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Health Concerns Focus At Superfund Site Meeting

The second meeting of the Powers Chemco property site at Glen Cove City Hall last Thursday night focused on health concerns in the surrounding area. Spokesmen from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Department of Health (DOH) and other environmental experts discussed the extent of the contaminated soil and water at the site. It was a continued discussion on the proposed clean-up of the State Superfund site, which was formerly occupied by the Columbia Ribbon and Carbon

Manufacturing Company, and now located within the 15-acre Konica Minolta property.

 

“After careful studies, we found that the contaminated soil and water table poses no threat to nearby residences,” said Nathan Epler, a hydrogeologist from the environmental consulting and management firm Roux Associates. 

 

Epler said that in 2007-2008 a soil vapor intrusion investigation was conducted at residences adjacent to the site so see if any contamination was impacting people’s homes. The study found that there was low level contamination in the soil vapor but, “not at levels where action was needed.” 

 

In 2011-2012, a follow up investigation was conducted to further delineate the levels of contamination within the soil.

 

Joe DeFranco, director of environmental protection of the Nassau County Department of Health, said that his department has done analysis of the site to make sure the community will be protected during all of the remediation.

 

He listed the inhalation of contaminated air as the primary exposure route during the excavation process. 

 

“We are putting a Community Air Monitoring Plan (CAMP) in place, which provides specific procedures for measuring, documenting, and responding to potential airborne contaminants during the remedial action,” said DeFranco.

 

He listed other possible routes of exposure as contaminated drinking water or derma contact from touching contaminated soil.

 

“As far as the drinking water is concerned, it has already been stated that public supply wells are not contaminated and the NCDOH monitors these wells on a regular basis. As for the public getting contaminated soil on their skin, there is no chance of that happening as that situation doesn’t exist here.” 

 

One resident at the meeting was concerned about the safety of neighborhood children, saying that there were two elementary schools and a playground within a half mile of the contaminated property.

 

“The state is continuously monitoring the air, particulate and soil at the site,” said Epler. “We are making sure that nothing migrates off of that site.”

 

Another question concerned the purity of the clean fill that will replace the contaminated soil at the site.

 

“The clean fill or fill dirt is being transported in from private gravel quarries and sand pits. The fill is tested to make sure that it is 100 percent clean.”

 

Work is scheduled to begin in March on the property.

 

Project documents are available for review at the Glen Cove Public Library; additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on NYSDEC’s website at:  www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/detexternal/haz/details.cfm?pageid=3&progno=130028.