Cleanup is underway this summer (2003) at the former
hazardous waste management facility through a controlled demolition of several
building structures. Located in the eastern portion of Brookhaven National
Laboratory, workers are taking down buildings piece by piece to preclude dust
production or other unnecessary exposure. The demolition marks a new phase
of the cleanup project that began with a 1996 remedial investigation that
identified the area as having unacceptable levels of Cesium-137 and
Strontium-90, particularly in the soils. Isolated areas also contain elevated
levels of mercury.
The first building to be taken apart was Building 483, a
lean-to structure that once served as a storage location at the facility. This
building was able to be re-used at the Collider Accelerator division. The debris
from the demolition of the remaining buildings is being trucked to the rail spur
adjacent to East Princeton Avenue by the old Landfill area where it will be
placed in rail cars for offsite disposal at a licensed facility.
|Workers take apart Building 483 of the former hazardous
waste management facility. Building 483 once served as the Laboratory’s
storage facility of drummed waste to be s
After the buildings and foundations (as required) are
removed, approximately 15,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil will be excavated
from an area of about 13 acres. In the fall, a new rail spur will be constructed
at the former hazardous waste management facility to support transport of the
soils. Excavation of the soils is scheduled for the spring of 2004.
The former Hazardous Waste Management Facility (HWMF) was
used from the 1940s to 1997 for processing, treating, and storing Brookhaven's
radioactive and hazardous wastes before transport and off-site disposal. As a
result of releases during operations at the facility, soil and building
foundations in this area became contaminated and must now be cleaned up.
|Cleanup of the ponded area is scheduled for the summer of 2004|
This wetland is a breeding ground of a state-endangered
species, the tiger salamander. The Laboratory will conduct excavation and
restoration activities in this area very carefully in order to minimize the
impact to the tiger salamander. Soil excavation will take place in the dry
season, after all adult and sub-adult tiger salamanders have left the wetland
The work being conducted at the former hazardous waste management facility is consistent with the Record of Decision agreed to by the Department of Energy, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. All work in this area is expected be completed by the middle of 2005.