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Ronhill Cleaners

Proposed Site Investigation

Glen Cove, New York

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), working cooperatively with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and an environmental consultant are planning work which is intended to complete the investigation of soil and groundwater contamination at this Site and lead to clean up the Site. The proposed work is described in greater detail in the balance of this fact sheet, and a copy of the fact sheet containing a site map may be downloaded (2 page PDF, 304 KB). The work plan for the upcoming work is available in the document repositories listed below.

Your Opportunities to Comment on the Work Plan: Your oral and written comments about the Work Plan are welcomed and encouraged. Written comments may be sent to:

Mr. Nathan Putnam
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Remediation
625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-7015
(518) 402-9621

The work plan for the supplemental investigation is available for review at the repositories listed below.

Document Repositories:

NYSDEC, Region 1
Attn: Mr. Walter Parish
SUNY @ Stony Brook
50 Circle Road
Stony Brook, NY 11790-3409
(631) 444-0240
By appointment

Glen Cove Public Library
4 Glen Cove Avenue
Glen Cove, NY 11542-2885
(516) 676-2130
Mon. - Thur. 9-9
F,S 9-5
Summer Saturdays 9-1
Sunday 1-5 (October - May)

Glen Cove City Hall
City Clerks Office
(516) 676-2000
Hours: M-F, 9am-4pm

For More Information: Call or write the following staff for more information:

Investigation and Cleanup:

Mr. Nathan Putnam
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Remediation
625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-7015
(518) 402-9621

Health-Related Concerns:
Ms. Sharon McLelland
Flanigan Square
547 River Street
Troy, NY 12180
1(800) 458-1158, ext. 27880

Remedial Investigation

Site Description and Background:

The Ronhill Cleaners Inactive Hazardous Waste Site is located in the City of Glen Cove, Nassau County, on Forest Avenue at Bryce Avenue. The site area is less than one acre and is located on a strip of commercial businesses, surrounded by residential streets. The former dry cleaning building is now occupied by a retail shoe store.

The site was operated as a dry cleaner from 1963 to 1993, under various operators who leased the site from the landowner. The hazardous waste released at the Ronhill Cleaners site consists of perchloroethylene (perc or PCE), a non-flammable, chlorinated solvent used in commercial dry-cleaning establishments to remove dirt and stains from clothing. Perc is a volatile organic compound (VOC). Most dry cleaners attempt to recycle and reuse the solvent. Environment-friendly equipment was installed at Ronhill Cleaners in 1988, but before that time perc appears to have been lost through leaks or spills.

In 1978, the Nassau County Department of Health (NCDOH) sampled and reported perc contamination in the rear of the Ronhill building, which was unpaved at that time. The NCDOH was investigating possible local sources of perc after the discovery of perc in public supply wells at the Seaman Road Well Field. (NOTE: Local public water supply wells have been monitored regularly, and treated or removed from service if contaminants such as perc are detected.)

In response to County and State concerns, the site owner conducted investigations of perc contamination at the site in 1990 and 1994. Another apparent source of perc contamination discovered during these studies was from a pipe trough along the back wall of the building in which perc was recirculated for reuse. High levels of perc were discovered in the soil around this trough. The studies also found groundwater contamination, with perc levels of up to 80,000 micrograms per liter (ppb)at the water table, approximately 80 feet below ground at the site. The groundwater and drinking water standard for perc is 5 ppb. Levels of perc up to 170,000 micrograms per liter were later found in a 1998 study. Perc was also detected in the groundwater outside of the site property boundaries.

Some remediation of perc contaminated soil has occurred at the site. In 1994, a contractor removed approximately 72 tons of perc-contaminated soil from the vicinity of the perc recirculation pipe trough. Some of the contaminated soil remains, however, in difficult-to-access areas, such as under the building foundation. To address this, a soil vapor extraction (SVE) system was installed to draw perc out of the unsaturated (above the water table) soil with a vacuum blower. It is presently unknown if this system completed remediation of the unsaturated soil.

The documented release of hazardous waste at Ronhill Cleaners, and the evidence of it impacting water quality, led NYSDEC in 1995 to classify the site as posing a "significant threat to human health and/or the environment" (Class 2), requiring a remedial program consisting of a Remedial Investigation/ Feasibility Study (RI/FS), followed by the selection of a remedy, if appropriate, and its design, construction and operation.

Current Status:

The extent of contamination is not yet known, however, investigations to-date have shown that high concentrations of contamination are found deep beneath the site and have migrated from the site. Groundwater contamination may exist deeper and further off-site than presently documented. Vapors from the perc may be present in the soil off site as well. Regional geology is known to be complex in this area and the depth of the contamination makes delineation difficult.

The NYSDEC has planned additional investigatory work to attempt to delineate the extent of the site related contamination. This work will also provide data to support design of a remedy to continue cleanup of the site and protect the Seaman Road public supply wells.

Remedial Investigation:

The planned work includes the following major tasks:

  • Delineation of the extent of the dissolved VOC plume. This includes vertical delineation on site and vertical and areal delineation off site.
  • Determination if a soil vapor plume is present on and/or off site. Delineation of the soil vapor plume if present.
  • Installation of permanent monitoring wells within the dissolved plume, including a well between the site and the nearby public supply wells.
  • Evaluation of the soil vapor extraction system extraction well construction, and system effectiveness.
  • Collection of data to support a potential in-situ chemical oxidation interim remedial measure (IRMs) or remedy for on-site groundwater saturated soil. An IRM is a protective action or cleanup that is performed during an investigation, to address site problems prior to selection of the final remedy.

Following the gathering of field data, the RI/FS will include:

  • An assessment of potential impacts to human health. NOTE: there are presently no known human exposures to the contamination from this site.
  • An assessment of impacts to the environment.
  • An evaluation of additional interim remedial measures (IRMs) to address problems before further study, if appropriate.
  • An evaluation of cleanup alternatives (feasibility study) to address any remaining threats to human health or the environment.

Citizen Participation:

This fact sheet is part of the planned citizen participation (CP) activities for this site. Future CP activities will include additional fact sheets at major project milestones and a pubic meeting to discuss the proposed remedy for the site once it is determined. The NYSDEC Project manager is available by telephone to answer individual questions at any time during the project.


Field work for the investigation is anticipated to begin in the Summer of 2005. A complete and detailed schedule is available in the work plan.

What You May See:

During the investigation field work, you may notice construction type activities including the following:

  • Small and large drill rigs;
  • Partial lane closures on side streets;
  • Tanks or drums;
  • Noise and vibration.

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  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-9625.
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    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-7015
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