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For Release: Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Public and Environment to Benefit from $400,000 Natural Resource Damage Settlement for Richardson Hill Road Landfill

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), along with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the U.S. Department of the Interior, today announced a $400,000 settlement with Honeywell International, Inc. and Amphenol Corporation for injuries to groundwater and natural resources, including recreational fishing, resulting from the release of hazardous substances at the Richardson Hill Road Landfill Superfund site in the towns of Sidney and Masonville in Delaware County, New York.

"The Richardson Hill case demonstrates our shared commitment to protecting the state's fish and wildlife resources," said the Service's New York Field Supervisor David Stilwell. "The $400,000 settlement will address injuries to the public's natural resources and will support efforts that restore a functional, healthy environment."

The site includes wetlands, uplands and Herrick Hollow Creek that support a variety of songbirds, waterfowl, amphibians, fish and other wildlife. Used as a refuse disposal area from 1964 through 1969, the landfill was listed on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Priorities List in 1987.

"The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is committed to protecting and restoring our natural resources," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "We look forward to working with our federal partners to use the proceeds from this settlement to restore any injured resources at this site and provide for environmental restoration projects in the area of the site."

Contaminants including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds and metals were present on site, with PCBs causing the greatest concern for fish and wildlife there. PCB levels in groundwater and surface water were in excess of New York State and/or EPA water quality criteria and at environmental concentrations that posed a threat to birds and fish. Residents have been advised not to consume fish from Herrick Hollow Creek due to PCB concentrations in excess of New York State Department of Health guidelines.

The $400,000 settlement will include approximately $300,000 for restoration projects that will restore, rehabilitate, replace or acquire the equivalent of the natural resources injured at or by the site. The Service and DEC will be reimbursed with approximately $100,000 for outstanding past costs to assess impacts and damages.

The natural resource trustees- the Service and DEC - have begun to solicit restoration project ideas and will solicit additional projects that appropriately compensate for injuries to natural resources and address lost human uses of natural resources, such as recreational fishing. For additional information the pre-assessment screen prepared for the Richardson Hill Road Landfill Superfund site can be found on the Service's website (http://www.fws.gov/northeast/nyfo/ec/RichardsonHill.htm).

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