April 4, 2001
Department of Energy, EPA and NY State Reach Agreement on
Addressing Groundwater Contamination near North Street in
Upton, NY - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the New York State
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have agreed on a
remedy to address groundwater contamination in western Manorville,
just south of Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The agreement,
reached after extensive regulator and public review and comment,
allows DOE and BNL to move forward with design, construction and
implementation of the proposed remedy.
The remedy is contained in a document titled the Operable Unit
VI Record of Decision. The document is available for review at the
libraries listed below and on BNL's web site at http://www.bnl.gov/erd/water/ou6/ou6rod.html
The Record of Decision (ROD) presents the selected remedial
action for a localized area of groundwater contamination in an
undeveloped section of western Manorville located about 1,000 feet
west of Weeks Avenue. Groundwater in this area contains the
chemical ethylene dibromide (EDB) at levels historically measured
up to 6.0 parts per billion at depths of 90 - 130 feet below the
land surface. Levels measured in recent monitoring are in the
range of 1.0 to 2.0 parts per billion. The state and federal
drinking water standard for EDB is 0.05 parts per billion.
EDB was once commonly used throughout the country as a
pesticide and gasoline additive. BNL applied EDB to fields on site
in the early 1970s to sterilize them prior to agricultural
research. In 1996, DOE offered free public water hookups to
residents in the Manorville area to prevent the potential for
future exposure to EDB.
The selected remedy for the EDB contamination involves active
treatment using a carbon system to clean groundwater. It works by
filtering groundwater through carbon to remove the contaminant and
returning the clean water to the aquifer.
In 1996, DOE had proposed to carefully monitor the EDB and
allow it to naturally degrade and disperse over time. However,
after reviewing several years of groundwater monitoring data,
receiving additional comments from regulatory agencies, and
obtaining data from a similar carbon system operating on Cape Cod,
the plan has been changed to use active treatment to speed cleanup
of the area.
The next step in the cleanup project involves the detailed
planning and design of the remedy, including the number and
locations of treatment wells. The construction and installation of
this treatment system will then proceed according to the design
once approved by DOE, EPA, and DEC.
The ROD agreement follows several public participation
activities held by DOE and BNL to obtain input on the Operable
Unit VI investigation and potential cleanup approaches. Two
information sessions and a public meeting on Operable Unit VI
issues were held at the Lab in the fall of 1996, and another
information session was held in the summer of 2000. These events
generated comments and concerns that have been made part of the
public record. The ROD contains a Responsiveness Summary, which
documents public comments on the proposed remedial actions and DOE
responses to those comments.
Environmental remediation at BNL is carried out under
requirements of the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response,
Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, commonly known as the
Superfund Law. BNL is on the Superfund list due to past operations
that have resulted in soil and groundwater contamination.
Remediation work is conducted under the framework of an
interagency agreement among the U.S. Department of Energy, the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and N.Y. State Department of
Environmental Conservation. The Department of Energy owns the BNL
property and oversees and pays for all cleanup costs at the site.
For more information, contact:
John Carter, U.S. Department of
Energy - Brookhaven Area Office, (631) 344-5195
Brookhaven National Laboratory, (631) 344-4423
Copies of the Operable Unit VI Record of Decision are available
for review at:
Longwood Public Library
800 Middle Country Rd
Middle Island, NY
Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Public Library
301 William Floyd
BNL Research Library
U.S. EPA, Region II Library
New York, NY