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For Release: Tuesday, May 28, 2013

DEC Selects Remedy for Cleanup of Contamination at FMC Corporation in Middleport

Remedy Cleans Up Arsenic-Contaminated Soils and Sediments

After carefully considering comments from nearly 70 people and organizations, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) selected a remedy to clean up contamination at the FMC Corporation site in Middleport, Niagara County for Operable Units 2, 4 and 5, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The remedy requires the cleanup of arsenic-contaminated soil and sediment from a residential area in the Village of Middleport, located downwind of the FMC pesticide plant.

"After careful consideration of all comments during the public comment period and extensive discussion with FMC, DEC selected the remedy to clean up the former FMC site to lessen the threat to public health and the environment from exposure to arsenic," Commissioner Martens said.

DEC held a public meeting on June 27, 2012 and several availability sessions to present the Draft Statement of Basis, a proposed remedial action plan, for the site and accepted comments from the public for 90 days. The Final Statement of Basis outlining the selected remedy is now available to the public. A Responsiveness Summary addressing public comments received is also available.

It is well documented that elevated levels of arsenic in soil can cause adverse human health and ecological impacts. Removing soils with elevated levels of arsenic to background levels and replacing it with soil having lower background concentrations can substantially reduce such impacts. The selected remedy includes:

  • Soil will be excavated and removed within the identified areas to achieve an arsenic remedial goal of 20 parts per million (ppm). DEC will employ flexibility on a case-specific basis to consider the nature, extent and location of removal, or to accommodate property owner concerns with structures, trees, etc.
  • Contaminated soil removed as part of the cleanup may be managed on-site in a Corrective Action Management Unit (CAMU), if FMC can address a number of technical, legal and scheduling conditions. If not, the soil will have to be disposed of at a permitted off-site facility or beneficially reused. Soil or waste exhibiting hazardous waste characteristics will be disposed off-site at a permitted hazardous waste disposal facility.
  • Soil from the interim corrective measures, which is temporarily stored in the Eastern Surface Impoundment (ESI), will be left in the ESI as part of an approved remedy for this area, if the final closure plan for this area determines this is appropriate. If not, contaminated soil will be disposed at a permitted off-site facility or beneficially reused as approved by DEC. Soil or waste exhibiting hazardous waste characteristics will be disposed off-site at a permitted hazardous waste disposal facility.

The FMC Corporation facility in Middleport is listed as a Class 2 site in the State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites. A Class 2 site represents a significant threat to public health or the environment; where action is required.

FMC's Middleport Facility is a pesticide formulation and packaging plant that formerly manufactured arsenic-based and other pesticide products. The plant site was used for the manufacturing of a number of chemicals used as pesticides and herbicides from the 1920s through the 1980s. In the mid-1980s, the plant shifted from manufacturing to only formulating pesticides (i.e., mixing and packaging) and is presently operating in this capacity. As a result of past manufacturing operations and waste disposal practices at this facility, chemical releases occurred at the site that have affected sediment, surface water and groundwater at the facility property and also in adjacent off-site areas.

DEC will soon begin the selection process of a remedy for additional off-site areas affected by air deposition of materials released by the facility (OU3). DEC will also require further investigation of other streams that are down-gradient of the site. DEC will also select final remedies for on-site soils and local groundwater.

The Final Statement of Basis for OU 2, 4 and 5 with a Responsiveness Summary can be viewed at the site document repository located at the Middleport Village Library, 9 Vernon Street, Middleport, NY.

The documents are also available on the DEC's website: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/54220.html and the Middleport Community Involvement Group (MCIG) website: http://middleport-future.com/cig/.

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