For Release: Thursday, February 9, 2017
State Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health Direct Honeywell to Test for Volatile Organic Compounds Near Former Hoosick Falls Facility
The New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Health (DOH) announced today that they have directed Honeywell to immediately conduct a soil vapor intrusion investigation following the detection of the volatile organic compounds (VOC) trichloroethylene (TCE) and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (111-TCA), at the company's former John St. facility. Soil vapor intrusion refers to a process by which contamination beneath the ground's surface moves into the indoor air of overlying buildings. These investigations are routinely completed near sites where VOCs, or chemicals that can easily enter the air as gases from some solids or liquids, are identified to help determine if any actions are required to protect residents from potential exposure.
Under the supervision of DEC and DOH, Honeywell representatives have conducted a door-to-door outreach effort to engage property owners and tenants at approximately 39 properties within the identified area near the former John St. facility, and solicit participation in a sampling program. They were accompanied by DEC and DOH staff as a part of the State's active oversight of the investigation. Residents who did not receive information in person will receive a mailing soliciting participation. All homes in the identified area are part of the Village's drinking water system. All finished water samples on this system have consistently returned non-detect levels of these compounds and testing for VOCs is part of routine operations.
After access is granted by property owners, Honeywell's contractors will collect samples from these properties' basements, immediately beneath the basements' floors, and outside of each building. Air samples will be collected over a 24-hour period and requires installation of a sampling port through the basement floor and evaluation of whether volatile chemicals are used or stored within the home. Property owners will receive their results from Honeywell and its contractor within 30 days of validation.
Based on a review of the results, DOH will recommend appropriate actions for Honeywell to undertake, which may include no further action, resampling, ongoing monitoring, or mitigation. Mitigation often involves installing an apparatus known as a sub-slab depressurization system which removes the contaminant from the ground before it has the chance to enter the home. Honeywell will be responsible for the cost of all resampling, monitoring and mitigation efforts.
Please see Honeywell's factsheet (PDF, 237 KB) regarding their expanded sampling effort, and the Soil Vapor Intrusion web page and Soil Vapor Intrusion factsheet (PDF, 722 KB) from DOH's website for more information on soil vapor intrusion. Some VOCs, which are chemicals that can easily enter the air as gases from some solids or liquids, are suspected or known carcinogens. Visit DOH's website for more information on volatile organic compounds. (All links above leave DEC website.)