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DEC Lays Out Plan for Cleanup of Oser Ave Hazardous Waste

New York Department of Environmental Conservation releases details of cleaning toxins from soil, groundwater in Haupauge.

 

State officials announced a plan is in place to begin cleanup of the hazardous waste plume on Oser Avenue in Hauppauge. 

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released details on their remediation plan to cleanup the hazardous waste soil and groundwater contamination at 100 Oser Avenue. 

"It’s further action on behalf of DEC to address something that’s been a known contaminant," said Leg. John Kennedy Jr, R-Nesconset, who has long been working on the issue. "There’s significance still to this day associated with what went on there." 

The DEC cleanup would attempt to remove tetracloroethene, commonly known at PCE, from the soil and groundwater of 100 Oser Avenue. Sands Textile Corporation, a textile manufacturer who leased the building and ground from 1975 - 1985, used PCE to dry clean different textiles and disposed of the chemical into two aboveground storage tanks and two below ground fuel oil tanks, which are believed to have leaked.

These leaks created an underground plume of toxic waste that has lead to contamination of 100 Oser Avenue, the adjacent properties 90 Oser Avenue and 110 Oser Ave.

The DEC has labeled 100 Oser Avenue Class "2" site on the State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites. It "represents a signficant threat to the public health or the environment," according to the DEC. 

State employees will begin on-site chemical oxidation of the area to reduce concentratiosn of PCE in the local groundwater the discharges into the wetlands. In November 2000, cleanup efforts found traces of the toxic waste could be found as far away as Stump Pond in Blydenburgh County Park and New Mill Pond in Caleb Smith State Park. 

The DEC will continue a soil vapor monitoring program to measure PCE's potential seepage into local ground and soil. In addition, they will continue monitoring the decline of groundwater contamination using Suffolk County Water Authority's existing wells, in addition to creating new ones for monitoring purposes.  

The DEC states their remedy will leave untreated hazarous waste in the area so "a long-term monitoring program will be instituted." Monitoring will include the "groundwater, soil gas, indoor air, and the wetlands sediment and surface water." The agency will also develop a site management plans for the area's future. 

DEC Officials could not be reached immediately for comment on Friday afternoon. 

Despite these cleanup efforts, the DEC plans to limit the use and development on the site, and restrict the building's future use of groundwater without water quality treatment. The building and property at 100 Oser Avenue is owned by Anward Chitayat, of Fort Salonga. 

State officials say soil vapor intrusion, or the PCE being vaporized and concentrating in indoor air spaces, is limited to the three buildings: 100 Oser Ave, and neighboring 90 and 110 Oser Ave. Nearby public water supply wells are regularly treated and filtered for volatile organic compounds like PCE.

Mild exposure to PCE can cause skin irritation while workers in job that use PCE may longterm may suffer nervous system damage, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's website under the U.S. Department of Health and Human services. The agency states the health effects of breathing in air or drinking water with low levels of PCE is unknown.  

"The industrial park is a great economic engine,  but we have some serious issues there," Kennedy said. 

The legislator said he will be sending the fact sheet on the proposed cleanup plan to Suffolk County Commissioner of Health James Tomarken and a hydrogeologist to scientifically evaluate the cleanup plan. 

Local residents who are interested in learning more about the cleanup can view the complete project documents by contacting the Nesconset branch of the Smithtown Public Library. 

A Fact Sheet from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has been attached to this document which DEC encouraged to be shared with residents and local business owners. 

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