Grasse River PCBs Removal: Massena Works Resume Soon

Aerial photo of cleanup support facility under construction in Massena, NY, Image source: EPA

Construction work is expected to resume later this month on a facility in Massena, New York, to support the $243 million dredging project to clean up PCBs from the Grasse River.

When constructed, the facility will be used as a staging area to support future dredging and capping operations. Before dredging work can start, the facility must be constructed and engineering plans and other design work completed.

Arconic Inc. (formerly Alcoa) is performing the cleanup work under an EPA order. EPA, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe are working together on the oversight and coordination of the various components of the cleanup project,” EPA said in their release.

“Our ability to protect people’s health and the environment is most effective when we work together and engage our local communities from a foundation of trust and transparency,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “Working collaboratively with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, the State, local governments and the community, we can get much accomplished as we meet our shared challenges head on.”

In 2013, EPA selected a plan to clean up river sediment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by dredging and capping of contaminated sediment in a 7.2-mile stretch of the Grasse River.

The 2018 construction activities are expected to include completion of a sheet pile wall along the staging area riverfront and construction of a dock facility; removal of a small amount of sediment along the shoreline next to the staging area; removal of soil in two areas along the north shore of the river near the Alcoa Bridge; re-opening of the secure landfill for the disposal of shoreline sediment and soil; and performance of an in-river capping test in small areas near the staging area.

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