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For Release: Monday, August 29, 2016

DEC Declares Hoosick Falls & Petersburgh/Berlin Landfills as Potential State Superfund Sites

Field Investigations Underway to Determine the Nature, Source and Extent of the Contamination

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today declared municipal landfills in the Village of Hoosick Falls and Towns of Petersburgh and Berlin to be Potential State Superfund Sites. Preliminary investigations indicate that the sites may contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which New York State listed as a hazardous substance on January 27, 2016, making these sites eligible for potential placement on the State Superfund Site Registry. Further investigation, in the form of a site characterization, will determine if there is evidence that hazardous waste was disposed at the landfills and whether any resulting contamination poses a significant threat to public health or the environment.

"DEC remains committed to ensuring a comprehensive clean-up of the contamination in these communities," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Identifying these two landfills as P-sites is the next step in the state's ongoing response to provide residents in these affected communities the information and protection they deserve."

PFOA is believed to have been disposed at both landfills. Monitoring wells at the Hoosick Falls site were found to contain concentrations up to 21,000 parts per trillion (ppt) of PFOA, and samples from leachate on the Petersburgh/Berlin site were found to contain concentrations up to 4,200 ppt of PFOA.

The Hoosick Falls Landfill is owned by the Village of Hoosick Falls and was used as a landfill starting in the mid 1930's until it stopped accepting waste in 1993 and was closed in 1994. The Petersburgh Landfill, located in the Towns of Petersburgh and Berlin, has been jointly owned by the Towns since 1982 and ceased accepting waste in 1991.

DEC, in consultation with New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), is responsible for the investigation and remediation of all suspected or known inactive hazardous waste disposal sites. Comprehensive field investigations will be performed to determine the nature, source and extent of suspected contamination. As information for these sites becomes available, it will be reviewed by the NYSDOH to determine if site contamination presents public health exposure concerns. If hazardous waste representing a significant threat to public health or the environment was disposed of, DEC may list the site as a Class 2 State Superfund site and use its full authority under the State Superfund law to ensure that all remedial measures are carried out expeditiously.

DEC's investigation will include a search into past disposal practices at these landfills, and will include any tips received from the public regarding potential illegal dumping at these facilities. Anyone with information relevant to this investigation should visit the DEC Tips Hotline webpage on DEC's website.

The State Superfund Program is an enforcement tool that provides the necessary resources for the state to launch investigations into the nature and extent of contamination and hold the parties responsible accountable for the remediation of these sites. Through the terms of the Superfund program, DEC will seek to identify potentially responsible parties that disposed of hazardous wastes and hold them accountable for costs associated with the investigation and remediation.

DEC's letters to the towns can be viewed by clicking on the following links:

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