On October 1, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed cleanup plan for the contaminated section of the Grasse River in Massena, New York. The EPA is holding several informational meetings and encourages the public to attend and comment. The meetings are being held in the Akwesasne and Massena at the following locations and times:
The Akwesasne meeting will occur on October 29 between 1-3 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the St. Regis Mohawk School Office for the Aging in the multipurpose room. The building is located on the corner of 385 Church Street and 29 Business Park Road.
The Massena meeting will occur on October 30 between 1-3 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Massena Town Hall in Board Room #30. The building is located on 60 Main Street in Massena.
According to the EPA, the Alcoa West facility in Massena release chemical waste from the 1950’s until the 1970’s. The chemical waste included PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and other harmful chemicals. The harmful chemicals created polluted sediment as far downstream as 7 miles.
In 1995, Alcoa was ordered to dredge nearly 3,000 cubic yards of the contaminated sediment in an area around the facility. Alcoa then tested several materials to be used as a cap over the sediment. The tested capping was successful at first, but the caps have been eroded and damaged.
The new cleanup plan will dredge about 109,000 cubic yards of the contaminated sediment and then backfill the gaps with clean material. The contaminated soil will then be placed in a secure landfill, and about 59 acres of the sediment will be covered with an armored cap. The other 225 acres of sediment will be capped with clean sand and gravel.
If you cannot attend either meeting, you can write your comments to the following address before November 15, 2012:
Young S. Chang, Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
290 Broadway, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10007-1866
Source: Environmental Protection Agency