EPA Modifies Grasse River PCBs Cleanup Plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has modified a plan to address sediment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at the Grasse River Superfund Site in Massena, New York.

Image source: Thew Associates

The modification calls for removal of an additional 90,000 cubic yards of sediment from an area of the river near Snug Harbor, instead of capping.

“EPA continues to listen closely and respond to the needs of this community as a priority, and we are working hard with our state and tribal partners to advance the cleanup of this critically important river system,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “The modification to the plan will provide for the removal of more sediment and will ensure that the new tugboat can operate efficiently and effectively, all while remaining on track with the project.”

Snug Harbor is a small embayment (an embayment is a part of a body of water that extends beyond the general shoreline) on the north shore of the Grasse River, located about a third of a mile upstream from where it joins the St. Lawrence River.

The change is being made to accommodate a new, larger tugboat purchased by the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, a wholly-owned government corporation, which operates its tugboat out of Snug Harbor.

The new tugboat will have greater engine power and will require deeper navigational draft than its current tugboat.

As a result, Snug Harbor and the channel leading to the harbor from the St. Lawrence River will need to be dredged, with capping as necessary, to maintain the protectiveness of the cleanup remedy.