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Former Air Force Plant No. 51 State Superfund Site

DEC Site No. 828156

The Former Air Force Plant No. 51 (AFP-51) site is located just north of the Lake Ontario State Parkway at 4777 Dewey Avenue in the Town of Greece. The site is privately-owned and is generally unoccupied except for a small commercial business operating in one of the smaller buildings. Surrounding land use consists of commercial and residential property to the east, wooded upland areas to the south and wooded upland areas leading to wetlands and Round Pond Creek to the west.

Manufacturing

Image of Air Force Plant No. 91
Former Air Force Plant No. 51, located in Greece, NY.

The plant was originally built during WWII by the Odenbach Shipbuilding Corp. for the production of ocean-going ships. To launch the ships, a water-filled channel was dredged from the north end of the shipyard to Round Pond Creek. Today, the remaining portion of the channel is used by the Monroe County Shoremont Water Treatment Plant as a settling pond for sediments from filter backwashing.

After the war, the plant was used by the Department of Defense for the production of B-52 bulkheads and the name of the facility was changed to Air Force Plant No. 51. Records indicate that the A.O. Smith Corporation and the American Machine and Foundry Company occupied the site in the 1950s. In 1959, the facility was declared excess by the U.S. government. From 1961 to 1963 the property was owned by the Monroe County Water Authority. Since 1963, the facility has been owned by corporate relatives of the current owner with space leased to a variety of businesses including scrap metal recycling and metal plating.

Disposal Activities

Prior to 1956 plating area rinse water drained from a plating operation to an on-site pond before flowing into Round Pond Creek. Other operations at the site that may have potentially contributed to site contamination include: discharges from acetylene gas production; a variety of maintenance activities including vehicle maintenance; underground gasoline storage tanks; above ground storage tanks; electrical transformers; heat treating; degreasing; laboratory activities; metal plating activities from tenants in the 1970s; discharges to septic systems; and discharges to the storm sewer system which discharges to Round Pond Creek. Other activities not specifically identified above may have also contributed to the contamination of the site.

Over the past 15 years, numerous investigations have been conducted by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and by the current owner of the property under the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) to define the nature and extent of contamination and develop a plan to clean up the site. DEC is currently implementing a remedial program at the site while continuing to identify and pursue parties who are potentially responsible for the contamination in order to recover remediation costs.

Operable Units

An operable unit represents a portion of a remedial program for a site that for technical or administrative reasons can be addressed separately to investigate, eliminate or mitigate a release, threat of release or exposure pathway resulting from the on-site contamination. Under the VCP, the AFP-51 site was divided into seven operable units (OUs). Since the site is now being addressed under State Superfund, the separate OUs have been consolidated and renamed using a more simplified naming convention. (See Site #V00421 for information on the previous OU designations.)

Operable Unit 1 (OU1) continues to refer to the former on-site lagoon/pond and the on-site portion of the lagoon outlet swale. OU2 refers to the investigation of suspected source areas across the entire site including the complex of buildings, former storage tanks, former vehicle maintenance facilities and transformer areas occupying the central portion of the site, the industrial sewers that discharged storm water and septic wastes to the wetlands via a number of outfalls, and other suspected on-site disposal areas. OU3 is reserved for the investigation of off-site areas including the adjacent forests, wetlands, Round Pond and Round Pond Creek, as well as the former shipping channel.

Each OU is further divided into one or more Areas of Concern (AOCs). AOCs represent known or suspected sources of contamination that warrant investigation and possibly remedial action. There are 15 AOCs currently designated at the site.

Upcoming Activities

Activities planned for this year at AFP-51 include implementing the cleanup action selected by the DEC in 2007 for OU1 (former lagoon/pond) and continuing the remedial investigation of other areas of the site (OU2/OU3) begun under the VCP. These upcoming activities are being conducted by the DEC using State Superfund monies.

OU1 - Former Lagoon/Pond

The overall cleanup action for OU1 includes: In-Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) of the On-Site Source Area; Post-Treatment Groundwater Monitoring; and Institutional Controls. The DEC recently approved an ISCO Pilot Test Work Plan (PDF) (42 pages, 1.8 MB). Field work associated with the pilot test is scheduled to begin in July 2013 with the installation of several new injection and venting wells and repair or replacement of several existing ISCO wells installed in 2009 by Day Environmental under the VCP. For more information on the OU1 remedy selected by DEC in 2007, refer to the Former Air Force Plant No. 51 - OU1 Remedial Work Plan (PDF) (2.7 MB).

OU2 - On-Site Sources

Investigation activities are also planned for other areas of the site including completing the investigation of the industrial sewers, defining the nature and extent of contamination beneath the complex of existing and former buildings, and identifying any likely sources of contamination that may be migrating off-site.

Preliminary work associated with this phase of the RI will involve installation and development of a dozen new monitoring wells and redevelopment of about twenty existing wells on-site. Field work is scheduled to commence in August 2013. Two rounds of groundwater sampling are planned following well installation. This coming winter, a focused soil vapor intrusion investigation will be conducted to evaluate the extent of VOCs beneath the existing buildings and the potential for exposures to any building occupants.

OU3 - Off-Site Impacts

In addition to the on-site work, two groundwater monitoring wells will be installed off-site in the wooded areas to the west of the site to begin to evaluate the extent of dissolved contaminant migration. Eventually, the OU3 investigation will include delineating the full extent of any off-site impacts within the wooded areas and wetlands to the west and the open channel immediately north of the site.

Reports and Other Information

The following PDF documents are available for download:

Project documents are also available at the following location(s) to help the public stay informed:

NYSDEC Region 8 Office (by appointment only)
6274 East Avon-Lima Road
Avon, NY 14414
585-226-5326

Greece Public Library (electronic access only)
2 Vince Tofany Blvd
Greece, NY 14612
585-225-8951

Who to Contact

Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:

Project Related Questions
Eric Hausamann
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Remediation
625 Broadway, 12th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-7017
eghausam@gw.dec.state.ny.us
518-402-9814

Site-Related Health Questions
Julia Kenney
New York State Department of Health
N.Y.S. Department of Health Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower, Room 1787
Albany, NY 12237
BEEI@health.state.ny.us
518- 402-7860

Electronic Distribution of Information

Information about this site and other sites in the State's remedial programs will now be distributed electronically by email. If you'd like to receive site information, you must sign up at the appropriate county's contaminated site cleanup email listserv. NYSDEC cannot register your email address - only the email address owner can do so.


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