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Environmental Cleanup Dzus Fastener Company

Site Management and Homeowner Care at Dzus Fastener Company

Site Number: 152033

Cleanup of Contamination in Willetts Creek and Lake Capri Portions of the Dzus Fasteners Site

A map of the Dzus Fastener Company Site, West Islip, NY
Map of the Dzus Fastener Company Site, West Islip, NY

New York State supervised a careful and thorough cleanup of Willetts Creek and Lake Capri, two areas related to the larger Dzus Fastener Co., Site (see figure at right). The Department's foremost priority was ensuring the public (including residents, school district staff, children and visitors) does not come in contact with any of the site related contamination. This cleanup was completed to address potential exposure to cadmium and trivalent chromium.

Contaminated soil and sediment have been removed and disposed of at a permitted facility as part of the remedy.

Groundwater at the site is not used as a public water supply; therefore, people are not drinking contaminated groundwater. Drinking water provided to the residents of West Islip is supplied by the Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA). SCWA complies with strictly-enforced standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Health. Results of routine water sampling and associated annual water quality reports are available online (link leaves DEC's web site).

The Dzus Fastener Site OU3 and OU4 has entered Site Management. Restoration of the affected properties is complete and long-term care and maintenance of individual properties has been turned over to the property owners. Site Management is the final phase of a remedial program at a site which begins after remedial construction activities are completed. The purpose of site management is to ensure the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment. A Site Management Plan (SMP) (PDF) (12.8 MB) has been created to identify and implement institutional and engineering controls (IC/ECs) required for a site. Site management continues until the Department determines that it is no longer needed.

Items that are part of the SMP required for the site under the State Superfund Program include institutional controls (ICs), engineering controls (ECs), and a monitoring program.

An IC is a non-physical means of enforcing a restriction on the use of property that limits human or environmental exposure. An Environmental Easement and Deed Restriction have been placed on the former Dzus Fastener Site as an IC.

An EC is any physical barrier or method employed to actively or passively contain, stabilize, or restrict the movement of contamination or eliminate potential exposure pathways. ECs at the Dzus site include a cover system and required sub-slab depressurization systems for occupied buildings. ECs within Willetts Creek include backfill to cover residual contamination.

Site Management may include visual inspections of the creek corridor, groundwater monitoring and sampling, surface water sampling, sediment sampling, and wetland mitigation monitoring.

There are activities which are not included as part of site management under State Superfund that would provide stewardship of the creek corridor to continue to enhance the community. Keeping the creek litter free and maintaining the plantings is a task that requires cooperation and participation from local residents and community groups. The Department believes that by joining with the local community, stewardship of Willetts Creek can be promoted in order to keep water resources clean. Maintenance and care of restored properties, including plantings, is the responsibility of the homeowner.

Remedial Activities - Willetts Creek and Lake Capri

Remedial Action:

Willetts Creek and Lake Capri,cleanup activities began in Spring 2019 and were completed in Spring 2020. The work was completed under New York's State Superfund Program. The cleanup remedy for the site included the removal and disposal of contaminated sediments and soils in and along Willetts Creek and in Lake Capri.

  • Willetts Creek (Operable Unit 3 described below) Excavation and offsite disposal of Willett's Creek bank soil and soil within adjacent residential yards that exceed the unrestricted use Soil Cleanup Objectives (SCOs) for cadmium and chromium and removal of sediments which exceed the Class A sediment guidance values for cadmium and chromium.
  • Lake Capri (Operable Unit 4 described below) Excavation and off-site disposal of soil within adjacent residential yards that exceed the unrestricted SCOs for cadmium and chromium and removal of sediments which exceed the Class A sediment guidance values for cadmium and chromium.

Each area was restored in accordance with approved restoration design documents, developed with input from NYSDEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife, Division of Marine Resources, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Individual property owners approved the restoration plan for their property.

Working in the Temporary Fabric Structure (TFS)

Removed sediment was processed prior to disposal. A temporary fabric structure, which includes an air filtration system, was used to house the processing equipment. This controlled odors, dust, and other nuisance concerns such as noise from leaving the work area.

Community air and dust monitoring was conducted during the cleanup activities. One monitor was placed upwind and three downwind to monitor particulate levels in the area. If air monitors detected dust above action levels, work was suspended until corrective measures were put in place.

DEC's restoration plans were based on input from the community. DEC supplemented the planned trees of 5-7 feet tall with larger stock and supplemented the planned restoration with faster growing stock where appropriate. Areas placed with clean backfill were covered with topsoil and a plant fiber-based erosion control fabric. Planting and seedings then followed. Long term care and maintenance of restored properties was turned over to the property owner in April 2020.

Operable Unit 5 Investigation

OU5 includes sediments within the tidally influenced portion of Willetts Creek and adjacent residential properties. A remedial investigation (RI) of this area was begun in 2019. An RI Report summarizing all results of the investigation work will be released as part of the Proposed Remedial Action Plan discussed below. Following the RI Report, if deemed necessary, a Feasibility Study will be conducted to develop and evaluate various alternatives for the cleanup of contamination found during the investigation. A Proposed Remedial Action Plan will be developed and public comments on the proposed plan will be solicited.

Summary of Site Operable Units and Previous Work

The Dzus Fastener Company, Inc. site was divided into six operable units (OUs). An operable unit represents a portion of a remedial program that can be addressed separately to investigate, eliminate, or mitigate a release, threat of release or exposure pathway resulting from site contamination. Operable units OU1 and OU2 were addressed previously and OU3 and OU4 are being addressed with the current remedial design. OU5 will be addressed at a later date. OU6 addresses the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) closure of the Dzus Fastener's facility.


Detailed description of the OUs and remedial work completed at each:

  • OU1 originally encompassed the entire four-acre Dzus facility, consisting of leaching pools (the source) and areas of soil contamination at the former facility. In 1991, an Interim Remedial Measure (IRM) was performed consisting of excavation of soils in the area of the former metal plating shop, associated leaching pool system and major leaching bed system. A Record of Decision (ROD) was issued for this OU1 by NYSDEC in March 1995. The selected remedy was implemented in 1996, and consisted of in situ stabilization/solidification for onsite soils containing cadmium at concentrations greater than 10 parts per million (ppm). In 2016, a boundary modification reduced the site to only the one-acre stabilized area, since the balance of the former facility was determined to meet cleanup objectives.
  • OU2 was comprised of the offsite contamination including sediment and surface water contamination in a section of Willetts Creek and all of Lake Capri, and groundwater downgradient of the facility. A ROD for OU2 was issued by NYSDEC in October 1997. The selected remedy was implemented in 1999 and included dredging, dewatering, and offsite disposal of contaminated sediments from Lake Capri, and excavation and offsite disposal of sediment from a 1,000 foot stretch of Willetts Creek exceeding 9 ppm. A long-term groundwater monitoring program was implemented to evaluate the remedy.
  • OU3 encompasses the area of offsite impacted wetlands located behind a strip mall on Union Boulevard and is inclusive of the Willetts Creek channel up to approximately 700 feet upstream of Lake Capri (north of the West Islip High School footbridge), West Islip School properties, and low-lying residential property. Soils on low lying residential areas contain levels of cadmium and trivalent chromium which exceed soil cleanup objectives for unrestricted use of 2.5 ppm and 30 ppm, respectively. Sediments contained cadmium and trivalent chromium above Class A sediment guidance values for cadmium and chromium of 1 ppm and 43 ppm, respectively. Surface water samples collected were not impacted. School property outside of the creek corridor is not impacted by contamination. This OU is part of the upcoming remedial construction activities.
  • OU4 includes the southern 700 feet of Willetts Creek, adjacent and to the south of OU3, and Lake Capri. OU4 includes sediments within the southern portion of Willetts Creek, Lake Capri, and residential property surrounding the lake. Soils located on low lying residential areas contain cadmium and trivalent chromium levels which exceed soil cleanup objectives for unrestricted use of 2.5 ppm and 30 ppm, respectively. Sediments contain cadmium and trivalent chromium which exceed the Class A sediment guidance values for cadmium and chromium of 1 ppm and 43 ppm, respectively. Surface water samples collected were not impacted. This OU is part of the upcoming remedial construction activities.
  • OU5 was established to include the tidal area of Willetts Creek downstream of Lake Capri and south of Montauk Highway. This area will be investigated and managed separately from OU3 and OU4.
  • OU6 documents the RCRA closure of the DFCI Solutions, Inc. facility for the closure of regulated waste activities associated with the former Dzus Fastener Co. site. The general closure procedure for the DFCI facility included the decontamination and washing of the building floors, excavation and removal of contaminated soils, installation and operation of a soil vapor extraction system, and remediation and closure of contaminated leaching pools. The RCRA closure has been completed and the property is ready for development.

In January 2017 an IRM was conducted to excavate and remove impacted soil and sediment from adjacent to the Edmore Lane, West Islip High School and the Burling Lane, Beach Street Middle School footbridges. The areas of the footbridges were restored with certified clean topsoil, seeded, and the stream banks were covered with soil erosion blankets. These blankets provide soil erosion protection and assist in the establishment of vegetation on moderate slopes or low-flow creek applications.

Site Description and History

Site Location and Features

Tree Planting

The Dzus Fastener Co. site is a one-acre site located in a mixed residential, commercial, and industrial area. 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. The nearest residence is approximately 150 feet north of the site.

The site is triangular in shape and relatively flat, and is defined as the portion of the former four-acre Dzus facility where leaching pools were located. The former facility has been properly closed under RCRA and there are no buildings located on the site. 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.

Site History

The Dzus Fastener Co. Inc. produced fasteners and springs from 1932 to 2015, and moved operations to 425 Union Boulevard in 1937. Operations included the design and manufacture of quarter-turn fasteners, quick acting latches and panel strips using steel, stainless steel, aluminum and plastic. The products were used by the military and commercial aerospace industries. The fasteners were also used in the transportation, electronics, air handling, refrigeration, motor control and computer industries to secure access panels, covers or detachable components.

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 wastes. These operations led to soil and groundwater contamination at the Dzus facility and downstream groundwater, sediment, and surface water contamination of nearby Willetts Creek and Lake Capri, an eight-acre man-made lake.

Fish Advisory

Elevated levels of chromium and chlordane have been found in certain fish species within Lake Capri and NYSDOH has issued a fish advisory for Lake Capri to ensure residents do not consume the contaminated fish. It is recommended that women under 50 years old and children under 15 do not eat fish from Lake Capri. Men over 15 and women over 50 are advised to eat no more than one meal per month of American eel and carp and no more than 4 meals per month of all other fish.

Document Access Information

Fact Sheets prepared by NYSDEC:
Receive fact sheets about the Dzus Site by email:

Sign up at the "DEC Delivers" web page to have fact sheets and other updates about the Dzus Site delivered right to your email inbox. Be sure to sign up for "Suffolk County".
Work Plans and Other Documents Online
Additional Information and Other Documents Pertaining to the Site

The large size of some documents prevents them from made being available on this web site and can be downloaded from the DECinfo Locator: . These include:

  • Remedial Investigation OU4 (PDF, 133 MB)
  • Feasibility Study Report OU4 (PDF, 24 MB)
  • IRM OU3A Construction Completion Report (PDF, 37 MB)
  • Site Management Plan (PDF, 57 MB)
  • January 2018 Periodic Review Report (PDF, 25 MB)
  • RCRA Closure Certification Report (PDF, 62.3 MB)
  • Remedial Investigation OU3 (PDF, 13.3 MB)
  • Feasibility Study Report OU3 (PDF, 14.8 MB)

These and other documents are available for public review at the following location, or upon request of the NYSDEC project manager:

West Islip Public Library
Attn: Maureen Heuer
3 Higbie Lane
West Islip, NY 11795
(631) 661-7080

Project Management Contact Information

For Operable Unit 5 project investigation-related questions, contact the NYSDEC Project Manager:

Brianna Scharf, E.I.T.
Division of Environmental Remediation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233
(518) 402-9813

For Operable Unit 5 project remediation-related questions, contact the NYSDEC Project Manager:

Sarah Saucier, P.E.
Division of Environmental Remediation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233
(518) 402-9813

For project-related health questions, please contact NYSDOH Project Manager:

Jacquelyn Nealon
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower, Room 1787
Albany, NY 12237
(518) 402-7860

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