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  • 22 Aug 2023 10:52 AM | Michael Lazo (Administrator)

    Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and non-profit partners Center for Whole Communities (CWC), Rights and Democracy Institute, and the Vermont Law School Environmental Justice Clinic recently released an Environmental Justice Community Engagement Report. The report presents on-the-ground community research and data collection that will support DEC and other state agencies and non-profits in conducting their community outreach with an environmental justice lens.

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  • 18 Aug 2023 11:02 AM | Michael Lazo (Administrator)

    Contact Information

    Mike Basile (basile.michael@epa.gov)

    646-369-0055

    NEW YORK - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public input on its proposed cleanup plan to address contaminated groundwater, soil, bedrock, soil vapor and surface water at the Lehigh Valley Railroad site located in LeRoy, New York. A 30-day public comment period for the proposed plan begins on August 18, 2023. EPA will host a public meeting at Caledonia Mumford High School auditorium, 99 North Street, Caledonia, NY   on August 29, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. to explain the new cleanup proposal. EPA’s proposed plan for the Lehigh Valley Railroad site will address the remaining contamination from a historic train accident that spilled trichloroethylene (TCE) onto the ground and into the groundwater. 

    The site includes the location of a former train derailment that occurred on December 6, 1970, at the Gulf Road crossing in the Town of LeRoy. Two tank cars ruptured and spilled approximately 30,000 gallons of TCE onto the ground. A third car containing a crystalline form of cyanide was also reported to have partially spilled. The cyanide was recovered shortly after the derailment, however the TCE was flushed with water, and it seeped into the ground, resulting in a 4-mile-long plume of TCE contamination. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List in 1999 and has been cleaning the site in several stages, including early removal responses, as well as remedial actions known as operable units (OUs).

    The cleanup outlined in today’s proposed plan will address the groundwater, bedrock, soil, soil vapor, and surface water. For the groundwater contamination, EPA has determined that no existing treatment methods can clean up the groundwater to meet standards in a reasonable time. Therefore, EPA proposes to monitor the groundwater and use institutional controls (ICs) to limit its use and protect people’s health over the long term.

    The proposed plan also includes:

    • Removing remaining contaminated soil and disposing of it off-site, followed by backfilling with clean fill.
    • In-situ treatment of contaminated surface water with streambed cover, ICs, and monitoring.  
    • Monitoring groundwater, surface water, soil vapor and indoor air to check the levels of contaminants.
    • Maintaining and installing vapor mitigation systems for properties that are affected by soil vapor intrusion from the groundwater plume. These systems prevent harmful vapors from entering indoor spaces.
    • Connecting new homes built over the groundwater plume to the public water supply system. Existing homes over the plume were connected to the public water system in 2003.
    • ICs in the form of governmental controls, proprietary controls (e.g., easements in the spill area), and informational devices (e.g., notices, publications) to limit exposure to contaminated groundwater and soil vapor.

    EPA also proposes changes to a 1997 cleanup plan to eliminate source control measures including bedrock vapor extraction, to update the surface water standard for TCE, and to address soil contamination beneath Gulf Road by implementing ICs to restrict access and to require proper soil management if the roadbed is disturbed in the future.

    Written comments on the proposed plan may be mailed or emailed to Maria Jon, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 290 Broadway – 19th Floor, New York, NY 10007, Email: jon.maria@epa.gov.

    For additional background and to see the proposed cleanup plan, visit the Lehigh Valley Railroad Superfund site profile page.

  • 17 Aug 2023 5:05 PM | Michael Lazo (Administrator)

    New priorities tackle modern challenges including climate change, PFAS, coal ash, air toxics, drinking water contamination, and chemical accidents, all with a focus on achieving environmental justice

    August 17, 2023

    Contact Information

    EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

    WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced its National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives for 2024-2027, including for the first time initiatives to mitigate climate change, address exposure to PFAS contamination, and protect communities from cancer-causing coal ash. To advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protect disadvantaged communities, EPA also will integrate environmental justice considerations into each of its National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives. 

    Every four years, across administrations, EPA selects enforcement and compliance priorities so that the agency and its state partners can prioritize resources to address the most serious and widespread environmental problems facing the United States. In addition to climate change, PFAS contamination, and coal ash initiatives, EPA is modifying its Clean Air Act initiative to focus on hazardous toxic air pollution in overburdened communities in each EPA region and is continuing its drinking water and chemical accident prevention initiatives that began under prior administrations.  

    “EPA’s new national initiatives address urgent 21st century environmental problems, while upholding the rule of law to level the playing field for law-abiding companies and promoting a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance David M. Uhlmann. “Working closely with our state partners, EPA enforcement efforts will mitigate climate change and limit exposure to the scourge of PFAS contamination, while addressing the reality that, for too long in the United States, the worst effects of pollution have plagued overburdened communities.” 

    In selecting initiatives for the FY 2024-2027 cycle, EPA used three criteria to evaluate existing initiatives and to consider new initiatives: (1) the need to address serious and widespread environmental issues and significant noncompliance, particularly in overburdened and disadvantaged communities; (2) a focus on areas where federal enforcement authorities, resources, and/or expertise are needed to hold polluters accountable and promote a level playing field; and (3) alignment with the EPA’s broader Strategic Plan, which includes tackling the climate crisis and advancing environmental justice. 

    The 2024-2027 National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives are: 

    Mitigating Climate Change - Tackling the climate crisis is an urgent priority. EPA will use its enforcement and compliance tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, helping to limit the worst effects of climate change. The initiative will focus on three separate and significant contributors to climate change: (1) methane emissions from oil and gas facilities; (2) methane emissions from landfills; and (3) the use, importation, and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). EPA has documented widespread noncompliance in all three of these areas, resulting in potentially tens of thousands of tons of unlawful emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. This initiative will help achieve EPA’s goals to combat climate change while also addressing significant noncompliance in specific industry sectors. 

    Addressing Exposure to PFAS - Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals are toxic, persistent “forever chemicals” that have caused widespread contamination in our air, water, and land throughout the country. This initiative will focus on implementing EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap and hold responsible those who manufactured PFAS and/or used PFAS in the manufacturing process, federal facilities that released PFAS, and other industrial parties who significantly contributed to the release of PFAS into the environment. Ensuring these entities properly identify and characterize contamination, control ongoing releases, and comply with both existing and future environmental requirements will help address this larger environmental threat.    

    Protecting Communities from Coal Ash Contamination - This initiative will focus on the threat presented by the hundreds of millions of pounds of coal ash, also known as coal combustion residuals (CCR), found throughout our country in on-site landfills, settling ponds, and other coal plant surface impoundments. Coal ash, a waste product from burning coal for energy, contains contaminants such as mercury, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic, which are associated with cancer and other serious health effects. This initiative will focus on the approximately 300 facilities nationwide that are collectively responsible for approximately 775 coal ash units. Neighborhoods located near these facilities are often communities with environmental justice concerns.  

    Reducing Air Toxics in Overburdened Communities - This initiative will address the serious threat to communities that comes from unlawful exposure to regulated hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from nearby industry. Many of these pollutants, such as benzene, ethylene oxide, and formaldehyde, are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious neurological, reproductive, developmental, and respiratory health effects when breathed or ingested through the food chain, including harm to children. This initiative will seek to target, investigate, and address noncompliance with clean air standards designed to protect public health, with a focus on sources of HAPs in communities already highly burdened with pollution impacts.    

    Increasing Compliance with Drinking Water Standards - This initiative seeks to ensure that the approximately 50,000 regulated drinking water systems that serve water to residents year-round, referred to as Community Water Systems (CWSs), comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). Each year thousands of CWSs continue to violate one or more drinking water standards, exposing millions of people to potential health risks. During the next four years, EPA will ramp up its field presence, take impactful enforcement to increase compliance, and offer more compliance assistance to prevent and address public health risks. 

    Chemical Accident Risk Reduction - This initiative seeks to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic chemical releases, and to address the problem of avoidable chemical incidents that continue to occur throughout the country. Thousands of facilities nationwide make, use, and store extremely hazardous substances. Disastrous fires, leaks, and explosions at these facilities can result in fatalities and serious injuries, evacuations, shelter in place orders, toxic exposure, and other harm to workers, first responders, and neighboring communities. EPA has found significant noncompliance with companies who handle extremely hazardous substances and will target companies that choose not to comply with risk management requirements established to protect public health and safety from extremely hazardous chemical releases.   

    To help inform the selection of the FY 2024-2027 NECIs, EPA solicited public comment via a Federal Register notice to provide ample opportunity for stakeholder input. EPA also considered input on this cycle of NECIs from states, territories, and Tribes, as well as from the public, environmental groups, and regulated entities. 

  • 16 Aug 2023 5:09 PM | Michael Lazo (Administrator)

    TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) and BASF Corp. have reached a revised, final settlement agreement that secures natural resource restoration and resolves state-based natural resource damage claims for natural resource injuries at and related to the Ciba-Geigy Superfund Site in Toms River, Ocean County.

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  • 16 Aug 2023 5:08 PM | Michael Lazo (Administrator)

    Publish Date

    August 16, 2023

    Summary

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking public review of and comment on its tentative decision to approve a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) cleanup and disposal plan, submitted by Russo Meadowlands Park, LLC, for the Former Henkel Corporation sSite located at 651 12th Street in the Borough of Carlstadt, Bergen County, New Jersey. Any person wishing to comment should do so within 30 days of the date of the public notice. Once the public comment period closes, EPA will consider any comments submitted during the period before making a final decision. 

    Former Henkel Russo PCB Community Update Fact Sheet (pdf) (234.61 KB)

    Former Henkel Russo Draft RBDA Approval Final (pdf) (739.02 KB)

    Former Henkel Russo Proposed Approval Application (pdf) (1.76 MB)

    Applicants or Respondents

    Russo Meadowlands Park, LLC

    570 Commerce Boulevard
    CarlstadtNJ 07072
    United States

  • 16 Aug 2023 5:06 PM | Michael Lazo (Administrator)

    Public comments accepted until September 15

    August 16, 2023

    Contact Information

    David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)

    (617) 918-1017

    BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to remove the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, located in Kittery, Maine, from the National Priorities List (NPL), commonly referred to as Superfund. EPA has determined that the site cleanup is complete, and no further remedial action is required. Operation, maintenance, and monitoring activities will continue at the site as needed, as well as five-year reviews to ensure the remedies continue to protect human health and the environment. The agency will accept public comments on the proposed deletion until September 15, 2023.

    Site Background:

    The 278-acre Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is a restricted access military facility located on Seavey Island in the Piscataqua River at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbor between Kittery, Maine, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Shipbuilding activities in Portsmouth Harbor date back to 1690. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was established as a government facility in 1800. The first government-built submarine was designed and constructed there during World War I, and a large number of submarines have been designed, constructed, and repaired at this facility since 1917. Today, the shipyard employs approximately 5,000 civilians and approximately 200 active-duty military personnel with the primary mission being the conversion, overhaul, and repair of submarines for the US Navy.

    Contamination at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard resulted from shipbuilding and submarine repair work, landfill operations, spills and leaks from industrial operations and piping, storage of batteries and other materials, filling of land, and outfalls to the river. Seven areas on and around the Shipyard have been identified for investigation. Contamination detected in groundwater, soils, and sediments include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs), metals, and benzene. After the site was added to the NPL in 1994, extensive cleanup work was conducted over the following decades to address contamination issues, which have now been completed. The State of Maine has reviewed and commented on this action and concurs with EPA’s proposed deletion of this site from the National Priorities List.

    Proposed Deletion Information and How to Comment:

    Long-term stewardship will be ongoing to maintain institutional controls, security and ensure future land use is consistent with the remediation. EPA will continue to assess the environmental remediation work performed at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Superfund Site every five years to ensure the remedy continues to protect human health and the environment, as required by the Superfund law. A proposed or final deletion does not prevent future actions under the Superfund law.

    The NPL tracks the nation’s most contaminated sites that threaten human health or the environment. Sites on the list are eligible for cleanup under the Superfund program and once all the remedies are successfully implemented, EPA removes sites or parts of sites from the list.

    EPA’s 30-day public comment period on the proposed deletion will begin August 16, 2023, and will end on September 15, 2023. The public or other interested parties may submit comments by mail or email:

    Mail:

    Robert Lim
    US EPA Region 1 Mail code: 07-1
    5 Post Office Square, Suite 100
    Boston, MA 02109-3912
    Email: lim.robert@epa.gov

    The Administrative Record on the Proposed Deletion can be found here: https://www.navfac.navy.mil/Business-Lines/Environmental/Products-and-Services/Environmental-Restoration/Mid-Atlantic/Portsmouth-NSY/Administrative-Record/

    All Site related materials can be found on at: https://www.navfac.navy.mil/Business-Lines/Environmental/Products-and-Services/Environmental-Restoration/Mid-Atlantic/Portsmouth-NSY/

    Materials can also be accessed at:

    Rice Public Library
    8 Wentworth Street
    Kittery, ME 03904
    (207) 439-1553

    Portsmouth Public Library
    175 Parrott Street
    Portsmouth, NH 03801
    (603) 427-1540

    For more information or to have a hard copy sent to you, please contact: Charlotte Gray, EPA Community Involvement Coordinator, gray.charlotte@epa.gov, Office: 617-918-1243, Toll free: 1-888-372-7341 ext. 8-1243

  • 15 Aug 2023 5:11 PM | Michael Lazo (Administrator)

    The site of the former Gilbert and Bennett Wire Mill fostered Redding’s growth, but it’s long since suffered a reversal of fortune, according to First Selectman Julia Pemberton.

    “The history of Redding is built around the history of this wire mill,” Pemberton said. “And this mill has sat vacant and derelict for about 34 years.”

    A new $200,000 remediation grant approved by the state in June will help wrap up a long running clean up project, as the town considers redeveloping the former mill as a mixed use development.

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  • 10 Aug 2023 12:20 PM | Michael Lazo (Administrator)

    Today Governor Maura Healey signed legislation extending the eligibility deadlines for the Massachusetts Brownfields tax credits program by five years. The legislation had been included in the budget bill, which had recently been passed by the Massachusetts House and Senate. 

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  • 10 Aug 2023 12:18 PM | Michael Lazo (Administrator)

    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced four appointments to new and existing leadership positions with DEC's Executive and Regional teams.

    "I am excited to announce key DEC leadership additions and changes that are critical to sustaining the success of New York's environmental protection policies and programs," Commissioner Seggos said.

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  • 10 Aug 2023 12:17 PM | Michael Lazo (Administrator)

    On April 17, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) published its final Environmental Justice rules (EJ Rules). The EJ Rules stem from New Jersey’s first-of-its-kind Environmental Justice Law (EJ Law), enacted in September 2020 (N.J.S.A. 13:1D-157 et seq.). 

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