USA: DEC Reveals Hudson River Cleanup Plan

DEC Reveals Hudson River Cleanup Plan

The final cleanup plan for contaminated sediments in the Hudson River adjacent to the former Harbor at Hastings site will remove 60,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil and 24,000 cubic yards of sediment containing PCBs and metals, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced.

Wire and cable manufacturing operations by Anaconda Wire & Cable Company over the years caused the release of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and metals to site soil, groundwater and sediments.

The cleanup plan will result in a reduction of contaminants in the Hudson River and will have minimal impact on habitats,” DEC Commissioner Martens said. “In order to come up with a comprehensive plan that was best for public health and the environment, we engaged several partners like community residents, the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, Atlantic Richfield Company, Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson. We continuously strive to improve natural resources like the Hudson River so residents and visitors can enjoy this empire state jewel.”

The Record of Decision (ROD) is two-fold and includes an amendment to the March 2004 ROD for the on-site soil areas west of the railroad tracks and a remedy for the off-site impacts, primarily to sediments of the Hudson River.

The final Record of Decision Amendment for on-site contamination includes the following changes:

-modifies the alignment of the sheet pile wall offshore of the northwest corner of the site to extend into the Hudson River, in conjunction with the proposed off-site remedy, to provide containment and enable the recovery of liquid PCBs

-allows installation of either a sheet pile wall or sloped shoreline cover system in areas that do not require containment of liquid PCBs

-contains the remaining on-site contamination in the northwest area using a shoreline barrier in conjunction with a groundwater control and treatment system, a soil cover system and monitoring to address groundwater and storm water management

-eliminates the slurry wall from the northwest corner containment area

-constructs and operates a recovery system for liquid PCBs in the northwest corner

-excavates and samples outfalls and associated pipe bedding from Building 52

-integrates sediment remediation with the on-site soil contamination remedy.

The Record of Decision for the off-site impacts to sediments in the Hudson River:

-constructs a sheet pile wall offshore of the northwest corner of the site extending into the Hudson River with backfill to create approximately .88 acres of new land

-installs recovery wells to remove liquid PCBs material from beneath the newly created land

-dredges sediments which contain greater than one ppm PCBs and metals exceeding background to a depth of six feet in near shore areas (within 60 to 80 feet of the shoreline), including the former marina adjacent to the site

-dredges sediments in targeted deepwater areas at a higher threshold of 50 ppm PCBs, to a depth of six feet

-backfills or caps dredged areas, depending on the level of contamination remaining

-develops and implements a mitigation plan for habitat impacts associated with the installation of the bulkhead wall and placement of fill into the river.

The clean-up plan for the site was finalized after a 60-day comment period held earlier this year. The cost of the on-site and off-site remedies is estimated to be over $250 million. Atlantic Richfield Company, the responsible party and successor to the Anaconda Wire and Cable Company, will pay for the clean up. Design and remediation will take approximately four to five years.

The site is located on 28 acres along the Hastings-on-Hudson waterfront (One River Street, Village of Hastings-on-Hudson), separated from the village commercial district by railroad tracks. The landmass was constructed in the early 1900s by placement of fill material into the Hudson River. The site was previously occupied by the Anaconda Wire and Cable Company, which ceased operations in 1974.

The final Record of Decision Amendment for on-site contamination and the Record of Decision for the Hudson River sediment clean up was developed in consultation with Atlantic Richfield Company, the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson, Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson.

Village of Hastings Mayor Peter Swiderski said, “After years of hard work, the Village is delighted to see the state issue a ROD which will result in a clean-up that protects the health of the residents while remediating the property to levels which will allow productive use. We applaud those who worked on the plan for their careful deliberation. We are grateful for the analysis expended on our behalf. The DEC worked with the Village and Atlantic Richfield Company to arrive at a reasonable, thoughtful approach to a complicated site. The ROD reflects that consideration. This is a historic moment for our Village. We look forward to a future where we finally have access to our greatest natural resource – our waterfront – again.

Eric Larson, Hastings-on-Hudson Operations Project Manager for Atlantic Richfield Company, said, “This Record of Decision is a major step forward in our progress on this site. For the last several years, Atlantic Richfield Company has been working closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), Village officials, and representatives from Riverkeeper to develop a comprehensive cleanup plan for this complex site that will address historic impacts from the former Anaconda Wire & Cable manufacturing plant. As the process moves forward, we will work to design and implement a final remedy in coordination with NYSDEC that will lay the ground work for Atlantic Richfield’s portion of the One River Street property to be returned to productive use for the benefit of the community.”

Riverkeeper is encouraged that DEC and Atlantic Richfield Company are progressing on the cleanup plans for this long-polluted site,” said Paul Gallay, president of Riverkeeper. “We need a full cleanup that addresses contamination both onshore and off, in order to protect the health of the public and the river and facilitate proper redevelopment of this singular property. We at Riverkeeper are ready to help make both of those goals a reality.” Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said, “All the critical parties-including the village leadership and citizens, Atlantic Richfield Company, Riverkeeper and DEC- worked diligently and with a collaborative spirit to achieve this major milestone. Once the cleanup is complete, the river will be cleaner, and Hastings will be able to revitalize its Hudson waterfront for the public to enjoy and as a catalyst for economic development.” Harbor at Hastings (Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County) documents are available on DEC’s website.


Dredging Today Staff, May 14, 2012; Image: hudsondredging