U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced the First Five-Year Review Report for the Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site.
The purpose of this five-year review is to determine whether the remedial actions at the Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site, located in eastern New York State from the Village of Hudson Falls to the Battery in New York City (the Site) are protective of public health and the environment and functioning as designed.
This five-year review was conducted for the Remnant Deposits and the in-river sediments of the Upper Hudson River. The review was conducted pursuant to Section 121(c) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601 (CERCLA) and 40 CFR 300.430(f)(4)(ii) and undertaken in accordance with the Comprehensive Five-Year Review Guidance, OSWER Directive 9355.7-03B-P (June 2001).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is addressing the Site in discrete phases or components known as operable units (OUs). The 1984 Record of Decision (ROD) for the first OU (OU1) addresses the Remnant Deposits and in addition called for a treatability study of the Waterford Water Works to determine whether upgrades or alterations of the facilities were needed. The 2002 ROD for the second OU (OU2) selected dredging to address polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated in-place sediments of the Upper Hudson River, as well as monitored natural attenuation (MNA) of PCB contamination that remains in the river after dredging.
This five-year review is a statutory review and will review the remedial action at the Remnant Deposit sites as well as the remedy currently being implemented for the Upper Hudson River sediments.
The remedy at the formerly exposed Remnant Deposits (OU1) at the Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site currently protects human health and the environment as the in-place containment and cap system prevents human exposure, and the perimeter fencing and signage continue to be maintained. However, in order for the remedy to be protective in the long-term, institutional controls need to be implemented to ensure that future use of the Remnant Deposits does not compromise the integrity of the cap system or result in unsafe exposures.
The remedy selected in the 2002 ROD is currently under construction. Based on data collected and reviewed to date, EPA expects that the remedy at OU2 will be protective of human health and the environment upon completion. In the interim, human exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled.
EPA anticipates that once the institutional control has been implemented at OU1 and the dredging and MNA remedy have been completed at OU2, the remedies at the Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site will be protective of human health and the environment. In the interim, exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled.
Dredging Today Staff, June 5, 2012; Image: hudsondredging