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Environment

Hooker Chemical Site Coming Off Superfund List

Hazardous Waste: Landfill in Niagara Falls holds TCDD-contaminated industrial waste

by Cheryl Hogue
August 22, 2012

One of the oldest Superfund sites is coming off the list of the U.S.’s most hazardous waste locales after nearly 30 years. EPA announced on Aug. 20 that it will take the Hooker-Hyde Park site in Niagara Falls, N.Y., off that list next month.

Hooker Chemical Co., purchased by Occidental Chemical (OxyChem) in 1968, disposed of some 80,000 tons of mainly chlorinated organic waste at the 15-acre site from 1953 to 1975. EPA estimates that the waste contained between 0.7 and 1.6 tons of toxic 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). In September 1983, EPA put this industrial landfill on its list of the most hazardous sites.

Waste at the site, which is surrounded by industrial facilities, has been left in place and capped to prevent precipitation from filtering through the contaminated soil. OxyChem has installed pump-and-treat technology to remediate contaminated groundwater and a system to collect dense, oily liquids, which are transported to a hazardous waste incinerator. These cleanup efforts are to continue in coming decades.

EPA says all appropriate responses—except for continued operation, maintenance, monitoring, and regular reviews—are completed at the Hooker-Hyde Park site.

The site is in the same city as Love Canal, a neighborhood built on a hazardous-waste disposal site in Niagara Falls also used by Hooker Chemical. President Jimmy Carter declared Love Canal a health emergency in 1978, a move that helped lead to the creation of the Superfund program. EPA deleted Love Canal from the list of most hazardous waste sites in 2004.

OxyChem did not respond to a request for comment before C&EN’s deadline.

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