Sites added to cleanup list
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics' McCaffrey Street manufacturing facility was declared a state Superfund last February after high levels of PFOA were found in groundwater and soil. Environmental officials said last month that at least two other sites would be added to the state's list of hazardous waste sites.
The potentially harmful man-made chemical was found at Saint-Gobain's Liberty Street facility and a former Oak Materials site, now a vacant lot on John and Lyman Streets owned by Honeywell International, where tests also found two types of volatile organic compounds. Both sites were added last week to the state Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites, according to DEC.
PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid, is a man-made chemical formerly used to make Teflon-coated, nonstick products and has been linked to cancer and other diseases.
State consent orders required both Saint-Gobain and Honeywell International to test for contamination and submit cleanup plans for various sites.
The 0.6 acre lot at 3 Lyman St. was home to Oak Materials' Fluorglas division, according to DEC. Tests showed groundwater had PFOA levels up to 2,600 ppt. Two types of VOC's — trichloroethene (TCE) and trichloroethane (TCA) — were found in groundwater and soil, and in air samples taken from nearby homes. Both chemicals are solvents.
"Inhalation of site contaminants in indoor air due to soil vapor intrusion does not represent a concern for the site in its current condition," the John Street site's document record states. "However, the potential exists for the inhalation of site contaminants due to soil vapor intrusion for any future on-site development."
At Saint-Gobain's 11.4 acre site at 1 Liberty St., tests showed PFOA levels up to 48,000 parts per trillion (ppt) in groundwater and 5,300 ppt in surface water, and also some in sediments. The EPA's limit for drinking water is 70 ppt.
That facility manufactures tapes and films and applies adhesive coatings to tape and film products, according to the DEC. The original U-shaped building, built in 1950, housed the Nancy Shoe Company until 1968. Oak Materials Group bought the building in 1972 and it housed the company's Fluorglas division, which made tape and films, and in the other wing, circuit board materials. Allied Signal Inc., a predecessor to Honeywell, later acquired the Oak Materials Group in the mid 1980s. The facility expanded over the years until Saint-Gobain bought the property in 1999.
Reach staff writer Edward Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111 or @edamon_banner.
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