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GM AGREES TO CONDUCT SECOND-PHASE CLEANUP OF SUPERFUND SITE IN MASSENA, N.Y.

 GM AGREES TO CONDUCT SECOND-PHASE CLEANUP
 OF SUPERFUND SITE IN MASSENA, N.Y.
 NEW YORK, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the General Motors Corporation (GM) will perform the second part of a two-phase cleanup of the GM Superfund site in Massena, N.Y. which will cost an estimated $38 million to complete. GM will perform this phase of the cleanup under the terms of a Superfund Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO) issued by EPA last month.
 GM has already agreed to conduct the first phase of the remedy, selected in 1990, which addresses contamination in the St. Lawrence River system, on the neighboring St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, and in several areas on the GM plant site. The estimated cost of the first phase of the overall site cleanup is $78 million. Superfund is the federal program to address the nation's worst hazardous waste sites.
 EPA Regional Administrator Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff said, "We are pleased that the company will perform this part of the cleanup in response to our order at one of our most significant Superfund sites. Under EPA supervision, GM voluntarily carried out all the investigations and studies that led to the Agency's selection of the cleanup plans at this site. The company's continued cooperation means that the public is spared virtually all of the expense of financing this hazardous waste site cleanup. In addition, this extends the more amount of Superfund money available for sites where no responsible parties have yet been identified or are willing to step forward and perform the site cleanups."
 EPA's decision on the second-phase remedy for the remainder of the site was announced earlier this summer and involves cleanup measures that will utilize a combination of excavation, treatment and containment for two areas of the site, the East Disposal Area and the Industrial Landfill.
 The major components of the second phase remedy include:
 -- Excavation of all sludge, all visibly oily soil, and soil containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at concentrations at or above 500 parts per million (ppm) from the East Disposal Area at the site.
 -- Consolidation and in-place containment of less contaminated soils (containing PCBs at concentrations above 10 ppm and below 500 ppm) and groundwater in the East Disposal Area through the use of a composite cap and a slurry wall. (The slurry wall is contingent on the results of additional groundwater testing to be conducted during design.)
 -- Recontouring, regrading, and containment of contaminated material in the Industrial Landfill through the use of a composite cap and slurry wall.
 (The slurry wall is contingent on the results of additional groundwater testing to be conducted during design.)
 -- Treatment of excavated material from the East Disposal Area by either biological treatment (or another innovative treatment technology which has been demonstrated to achieve site treatment goals) or thermal destruction to be determined by EPA following first-phase treatability testing.
 -- Treatment residuals will be disposed of on-site.
 (During first phase treatability testing, other innovative PCB treatment technologies will be tested concurrently with biological treatment so that EPA will have additional information in the event that biological treatment proves to be unsatisfactory for treatment of any site material.)
 -- EPA will select the treatment technologies to be employed, in consultation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.
 In December 1990, EPA selected a remedy that addresses the majority of the contaminated areas at the site and targeted as a priority the removal and treatment of contaminants that most directly threaten the Reservation of the St. Regis Mohawk Nation and the St. Lawrence River.
 During the first phase of the cleanup, GM will collect additional data to better characterize some of the areas of the site. EPA will review these data to determine whether certain materials at the site should be contained, rather than treated.
 To date, as a result of EPA regional enforcement efforts, private parties have contributed approximately $600 million in Superfund settlements in New York. Approximately 50 percent of the 84 Superfund sites in the state have private responsible parties performing the work.
 Site Background
 The General Motors Company-Central Foundry Division Superfund site includes an active manufacturing plant, located in Massena on the St. Lawrence River and bordered on the east by the St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation. Due to a recent reorganization, the plant is currently part of General Motors' Powertrain Division. As a result of GM's past operations, hazardous substances, including PCBs, are present in several areas on the G.M. property, including four lagoons, two disposal areas (known as the "North" and "East" Disposal Areas), a 12-acre landfill (known as the "Industrial Landfill"), and miscellaneous soils, and in sediments in the St. Lawrence River system. Soils on the reservation, as well as reservation sediments in a reservation creek and in wetlands have been contaminated by site runoff and wastewater discharges. EPA's risk assessment shows that the primary human health risk posed by the site is through ingestion of contaminated fish and wildlife which have accumulated PCBs.
 -0- 9/29/92
 /CONTACT: Rich Cahill of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 212-264-2515/ CO: General Motors Corp.; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: New York IN: SU:


TS -- NY042 -- 4378 09/29/92 12:11 EDT
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Date:Sep 29, 1992
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