USA: EPA Introduces Plan to Address Grasse River PCB Contamination

EPA Introduces Plan to Address Grasse River PCB Contamination

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a plan to clean up contaminated river sediment at the Grasse River Superfund site in Massena, New York.

Past industrial activities have contaminated the river sediment with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are potentially cancer-causing chemicals that build up in the food chain and accumulate in the fatty tissue of fish and mammals. The proposed plan requires dredging and capping of contaminated sediment in a 7.2 mile stretch of river. Approximately 109,000 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment would be dredged from near-shore areas of the river and backfilled with clean material.

Dredged sediment would be disposed of at a permitted, secure onsite landfill. In the river’s main channel, approximately 59 acres of contaminated sediment would be covered with an armored cap and another approximately 225 acres of contaminated sediment would be capped with clean sand and gravel to isolate the contamination from the surrounding environment.

The EPA will hold several formal public meetings and informal information sessions in Akwesasne and Massena, N.Y. to discuss its plan. The EPA is encouraging the public to comment on the plan through November 15, 2012.

Press Release, October 2, 2012

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