Kent, N.Y. (6/30/2020) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has selected a remedy for the Arsenic Mine Superfund Site in Kent, N.Y. that includes offering to purchase certain contaminated properties and permanently relocate the affected residents who choose to move in order to prevent exposure to arsenic-contaminated soil. Once the properties are vacated, the homes will be demolished.
“We are pleased that EPA’s outreach to impacted residents and our collaborative engagement with local, state and federal partners has brought us to a point where we can now offer property owners a remedy to protect residents from arsenic-contaminated soil,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “EPA previously took actions at the Arsenic Mine Site that have addressed the immediate risks by reducing residents’ exposure to arsenic contamination in the short-term and, today, we offer a way forward to mitigate the risks over the long-term.”
EPA proposed the Arsenic Mine site to the National Priorities List (NPL) on June 3, 2019, added the site to the Administrator’s Emphasis List in July 2019 to consider public comments received on the proposal and make a final listing determination, and listed the site on the NPL in November 2019.
The Arsenic Mine Site includes a former mine that was operated intermittently from the mid-1800s through approximately 1918 to extract arsenic for manufacturing products, such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Decades later, residential houses were built on properties around and downslope from the former mine. Arsenic-contaminated soils are found on the residential properties.
Residents with private drinking water supply wells impacted by arsenic contamination at the site are currently utilizing treatment systems or bottled water. EPA has met one-on-one with residents and government partners and repaired a drinking water system where the potable water well had been compromised. EPA continues to regularly monitor residents’ drinking water supplies to ensure that treatment systems continue to be effective.
To reduce the potential for local residents’ short-term exposure to elevated levels of arsenic in the soil, EPA installed barriers to contaminated soil in high-use areas. EPA has also implemented measures to reduce tracking of arsenic-contaminated soil indoors by removing or replacing contaminated soil at the affected properties in gardens and areas used by pets and livestock. These specific measures vary based on the use of each property.
EPA’s selected remedy includes offering to buy certain properties and permanently relocate those affected residents. Permanent relocation will include federal financial and logistical support for residents to help them move away from the site permanently and residents will be assisted in the relocation process, including identifying and moving into replacement residences.
The vacated homes will be demolished. This alternative includes institutional controls, such as environmental easements, that will limit the future use of the properties. Until the residents from each affected residence are permanently relocated, or until a final remedy is completed, periodic inspections and maintenance of the existing protective measures at each occupied residence will be performed, as necessary, to ensure the effectiveness of these measures in eliminating exposure pathways in the areas where these measures were installed. The estimated cost of EPA’s selected remedy is $5.83 million.
To view the EPA’s Record of Decision for the site, please visit www.epa.gov/superfund/arsenic-mine
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