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GLIN==>> GM to start removal of contaminated sediments...

Posted on behalf of  Wanda Ayala <AYALA.WANDA@epamail.epa.gov>

Rich Cahill (212) 637-3666


FOR RELEASE: Thursday, June 10, 1999  

(#99091) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced
today that 23,000 cubic yards of contaminated
sediments and soil will be removed this summer
from the General Motors (GM) Superfund site in
Massena, New York for disposal at a licensed
facility in Utah.  The total includes 13,000 cubic
yards of contaminated sediments dredged from
the St. Lawrence River and stored on the site since
1995, and 10,000 cubic yards of contaminated
sludge from the active wastewater treatment plant on
the GM property.  The material is contaminated with
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from past GM
operations at the site.  GM is paying for the work,
which will be supervised by EPA, the St. Regis
Mohawk Tribe and the New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation.  

"The creation of this cleanup plan is the dividend of
cooperation between EPA, the St. Regis Mohawk
Tribe, New York State and GM," said EPA Regional
Director of the Superfund Program Richard Caspe. 
"EPA and the Tribe also developed an air monitoring
plan that will protect the health of area residents
during the cleanup.  It will detect any release of
PCBs caused by the work and  trigger the shutdown or
modification of activities if that happens."

"We are pleased to finally see the removal of
contaminated material from the GM site.  This is
hopefully just the beginning of a major removal of
contaminated waste from all areas of the Superfund
site," said St. Regis Mohawk Tribe Chief Executive
Officer Edward D. Smoke.  "The Tribe's Environment
Division will continue to review all design documents
and provide on-site supervision of all cleanup actions
to ensure the protection of Mohawk people and
natural resources," said Ken Jock, St. Regis Mohawk
Tribe Environment Division Director.
The action is the result of an EPA decision this
March that called for the off-site disposal of the
contaminated material rather than on-site treatment. 
The removal of the contaminated sediments will be
performed in conjunction with the cleanup of the
sludge in the wastewater treatment lagoons at the
plant.  PCB wastes are regulated under the Toxic
Substances Control Act.

EPA expects that the first trainload of contaminated
material will leave the site for out-of-state disposal
next week, and the last shipment of material from
the site will be at the end of August.

Site Background 
GM has operated an aluminum die-casting plant at the
site since 1959.  Until 1980, PCBs were a component
of hydraulic fluids used in die-casting machines at
the GM facility.  PCBs provided protection against
fire and thermal degradation in the high temperature
environment of the die casting machines.  GM no
longer uses the die-casting process or PCBs at the
facility; however, PCB-contaminated materials remain
at the site.