The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency removed most of the Robintech Inc./National Pipe & Plastics Inc. site in Vestal, N.Y., from the national priorities list of the federal Superfund program for contaminated hazardous waste sites.
The partial delisting follows years of cleanup that addressed about 10,000 tons of contaminated soil and millions of gallons of contaminated groundwater.
Both EPA and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation agree that the cleanup on 9.7 acres of the property has been completed, according to an EPA news release.
The 12-acre site is an inactive manufacturing operation that had several owners, going back to Robinson Technical Products from 1966 to 1970, Robintech, Inc. from 1970 to 1982, and Buffton Corp. from 1982 to 2006.
When Buffton Corp. bought the property, it was occupied by its two subsidiaries, which were the National Pipe Co. and Electro-Mech Inc. National Pipe made PVC pipe at the site, then relocated its manufacturing operation while keeping offices there.
In 1984, two years after Buffton bought the site, a wastewater sample collected by the state to verify discharge permit compliance found several volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that were not covered under the facility's existing permit. After further investigation, in June 1986, EPA put the site on the national priorities list of the Superfund program and the long clean-up process began.
EPA deletes sites or parts of sites from the national priorities list when no further cleanup is required to protect human health or the environment. National Pipe is among 15 sites in the region partially delisted while another 12 site were fully removed.
Because of nationwide concerns regarding vapor intrusion at residential and commercial properties near sites with VOC-contaminated groundwater, the soil vapor intrusion pathway is still being evaluated, according to the EPA.
Years, and sometimes decades, of complex investigation and cleanup work has gone into getting these sites to where they are today, EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez said in the news release.
"Removing cleaned up sites from the federal Superfund list signals to the surrounding communities that EPA has completed the job of transforming these once highly contaminated areas, which is a priority for EPA," Lopez said. "Superfund is a cornerstone of the work EPA does to protect human health and leave our communities better off than we first started."