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For Release: Friday, May 13, 2016

DEC Proposes Remedy to Cleanup Castle Cleaners Site in Elmira

DEC and DOH to Hold Public Meeting Thursday, June 9 to Discuss Proposed Clean Up Plan

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today proposed a remedial action plan to address contamination at the Castle Cleaners site located at 221 Hoffman Street, Elmira, Chemung County. Public comments will be accepted on the proposed plan through June 21 and a public meeting will be held on June 9.

The site has been an active dry cleaner since the mid-1950s and is listed as a Class 2 site in the State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites (list of State Superfund sites). A Class 2 site requires remedial action. The remedial investigation identified tetrachloroethene (PCE) in soil onsite and in groundwater at and down-gradient of the site. The presence of this contaminant is believed to be due to a fire in the structure and/or past housekeeping and spent solvent disposal practices.

Through the remedial investigation, DEC identified that PCE impacted the City of Elmira Public Water Supply Well No. 42 at concentrations above applicable standards. As a result, this well was immediately taken offline and is no longer used by the City of Elmira to supply drinking water. Well No. 41 also has PCE detections, however, concentrations are below applicable standards, and the well is still in use.

The proposed remedy is referred to as Municipal Wellhead Treatment with soil vapor extraction (SVE) and Bio-amendment (Alternative Four). The elements of the proposed remedy address the site-related contaminants of concern by implementing the following technologies. Municipal wellhead treatment, or the restoration of the Elmira Water Board's water supply capabilities, by one of three methods, all of which will be designed to supply water that meets applicable standards. The three methods to be evaluated include: wellhead air-stripping and carbon adsorption as necessary; the siting of new wells; or the installation of a water transmission line to connect existing wells to the central processing facility.

SVE will address contaminants in soils beneath the Castle Cleaners structure. SVE will further abate the potential for impacted soil vapors from entering nearby structures. Lastly, bio-amendment will be applied to address the documented groundwater plume down-gradient of the Castle Cleaners site by enhancing the naturally occurring microorganisms' degradation of site contaminants. The estimated cost to implement the remedy is $2.1 million, which will be paid by State Superfund followed by Cost Recovery from identified responsible parties. DEC will keep the public informed throughout the investigation and cleanup of the site.

NYSDEC is accepting written comments about the proposed plan, from May 13, 2016 through June 21, 2016. Comments can be sent to:
Benjamin Rung
Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Remediation
625 Broadway, 12th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-7017
(518) 402-9813

A public meeting to discuss the proposed plan will be held June 9 at 7 p.m. at the Steele Memorial Library located at 101 East Church Street, Elmira, NY 14901. Members of the public will be able ask questions and provide comment at the meeting.

The proposed plan is available for review at:
Chemung County Library District Steele Memorial Library
101 East Church Street
Elmira, NY 14901
(607) 733-9175

Environmental Remediation Project Information is available on DEC's website and scroll down to Chemung County:

Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on NYSDEC's website.

New York's State Superfund Program (SSF) identifies and characterizes suspected inactive hazardous waste disposal sites. DEC attempts to identify parties responsible for site contamination and require cleanup before committing State funds.

For more information about the State Superfund Sites, visit DEC's website.

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