For Release: Thursday, May 19, 2016
DEC Declares Taconic Plastics Site in Petersburgh a State Superfund Site
DEC to Hold Taconic Plastics Responsible for PFOA Contamination Cleanup
Company Directed to Install Water Filtration Systems on Public Water Supply and Impacted Private Wells
Today the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) designated Taconic Plastics as a state superfund site in order to give the state additional authority to ensure that all remedial measures are carried out to expeditiously clean up perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination in the Town of Petersburgh, New York. The state has been working with the Town since discovering PFOA contamination.
"Protecting public health and the environment remains the number one priority in Petersburgh, and the state and our local partners have moved swiftly to bring clean, safe drinking water to all residents of the town as quickly as possible," DEC Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "As our investigation continues and we learn more about the extent of the contamination, we will take aggressive actions to hold the responsible party accountable for all costs associated with full remediation of all impacted areas."
The State Superfund Program is an enforcement program requiring that the full nature and extent of contamination be identified and remediated to be fully protective of public health and the environment. Through this Superfund designation, DEC has identified Taconic Plastics as the party responsible for the contamination, and is working to identify the full nature and extent of contamination in Petersburgh and to characterize suspected inactive hazardous waste disposal sites to ensure that those sites which pose a significant threat to public health or the environment are properly addressed. Under terms of the program, DEC will pursue all available legal remedies against Taconic Plastics to recoup any costs the state incurs.
At the direction of the Governor, the state has already directed Taconic Plastics to install a treatment system on the town's water supply, and Taconic Plastics has hired O'Brien and Gere to design the Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) treatment system for the town's water treatment facility. This design will be for the long-term treatment system for the town. Construction of the new treatment system, including the pouring of a concrete slab, is already underway, and is expected to be installed by mid-July and operational in August. The State is working with local partners to ensure that the system complies with all applicable standards to ensure water is acceptable for all uses for the residents of Petersburgh.
Additionally, the Town of Petersburgh has hired Barton and Loguidice to design water system upgrades to the town's existing infrastructure, including extension of the current water lines. DEC expects a conceptual report on these items will be submitted in late June. DEC has also directed the company to install point of entry treatment (POET) systems on private wells impacted by PFOA contamination. Under the direction of Rensselaer County, Taconic Plastics has already begun installation of POET systems and is in the process of clearing systems for all uses.
After learning of the PFOA contamination in the town in February, the state required the Company to supply bottled water to all town residents. State DEC, DOH and along with Rensselaer County have launched a comprehensive investigation to determine the extent of the contamination, including water and soil sampling.
The Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Site Program, or State Superfund Program, is the primary program for identifying, investigating and cleaning up sites where significant amounts of hazardous waste may exist. Once listed, Superfund sites go through a process of investigation, evaluation, cleanup and monitoring that has several distinct stages. For an explanation of the different stages of the investigation and cleanup process, please visit DEC's State Superfund Sites website.