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For Release: Tuesday, January 3, 2017

DEC to Begin Cleanup at Dzus Fastener Site

Work will remove contaminated sediments from Willets Creek

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will begin removing contaminated sediments from the Willets Creek area in early January as part of the State's remediation plan for the Dzus Fastener's inactive hazardous waste site, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.

"DEC is committed to cleaning up the Dzus Fastener site to protect the public and the environment and we're taking action to make sure nearby students will not be disrupted during the cleanup," said Commissioner Seggos. "For decades, New York State has sent a clear signal to polluters-if you contaminate communities in New York State, you will be held accountable."

DEC is undertaking the cleanup as part the State's ongoing investigation into contamination stemming from the Dzus Fastener site, 425 Union Boulevard, West Islip.

The work is being conducted as an Interim Remedial Measure (IRM) and will remove sediments under two footbridges accessed by students that attend Beach Street Middle School and West High School.

The objective of the State's interim cleanup effort is to minimize flooding of the foot bridges that cross Willetts Creek and reduce the potential of floodwaters impacting West Islip School District property.

During the interim cleanup, DEC will remove contaminated sediments from culverts that run under the foot bridges, as well as five feet upstream and downstream of each culvert. Additional cleanup activities include removing contaminated soil near the foot bridges, on school district property, and in the right-of-way of the foot path on the residential side of the foot bridges.

Work on the site will be carefully coordinated in order to limit impacts on students, particularly the school district's student transportation activities. The foot bridges are located at Burling Lane and Edmore Lane.

DEC's investigation of contamination associated with the Willetts Creek cleanup started in June 2016, and included sampling and evaluating surface and subsurface floodplain soils at private residences and school properties adjacent to Willetts Creek. Additional soil contamination investigation work was conducted at the tidal portions of Willetts Creek, as well as other locations associated with Dzus Fasteners.

During the investigation, 197 soil samples were collected from 39 residential and school properties located along Willets Creek. During this two-phased investigation, 23 soil samples were collected from the Beach Street Middle School and eight soil samples were taken from grassy areas on West Islip High School property that receive floodwaters from Willets Creek. Soil samples were tested for cadmium and chromium. The investigation found sediments in a portion of Willetts Creek to be contaminated with cadmium and chromium at levels in excess of acceptable residential use levels.

The IRM work plan for the project is available to the public at the West Islip Public Library. Upon completion of the work, a Construction Completion Report will be prepared, which documents the activities undertaken.

DEC is developing a Proposed Remedial Action Plan (PRAP) for the remaining contamination from Dzus Fastener site that is not currently being addressed by this IRM action.

The Dzus Fastener site is one acre in size and is located in a mixed residential, commercial, and industrial area. The site is triangular in shape and encompasses the area of the former leaching pools. The site is bounded by Union Avenue to the south, the former Dzus facility and Beach Street to the west, and Long Island Rail Road tracks to the north. Immediately to the east of the site is Willetts Creek, which drains south into Lake Capri, an eight-acre man-made lake. Lake Capri drains into the tidal portion of Willetts Creek through a culvert located under Montauk Highway.

Dzus Fasteners produced fasteners and springs from 1932 to 2015. Wastes from metal plating, tumbling, electroplating, chromic acid, anodizing, and special finishing operations consisted of oils, heavy metals, and salts. Leaching pools on-site were used for the disposal of hazardous wastes.

An IRM is a cleanup activity performed when the source of contamination can be effectively cleaned up and addressed to protect the public and the environment without extensive investigation and evaluation.

For more information, please see the Dzus Fastener Co, Inc. Factsheet (PDF, 274 KB) for the cleanup fact sheet.

Addition project documents are available at the West Islip Public Library, 3 Higbie Lane, West Islip, NY.

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