DESCRIPTION: The site consists of a total area of 11.2 acres plus 56 vicinity properties. The site was owned and operated by National Lead Industries (NL) from 1937-1984. The facility was used for electroplating and manufacturing various components using uranium and thorium. Radioactive materials released from the plant exhaust stacks spread to site buildings, portions of the grounds, and 56 commercial and residential vicinity properties (VPs). NL also dumped/filled in large portions of the site with metals (mostly lead) contaminated casting sands. The New York State Supreme Court shut down the NL plant in 1984.
AUTHORIZATION/PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Responsibility for the Colonie site was assigned to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a decontamination research and development project by the U.S. Congress through the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 1984. DOE placed the site in their Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). In October 1997, responsibility for executing FUSRAP was transferred from DOE to the USACE by further Congressional action. Uranium, thorium, lead, copper and tetrachloroethene are the principal contaminants at the site. Two types of contaminated media are present at the site: source media (which includes soil, processing waste, and bulk waste) and remnants of structures on Colonie.
STATUS: USACE has re-examined the 1995 Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EECA) and remedial options. Due to community concerns regarding DOE’s selected alternative, technical and regulatory difficulties with elements of the DOE selected plan, and availability of more cost-efficient off-site disposal facilities, the Corps explored additional options for shipping the remaining contaminated soils off-site. As a result of the reevaluation, the Corps selected an alternate remedy, Alternative 2B – Large-scale Excavation and Disposal, for the Colonie site. On December 26, 2001, the Action Memorandum alternate remedy was approved. Under the new plan, soils with concentrations in excess of radiological and metals removal action goals have been removed and disposed off-site. Approximately two feet of clean soil has been placed over affected areas, leaving the Site available for development for unrestricted residential, industrial, or recreational use.
An EECA document has been issued to the public for the last approved vicinity property (CSX). In FY 07, the CSX vicinity property has been completed as well as transportation and disposal of all remaining radioactive contaminated material. A Groundwater Record of Decision was signed in spring 2010 and quarterly groundwater monitoring has been performed. An evaluation of DOE remediated vicinity properties was completed in FY 12 and additional soil was removed from one property in FY 13. Dust sampling has been performed at a number parcels in 2014. A Soils Feasibility Study/Proposed Plan was completed in FY 14. A Main Site Soils Record of Decision was signed in FY 15. A Vicinity Property Remedial Investigation Report was approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in FY16 with additional groundwater and dust monitoring and reporting. A Vicinity Property Proposed Plan and Record of Decision, Site Management Plan and Five Year Review of the Groundwater Record of Decision were all completed/approved in FY 18.
With the main site and vicinity property soil remediation completed, the remaining U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New York District site activities include site maintenance, records management and archiving and groundwater monitoring the site for two years before transferring the property back to the DOE in 2020. Periodic groundwater sampling will need to be performed on existing shallow groundwater wells to confirm the progress of monitored natural attenuation.
The full public record for the Site, are available for review at the William K. Sanford Town Library, 629 Albany Shaker Road, Loudonville, NY 12211, 518-458-9274.
Mr. James T. Moore Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District Program and Project Management Division
26 Federal Plaza
New York, NY 10278-0090 Phone: (917) 790-8230