Uhlich property is a former pigment manufacturing facility, and the Exxon/Mobil property was most recently used as a petroleum distribution terminal. The Uhlich Color Company was recently acquired by the Magruder Color Company, and has discontinued operations at the site. A small portion of the southern end of the Exxon/Mobil property is leased to the Pioneer Boat Club for use as a marina. Limited access to the site is from Railroad Avenue at the southeast corner of the property and over the Zinsser Bridge, which has fallen into disrepair and is no longer open to vehicular traffic.


The Tappan Terminal site has a long history of manufacturing and chemical use by several owners and occupants. The landmass of the site itself was also created by disposal of man-made fill into the Hudson River between 1868 and 1970. This fill material typically consisted of sand and gravel mixed with bricks, concrete, stone, timber, ash, slag, shells, and other debris. Between 1897 and 1955 the site was owned by Zinsser & Company and used for the manufacture of dyes, pigments and photographic chemicals. In 1955, the Harshaw Chemical Company purchased the Zinsser Company and continued operations at the site. In 1961, Tappan Tanker Terminal purchased the property and began operating a petroleum distribution facility on the western portion of the site. Beginning in 1964, Paul Uhlich & Company leased, then purchased, the eastern portion of the site for the manufacture of pigments. This operation later became the Uhlich Color Company. In 1975, Mobil Oil Company purchased the western portion of the site and continued petroleum distribution operations.

When Mobil ceased operations on their property in 1985, a number of oil spills and bulk storage violations were discovered. Sampling various media at the site was performed between 1985 and 1989. In 1987, the NYSDEC listed the site as a Class 2 site in the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites in New York. A Class 2 site is a site where hazardous waste presents a significant threat to the public health or the environment and action is required.

During a 1992 repair of a sewer pipe at the site, evidence of a petroleum release on both properties was discovered. Contaminated soil was stockpiled and later sent off site for disposal. The extent of petroleum contamination was investigated between 1992 and 1994. In 1994, an oil remediation plan was approved under the NYSDEC's Spill Response program and Mobil and Uhlich entered into a Stipulation Agreement to remediate this spill.

In 1996 Mobil entered into a Voluntary Agreement with the DEC to investigate petroleum contamination on the western portion of the site. Because none of the potentially responsible parties agreed to perform a comprehensive investigation of the entire site, the site was referred for a State-funded investigation in 1998. However, after 1998, Mobil conducted some focused investigations and technology pilot studies on contamination located on their portion of the site. The Uhlich Color Company ceased operations at the site in 2002, and most buildings at the site were demolished in early 2003.

In addition to the site operators identified above, several corporate mergers and acquisitions have occurred. The Harshaw Chemical Company was purchased by Kewanee Industries in 1966, which was acquired by the Gulf Oil Corporation in 1977. Gulf Oil Corporation merged with the Chevron Chemical Corporation in 1985. Mobil Oil Corporation merged with Exxon Corporation to form Exxon/Mobil in 1999.


As a result of the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study, the NYSDEC and NYSDOH selected the following remedy for the site:

  • Treatment of VOC-contaminated soil and groundwater by air sparging, soil vapor extraction, and/or other technologies to be evaluated during the remedial design.
  • Excavation and off-site disposal of soil that is visibly contaminated with dye or petroleum, is grossly contaminated, or contains greater than 500 ppm total SVOCs.
  • Construction of a soil cover to prevent exposure to contaminated soils. The two-foot thick cover would consist of clean soil underlain by an indicator such as orange plastic snow fence to demarcate the cover soil from the subsurface soil. The top six inches of soil would be of sufficient quality to support vegetation. Non-vegetated areas (buildings, roadways, parking lots, etc) would be covered by a paving system or concrete at least 6 inches in thickness.
  • Development of a site management plan to:
    • address residually contaminated soils that may be excavated from the site during future redevelopment. The plan would require soil characterization and, where applicable, disposal/reuse in accordance with NYSDEC regulations;
    • evaluate the potential for vapor intrusion for any buildings developed on the site, including provision for mitigation of any impacts identified;
    • identify any use restrictions; and
    • provide for the operation and maintenance of the components of the remedy.
  • Imposition of an institutional control in the form of an environmental easement that would:
    • require compliance with the approved site management plan;
    • limit the use and development of the property to restricted residential, commercial or industrial uses only;
    • restrict the use of groundwater as a source of potable water, without necessary water quality treatment as determined by NYSDOH; and
    • require the property owner to complete and submit to the NYSDEC an annual certification.

The cost of the selected remedy for the site is estimated to be $4.23 million, of which $3.02 million is the cost of construction. The remainder is the present worth of the annual monitoring and maintenance cost, which is estimated to be $240,000 for the first five years and $15,000 thereafter.

For More Information:

Call or write the following staff about:

Environmental Concerns:

George Heitzman
625 Broadway, 11th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-7013
(518) 402-9662

Heath-Related Concerns:

Ian Ushe
547 River Street, Room 300
Troy, NY 12180
1(800) 458-1158, ext. 27890

Citizen Participation:

Michael Knipfing
NYSDEC Region 3
21 South Putt Corners Road
New Paltz, NY 12561
(845) 256-3154

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