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Topic: Issues related to the RCRA process

The new items published under this topic are as follows.

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Issues related to the RCRA process
The public comment period has ended. The agencies should be replying to all those who submitted comments within the next few months.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the NYS Department of Health (DOH) will be holding public involvement sessions regarding some of FMC's off site environmental investigations. The areas of concern for the open sessions will be the Air Deposition Area which is south of the canal to Rochester Rd. (RT 31) and between Main St. and the Orleans County line and the second area of concern are the properties transversed by Culvert 105 to Pearson Rd. These two areas are covered by Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Facilities Investigation (RFI) Volumes I, II and IV.

The sessions will be held at the Middleport Fire Hall, 28 Main St. on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, where the public can discuss the investigations, ask questions and make comments concerning the contents of the three volumes or any other matters pertaining to the remediation activities in Middleport. There will be two sessions. One from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM will be informal where the public can talk, one-on-one, with members of the agencies or the FMC Corporation. The other session will be held from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM and will start off with brief presentations by the agencies and FMC and then be opened to the public so verbal comments can be made and be placed in the record. Written comments can also be handed to the agencies during both sessions.

A written comment period will run from May 18 to July 2, 2009 where the public can send in their comments to the agencies. These comments should be mailed to:

Mr. Matt Mortifolio
NYSDEC Project Manager
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-7258

To view the text, maps and data tables of the RFI Volumes click here.

The complete volumes are available in the FMC Document Repository at the Middleport Village Library, 9 Vernon St. or at the FMC House at 17 Vernon St.

For more information you can go to the DEC web site by clicking here.

For a brief description of the three RFI Volumes, click the Read Full Article link below.

Posted by: BillA on May 15, 2009 - 01:22 PM  Read full article: 'Public Involvement Sessions' (324 more words)

Issues related to the RCRA process
The Middleport Community Input Group has been given maps generated by the agencies showing the arsenic soil contamination levels for the air deposition area of the village. These maps do not show levels for the areas north of the canal.

The agency maps have been drawn showing the averages for each residential property or, in the case of agricultural fields, the average for a 100 by 100 foot square. The first map shows the mean (average) for each property or square of surface soil samples. Typically surface soil sampling is taken from the top 3 inches. The second map shows the highest mean for either just surface or surface and subsurface (up to a foot deep) combined with outliers removed. Outliers are readings either so low or so high they don't make sense when compared to surrounding sampled areas. The location of these outliers are shown by dots on the map which are defined in the legend of the map. The third map is the same as the second only the outliers have not been removed for the calculation. The best map to look at is probably the one showing mean averages with outliers removed.

These maps are different than those generated by FMC which were included in the RCRA Facilities Investigation report, Volume II. The FMC maps were generated by feeding sampling results to a computer program which then drew the contamination levels. As is known for computer programs, the output is only as good as the input and the programing. The agency maps only used mathematics to determine a mean or average and do not show possible variances with in a property but draw each property or square one color. The FMC maps show how the levels of contamination may vary from one section of a property to another.

The agencies' maps are now in the document repository of this web site Click here to download them.

To download the maps from the RFI Volume II FMC generated, click here.

Posted by: BillA on Nov 19, 2008 - 01:42 PM  

Issues related to the RCRA process
This is an article which appeared in the publication Environmental Health Perspectives described the problems of the increasing demand for housing and the concerns of converting former agricultural land to residential developments, some which were once orchards. These orchard areas were treated with pesticides and other chemicals during there productive lifetimes. Now these former orchards are contaminated with arsenic and other chemicals.

The article goes through the history of chemical usage, how these chemicals entered the surrounding soil and how dangerous it is today. What can and should be done with these areas is reviewed.

In particular, the Barber Orchard private residential community development, a 500 acre subdivision near Waynesville, North Carolina, is described and how the arsenic contamination was handled.

To download the article in PDF format from the publication's web site click here.

To view the article in your web browser click here.

To go to the Environmental Health Perspectives home page click here.

Posted by: BillA on Oct 30, 2008 - 01:27 PM  

Issues related to the RCRA process
On October 28, 2008, Dr. Terri Bowers gave a presentation at the Junior High School on "Arsenic in the Environment". Dr. Bowers discussed how arsenic is a naturally occurring element in our environment, where it typically is found and how people are exposed to it. Some detail was given on the studies performed in New York State and in particular Middleport. To view the slides of Dr. Bowers' presentation click here.

For information about Dr. Bowers, click on the Read Full Article link below

Posted by: BillA on Oct 30, 2008 - 12:16 PM  Read full article: '"Arsenic in the Environment" by Dr. Terri Bowers' (142 more words)

Issues related to the RCRA process
RFI Volume 4 is now available in the Document Repository.

This volume covers the investigation of Culvert 105 from the inlet on the Coe Property near the railroad tracks to the sewage treatment plant at the north end of North Hartland Street. This Culvert is part an old storm drainage system which is underground south of the canal but an open ditch for part of its run north of the canal. It runs behind the properties on the east side of N. Hartland Street north of Sleeper St.

Early remedial actions last year cleaned up contamination and buried the open sections using culvert pipe between the canal at Margret Droman Park and Sleeper St.

You can go directly to the download section by clicking here. Look for the Volume 4 references. Volumes 1 and 2 are also in this section.

Posted by: BillA on Oct 21, 2008 - 12:17 PM  

Issues related to the RCRA process
These questions were submitted to the CIG through the "Leave a Comment" section of this web site

Why would FMC endanger all residents with the remediation of the soil by digging it, hauling it to a CAMU, and then testing it? If it is tested positive then it has to be removed again. How is it tested? Per what measurement per load is it tested before more is dumped onto it?

If CAMU is filled, why is there not a plan in place prior to remediation for another site instead of waiting until it is near full to find an alternative site? To be able to get another site it must be approved through several sessions by the NYSDEC, correct? Then this would alternately stop remediation and open ground with contaminates at the remedial site, correct?

With out a liner doesn't contaminates run off and run through the soils of the surrounding areas. Isn't this why the remediation is taking place now because of run off from FMC that contaminated the soil in and around Middleport? Your response to protecting the residents in the area by stating, "Due to the levels and nature of the contaminated soil that would be placed in the CAMU, there will be "little prospect of any migration" from the CAMU. Moreover, FMC has an active groundwater control system in place to deal with any migration." Does it deal with migration or does it only detect migration? Please explain. Thank you

Click on the "Read Full Article" link below to read FMC's answers.

Note: Feel free to leave comments.

Posted by: BillA on Oct 03, 2008 - 12:20 PM  Read full article: 'Q/A About the CAMU Proposal' (1196 more words)

Issues related to the RCRA process
Dr. Watts presentation "A Citizen's Role in the CMS and Risk Assessment" is now available on DVD. Beginning Monday, September 8, you can get a free copy at the Middleport Village Hall on Main St., the Middleport Free Library on Vernon St., the Middleport Family Health Center on Rochester Rd or by sending a request to

The DVD can be played on a regular DVD player connected to your TV or on your computer equipped with a DVD drive, not a CD drive, and with a player installed.

Dr. Daniel Watts is professor of chemistry and director of the Material Characterization Laboratory at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He provides technical expertise to the Middleport Remediation Advisory Group (MRAG) and the Middleport Community Input Group concerning the environmental remediation activities in Middleport being undertaken by FMC Corp.

During a workshop, which was held at the Middleport Scout House on August 12, Dr. Watts informed residents of their rights and responsibilities in terms of providing feedback and suggestions to the Agencies and FMC regarding the plans outlined in the Corrective Measures Study (CMS). He also provided additional information on the CMS process and identified the periods throughout the process when public input is sought.

In addition, Dr. Watts discussed the citizen's role in the determination of risk assessment in Middleport. Risk assessment is the process of identifying and documenting actual and perceived risks to human health or the environment and allow further evaluation and appropriate remediation responses.

If you prefer to review the slides Dr. Watts showed during his presentation, they are available in our document repository. Find them in the Meeting Presentations section or by clicking here.

Posted by: BillA on Sep 07, 2008 - 12:23 PM  

Issues related to the RCRA process
The text and diagrams illustrating the arsenic levels from RFI Volume 2 are now available in the RFI Volumes section of the Document Repository. This volume is for the air deposition area of Middleport which is that area south of the Erie Canal to both sides of Route 31 (Rochester Rd.) and both sides of Main St. east to the Niagara/Orleans County line.

Click here to go to that section of the repository.

The volume is in two section: 1) text and diagrams showing the area of concern for this volume, 2) diagrams showing the arsenic contamination at 3, 6, 9 and 12 inches in depth.

Note: The text references tables and figures which are not available on the web site due to their quantity, size and available space. CD's of the entire volume are available by contacting

Posted by: BillA on Aug 21, 2008 - 01:11 PM  

Issues related to the RCRA process
From the DOH, EPA and DEC:

In a recent letter to the village, an EPA representative included some general recommendations which the Agencies may provide to an individual homeowner on ways to limit exposure and risk to arsenic. Avoiding consumption of homegrown vegetables was one general recommendation. This was not intended to be interpreted as a general recommendation to avoid gardening or consumption of homegrown produce in the Village of Middleport. Additionally, this was not intended to be a general recommendation that would be provided to all property owners who declined remediation of their property. As the EPA has said in the past, each property is specific and therefore, any recommendations that the Agencies may make to a property owner will likely be specific for their particular soil arsenic concentrations, location of elevated soil arsenic, property use etc.

Not all vegetables take up significant amounts of arsenic from soil. Additionally, for those crops that are more likely to uptake arsenic (leafy vegetables and root crops), the amount of potential arsenic uptake is dependent on many factors, such as soil acidity, organic matter, arsenic type etc. In many cases, the likely potential exposure route associated with gardening in arsenic contaminated soil is the ingestion of soil arsenic that may be present on homegrown produce (e.g. dirt on leaves, roots etc.) that has not been thoroughly washed before consumption. By taking a few simple and practical actions, people can reduce their potential exposure to soil arsenic. Thoroughly washing vegetables and other garden produce before eating, and peeling or skinning root crops, are practical ways to reduce exposure.

These and other practical actions are provided in the NYSDOH Arsenic Fact Sheet. Click on the Read Further link below to see the fact sheet.

Posted by: BillA on Aug 13, 2008 - 01:39 PM  Read full article: 'Gardening in Soil with Arsenic' (988 more words)

Issues related to the RCRA process
A study to determine how well certain plants can take up arsenic from soil is being conducted in Middleport. This study may show the feasibility of using phytoremediation in Middleport to clean up arsenic contaminated soils in yards where the owner desires to save parts or all of their current landscape. Factors such as which plants perform best, how deep can the plants reduce contamination and their efficiency will be determined.

Click on the Read Full Article link below to read the article.

Note: The Phytoremediation Pilot Study Work Plan is available on this web site by clicking

For EPA Citizen's Guide on Phytoremediation click here and for an EPA
Citizen's Guide to Bioremediation click here.

For information on Dr. Harmon click here.

Posted by: BillA on Jul 24, 2008 - 11:56 AM  Read full article: 'Phytoremediation Study in Middleport' (313 more words)

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