United States
                  Environmental Protection
                   Solid Waste and
                   Emergency Response
                                                     Spring 1993
 £ EPA      Superfund  At Work
                  Hazardous Waste Cleanup Efforts Nationwide
 Site Description:
 A tank farm in an urban area of
 Fulton, in Qswego County, NY
 Site Size; 1.6 acres
 Primary Contaminants:
 Volatile organic compounds
 (VOCs), polyehorinated biphenyls
 (PCBs) and heavy metals
 (arsenic, barium, chromium, lead)
 Potential Range of Health Risks:
 Direct contact with contaminants
 could result in skin irritation and
 increased risk of cancer
 Nearby Population Affected:
 13,000 people within three miles
 Ecological Concerns:
 Contamination of underlying
 ground water and the nearby
 Oswego River
 Year Listed on NPL: 1983
 EPA Region: II
 State: New York
 Congressional District: 29
             Fulton Terminals Cleanup Remedy
Excavation of
at least 4,000
cubic yards of
Success In Brief

Hazardous Waste Contributors Pay

for Fulton Terminals Site Cleanup

  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) achieved some
unique successes at the Fulton Terminals hazardous waste site in New
York After 35 years as a manufacturing facility, millions of gallons of waste
oils and sludges were improperly stored here enroute to an incinera-
tor. Tank leaks and spillage contaminated soil, ground water and the
Oswego River. EPA's Superfund program:
  •  Settled with 59 of 60 hazardous waste contributors to conduct a
    comprehensive $4 million cleanup and reimburse EPA $500,000
    for past costs;
  • Created an unprecedented financial arrangement that guaranteed
    payments from both major and minor parties, ensuring the
    timely cleanup of the site; and
  • Worked with area citizens to award a Technical Assistance Grant,
    ensuring their participation in the selection of the remedy and in
    the oversight of cleanup operations.
Fulton Terminals is a good example of EPA's responsiveness to com-
munity concerns, and illustrates Superfund's diligence in designing
equitable arrangements for cleaning up hazardous waste sites.

                             The Site Today
                               EPA swiftly reached legal
                             settlements with 59 of the 60
                             waste contributors and has filed
                             suit against the remaining
                             polluter to recover in excess of
                             $1 million in past costs.
                               To date, cleanup efforts have
                             abated surface soil contamina-
                             tion. Activities continue on the
                             site to treat contaminated
Soil heated to
vaporize contaminants,
vapor filtered to trap
Redisposal of
treated soil in

                 Superfund At Work
                                  Fulton Terminals, Oswego, NY
                              Spring 1993
              A Site Snapshot

   Fulton Terminals is a 1.6-    biphenyls (PCBs). Potential
acre tank farm bordering the    human health effects from
Oswego River in upstate New  direct exposure to these pollut-
York. The site is located in an   ants range from skin irritation
urban area: about 13,000      to an increased risk of cancer.
people live within three miles.    While the site has long been
                   Millions of gallons
               of waste oils and sludges
                  were stored in tanks
                  at Fulton Terminals
Millions of
gallons of
waste oils
and sludges
were stored
in tanks at
the site,      ^^^^^^^^^
which is     ^^^^^^^^"
now inactive.
  Tank leaks and spillage
that occurred while the site
was active contaminated the
ground water and soil, as well
as Oswego River sediments.
  The pollutants identified
were primarily volatile or-
ganic compounds (VOCs), as
well as heavy metals (such as
arsenic, barium, chromium
and lead) and polychlorinated
               by fences and
               signs, birds
               and small
               animals faced
               health effects
from contact with contaminated
soil or ground water.
  Site runoff periodically
subjected the nearby Oswego
River to contamination, a
potential risk for swimmers and
those eating fish from the river.
  A municipal water supply
serves local residents, so they
were not — nor are they now
— affected by polluted ground
                                                             Half a Century's
Contamination Begins
  Between 1936 and 1960, the
primary activity on the site was
roofing materials manufacturing,
with asphalt stored in above-
ground tanks and fuel oil in
underground tanks.
  From 1972 to 1977, Fulton
Terminals was a staging and
storage area for hazardous waste
materials scheduled for incinera-
tion at the Pollution Abatement
Services site. Both these sites are
on the National Priorities List
(NPL), EPA's roster of the
nation's uncontrolled or aban-
doned hazardous waste sites.
NPL sites are eligible for long-
term cleanup under the Super-
fund program, which Congress
enacted in 1980.
  In 1981, the owners of Fulton
Terminals initiated a voluntary
cleanup after receiving a citation
Fulton Terminals
                                                                       Voluntary cleanup ends
                                                                         • Site added to NPL
                                                           * Violations cited <
                                                      Voluntary cleanup begins
                                                 Superfund enacted
    Roofing materials
  manufactured on site
                            Improper hazardous
                               waste storage
                     1960  1972
                                       Page 2

                           Superfund At Work  •   Fulton Terminals, Oswego, NY   •   Spring 1993
mtamination to be Cleaned Up
       for not meeting federal and state
       standards for the operation of a
       hazardous waste storage facility.
       They emptied and removed four
       storage tanks, but abandoned the
       cleanup in 1983 after being fined
       by the New York State Depart-
       ment of Environmental Conserva-
       tion (NYSDEC) for using an
       unlicensed hauler of poly chlori-
       nated biphenyls (PCBs). The site
       was listed on the NPL in 1983.

       EPA Protects Natural Resources
         When EPA identified obvious
       soil contamination at Fulton
       Terminals, investigators quickly
       determined that site conditions
       presented an imminent and
       substantial endangerment. The
       contamination may have resulted
       from leaks or spills when the site
       owners were conducting transfer
     In 1986, a Superfund team
  immediately undertook cleanup
  actions which:
  • Secured the site by installing
     fences around the contami-
     nated area;
  • Excavated and removed about
     300 cubic yards of contami-
     nated soil and tar-like waste;
  • Removed all remaining storage
     tanks; and
  • Partially removed and plugged
     a storm and sewer pipe leading
     to the Oswego River.
     During the emergency removal,
  EPA obtained the cooperation of
  all but six of the site polluters to
  perform some of the cleanup

  New York State
  Begins Site Study
     After EPA's actions eliminated
  immediate threats at Fulton
                          Terminals, the state assumed
                          responsibility for the long-term
                          cleanup. NYSDEC undertook an
                          early study to evaluate site condi-
                          tions and possible remedies.
                            In June 1987, NYSDEC released
                          their proposed site cleanup plan
                          calling for Fulton Terminals'
                          hazardous wastes to be excavated
                          and incinerated.
                            Negative public comments
                          over the incineration proposal led
                          NYSDEC to resample the site. A
                          new report was issued in Febru-
                          ary 1988 recommending "cap-
                          ping" of site contaminants.
                          Capping involves covering the
                          contaminated area with layers of
                          soil or clay to create a physical
                          barrier against further exposure.
                         EPA conducts emergency cleanup
                                          State completes cleanup study
                                          EPA undertakes supplemental study
                                          Technical Assistance Grant awarded
                                                   EPA selects new cleanup technology

                                                        m • EPA settles with 59 parties
                                                                     EPA files lawsuit against
                                                                     one non-settlor
                                                                              Long-term remedy
                                                                              design underway
1990     1991
                                                   Page 3

                     Superfund At Work
       Fulton Terminals, Oswego, NY
Spring 1993
EPA Responds to
Community Concerns
  In response to public concern
over the completeness of the
NYSDEC study, EPA decided to
take over cleanup activities in
1988 and conducted a supplemen-
tal site study.
  Superfund investigators
worked through the winter
months to expedite site sampling.
Their extensive analysis effec-
tively complemented the state's
existing site information and
provided sufficient information
for a final remedy selection.
Man and Machine Cleanup often requires a wide array of techniques, from heavy
machinery to workers' hands. The cleanup activities at Fulton Terminals included the
removal of arsenic, barium, chromium and lead pollutants.
Increased Public Communication:
An Important Part of Fulton Terminals Cleanup
Citizens Support EPA's
Long-Term Cleanup Plan
  During removal activities at
the Fulton Terminals site, EPA
opened the lines of communica-
tion with citizens and involved
them in the site study and
cleanup process. In July 1989, EPA
released the supplemental study
results and held a public meeting
to discuss its proposed plan for
long-term cleanup.
  EPA explained the potential
cleanup alternatives for the site in
a proposed cleanup plan, high-
lighting the option Superfund
preferred. After reviewing public
comment on this plan, EPA chose
the official site remedy. The
selected approach, supported by
the comprehensive site studies
that preceded it, recommended
treating both contaminated soil and
ground water at Fulton Terminals.
  About 4,000 cubic yards of soil
will be dug up and cleaned. The
treatment involves heating the

        EPA  involved
         citizens in
        the study and
      cleanup process

contaminated soil to vaporize
contaminants, which are then
collected in specially designed
filters. The remaining treated soil
will then be put back in the
excavated areas on site. The
remedy also calls for the long-
term extraction and filtration of
polluted ground water.
  At public meetings, commu-
nity groups and residents of the
area near the Fulton Terminals
site were given the opportunity to
question EPA representatives
about the proposed remedies.
They commented on EPA's
proposal and endorsed the rem-
edy that was selected. Overall, the
public expressed satisfaction with
EPA's responsiveness at the
Fulton Terminals site.

EPA and Area Citizens
Work Together For a
Cleaner Community
  Much of EPA's success in
satisfying the community was
due to encouragement of citizen
involvement. In September 1988,
EPA awarded a $50,000 Technical
              continued on page 5
                                           Page 4

                     Superfund At Work
       Fulton Terminals, Oswego, NY
          Spring 1993
                        EPA Negotiates Cleanup
    For each site listed on the
  NPL, EPA makes concerted
  efforts to identify and locate the
  parties responsible for the site's
  contamination. EPA notifies
  these parties of their possible
  liability and enters into negotia-
  tions for the site cleanup. If a
  settlement cannot be reached,
  EPA has the statutory authority
  to conduct the work and then
  sue for its costs. Polluters that
  fail to cooperate in good faith
  face long legal battles as well as
  significant costs and penalties.
    EPA's negotiations at Fulton
  Terminals were effective and
  swift. The negotiating team
  came to terms with 59 parties in
  record time —only one month. In
  addition, the team negotiated a
  complex settlement scheme
  which assured fairness for "mi-
  nor" and "major" contributors.
    Among the 60 parties were
some who contributed relatively    settle in exchange for protec-
minimal amounts of contamina-    tion from further litigation.
tion to the site. EPA designed a     The pooled resources help to
"two-tiered" settlement approach   ensure that the cleanup re-
which allowed for one-time,        mains on schedule.
reasonable payments into a trust      EPA is vigorously pursuing
fund established for the cleanup.
  The major contributors then
agreed to pay for the remainder
of the site cleanup and two years
of EPA's oversight costs. The total
value of the work
to be conducted is
estimated at over
$4 million.
  This approach
generated incen-
tives for the parties
to settle. The major
                    *-s     •* J~      \^f
          the one non-settlor for at least
          $1 million in past costs. This
          case, filed in 1991, is still
contributors ben-
efited from the
initial, up-front
"cash-outs" of
minor parties, who
were willing to
It Pays to Cooperate with EPA
 59 parties pay for
 $4+ million
non-settlor faces
     $1+ million
Increased Public Communication
continued from page 4
Assistance Grant to the Fulton
Safe Drinking Water Action
Committee (FSDWAC).
  FSDWAC used the grant funds
to hire an independent technical
advisor. Together, they monitored
the planning of the Fulton Termi-
nals cleanup.
  A Syracuse newspaper reported
EPA as being especially respon-
sive to the group's concerns and
quoted the FSDWAC president as
saying, "I think it shows that, if a
community and an agency can
communicate, a lot of problems
can be resolved quite quickly."

    "If a community and
       an agency can
      a lot of problems
      can be resolved
       quite quickly."
            FSDWAC also wrote to EPA's
          Administrator to express appre-
          ciation for the Technical Assis-
          tance Grant. He wrote, "It is
          through this [grant] program, I
          believe, that you will see a benefi-
          cial interaction between those
          individuals living near or affected
          by Federal Superfund sites and
          EPA staff who are, in essence,
          working toward the same goal.
          .. .(C)ooperative efforts expedite
          remedial efforts."
                        continued on page 6
                                           Page 5

                     Superfund At Work
       Fulton Terminals, Oswego, NY
Spring 1993
Increased Public Communication
Defines Fulton Terminals Cleanup
continued from page 5
  FSDWAC also complemented
EPA's site manager for his efforts
in assisting FSDWAQ and on his
"sensitivity, commitment and
desire to protect human health
and the environment."

Community Oversight
Enhances Cleanup
  FSDWAC used EPA grant
resources to photograph the site
after a heavy rainstorm. The
photos showed standing water
where toxic chemicals had been
found in the topsoil.
  The water that collected then
flowed across the street and into
the Oswego River. In response
to citizen concerns, EPA built a
dirt barrier to prevent rain and
melting snow from carrying
contaminants off site.
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    (703) 603-8984 or send a letter to
      Superfund At Work(5502G),
         401 M Street SW,
       Washington, DC 20460.
   For additional copies of this or other
      Superfund At Work updates,
     contact the National Technical
        Information Service,
     U.S. Department of Commerce,
       5285 Port Royal Road,
       Springfield, VA22161,
      telephone (703) 487-4650.
      Success at



     EPA's efforts at the
   Fulton Terminals site have
   reduced risk of contamina-
   tion to the community and
   the Oswego River.
     EPA also recovered
   some of its past cleanup
   and oversight costs.
     An innovative settle-
   ment strategy resulted in
   over $4 million worth of
   cleanup work performed
   by 59 of the 60 parties
   responsible for the site.
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, D.C. 20460

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