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For Release: Monday, June 23, 2014

DEC Announces Proposed Norlite Hazardous Waste Permit Renewal and Cleanup Recommendation

Public Information Session and Hearing Set for Aug. 5

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the start of a public comment period for a draft hazardous waste permit and cleanup proposal for the Norlite, LLC corporation in Cohoes, Albany County.

A public information meeting and hearing will be held at the Cohoes Senior Center, 10 Cayuga Place in Cohoes on Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 6 p.m. The information session will provide details on the draft permit and cleanup proposal, and also allow the public to ask DEC staff questions.

The hearing portion, where DEC will receive public comment on the draft permit and draft cleanup proposal, will begin at 7 p.m. Written comments are treated the same as oral comments received at the hearing and can be sent to Nancy Baker, DEC Region 4 Headquarters, 1130 North Westcott Rd., Schenectady, NY 12306, dep.r4@dec.ny.gov. Comments will be accepted through Aug. 15, 2014.

DEC has determined that Norlite's draft hazardous waste permit application is complete and has made a tentative determination to renew its existing hazardous waste management permit. No changes in facility size or operating capacity or significant changes in operations are proposed in the draft permit. The proposed permit maintains all the requirements in the current permit for Norlite to provide financial assurance for facility closure as well as continuing an on-site DEC monitor funded by Norlite.

DEC is also proposing a No Further Action and Site Management cleanup remedy for the facility based on the results of site investigations and implementation of interim cleanup actions. Corrective actions undertaken at the facility have sufficiently addressed site contamination, and combined with implementation of a site management plan, will be protective of public health and the environment.

In 2012, 477 tons of soil contaminated with arsenic were removed from the site as an interim cleanup action. In addition, the company installed a low permeability asphalt cap over portions of the site containing high levels of metals. A provision for maintenance of the cap is part of the site management plan.

Under the site management plan, the use and development of the site will be restricted to industrial uses, and human exposures to residually contaminated soils will be properly managed. Groundwater use at the site will not be allowed without appropriate water quality treatment.

Norlite manufactures lightweight aggregate (rock fragments) which uses shale mined on site as a raw material. To produce the aggregate, the shale is heated and expanded in two rotary kilns and then crushed and sized to meet customer specifications.

The kilns are primarily fueled by hazardous wastes but are also fueled by natural gas, fuel oils and used oils. The kilns are regulated as industrial furnaces and are equipped with air pollution control systems that comply with federal and state hazardous waste burning emission standards.

Hazardous wastes burned on site are a mixture of industrial solvents and oils from an assortment of chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers, petroleum refinement and storage facilities, and other hazardous waste treatment companies.

The draft permit can be viewed on Norlite's website (which can be found in the right hand column of this page).

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