April 3, 2019 (Nassau, NY) -
The Town of Nassau was recently notified by the United States
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that a site on Route 203 in the
Town, believed to be related to the Dewey Loeffel operations, had tested
positive for significant contamination. This contamination is
approximately 5.5 miles from the federal Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site.
previously known contamination at the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund
Site had been a disposal facility for more than 46,000 tons of
industrial hazardous wastes, including solvents, waste oils, PCBs,
sludge and solids. The contamination is two times the volume of the
infamous Love Canal.
EPA is currently investigating the source of contamination at this new site.
learning of this new contamination, the Town instituted a coordinated
outreach to potentially impacted residents along with contact to elected
officials at every level of government. The EPA, State Department of
Environmental Conservation (DEC), the State Department of Public Health
(DOH) and Rensselaer County Department of Health were partners in this
outreach and review.
The Town of Nassau Responded to this notification as follows:
• Nassau Supervisor, David Fleming, received notification by the EPA Regional Administrator on the afternoon of Thursday, March 14,
2019 that additional contamination had been discovered in the Town and
that further information would be made available that evening. The Town
was advised that a testing regimen to review the impact of the site to
nearby private drinking water wells would be implemented by EPA on Monday, March 18, 2019.
• The Town Received more detailed information from EPA related to the contamination at 6:18pm on Thursday, March 14, 2019.
Nassau Town Board met that evening to review the information presented
during the regular meeting of the Board and advised the public of the
discovery of an additional site of contamination in the town. Notice
was also provided on social media.
Friday morning, March 15, 2019, a large group of EPA officials and
response personnel provided a detailed update to the Town on a
conference call outlining the information available as well as the
expected response. EPA advised the Town that they were to begin testing
of area residential wells on Monday, March 18, 2019.
Town provided notice to EPA that the Town Board’s action plan involved
notifying area residents immediately of the contamination and expected
well testing in advance of EPA’s arrival on Monday, March 18. EPA concurred with this plan.
day, members of the Nassau Town Board visited each property identified
by the EPA as being potentially affected and provided all those
residences with the EPA Fact Sheet on the possible contamination and a
letter outlining the expected upcoming testing. The Town also advised
residents of its recommendation to begin utilizing bottled water until
the EPA test results were available.
County Department of Health provided bottled water at the direction of
the County Executive and backup water was supplied to the Nassau
Ambulance facility for access by impacted residents until the test
results and analysis of those results are concluded.
Town of Nassau requested additional outreach from EPA to other
officials and the Town has engaged in communications with surrounding
municipalities that faced the potential impact of contamination.
the permission of the Nassau Fire Company, the Nassau Highway
Department disabled the dry hydrant located at the subject property and
an impacted pond will not be utilized in the event of fire emergencies.
continued with elected officials, senior members of DEC, EPA and
representatives of DOH as the initial testing at the site was concluded.
of residential wells continued through March 21, 2019 with the Town of
Nassau being advised by the EPA Regional Administrator of the results on
Monday, April 1, 2019.
• Families were notified of the results of the testing on Monday April 1, 2019 and Tuesday, April 2, 2019.
• During the week of March 18th,
EPA collected water samples from 26 residential groundwater wells
located near the site. Samples were analyzed for a suite of chemicals,
including PCBs, as well as volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.
Preliminary results show that TCE was detected in three of the 26
wells, at levels below the federal and state drinking water standards,
and the remaining wells were all non-detect.
of an abundance of caution, the Village of Nassau’s public supply well
#2 (more than a mile away) was also sampled and was also non-detect.
data related to this contamination will take several more weeks.
Additional site related testing related to the high levels of PCBs that
were discovered on the site will continue into the next two months.
• At this time the area of contamination appears to be centered on one property related to Dewey Loeffel operations.
toxic legacy of the Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site continues to impact a
community trying to heal from decades of contamination. I’m personally
appreciative of my colleagues in local government for their quick
response and professionalism in this most recent discovery. Nassau is
also appreciative of the constant outreach by the EPA Regional
Administrator Pete Lopez and his team and the DEC team led by
Commissioner Basil Seggos. Their leadership, expertise and sincere
concern in this most recently discovered contamination has meant a great
deal,” said Nassau Supervisor David Fleming.
part of this ongoing investigation by federal officials, the Town is
asking anyone with information related to other properties around the
Loeffel Superfund Site and surrounding communities that were utilized
for trucking or other operations relating to the Dewey Loeffel Waste
Dump from 1950-80 or even later, to please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
for far too long has experienced two realities for its water
resources. One of unimaginable natural beauty and clean water flowing
from the Rensselaer Plateau with wells yielding some of the best water
you will ever have to quench your thirst. The other is the reality of
the Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site impacting drinking water for
generations around the area. We all deserve the same future. Our
community is thankful for those in the trenches fighting with us to
secure clean water and a clean environment for this generation and those
to come,” said Fleming.
is requesting that the public respect the privacy of the impacted
families as they are provided information and services by various
federal and state agencies.
Town’s vigilance and coordination with local, state and federal
officials as well as its residents will continue along with the response
to and remediation of this latest discovery of contamination.