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Cleanup Plan Drafted For Long Island RR Site

NYS DEC Accepting Public Comments

Massapequa residents are invited to comment on a proposed remedy being reviewed by the New York State Department of Environmental conservation (NYSDEC) to address contamination related to Massapequa LIRR site located at Sunrise Highway and Railroad Station.

The remedy proposed for the site includes excavating soils on and off the site that contain levels of contamination above the established cleanup objectives, and restricting both access to the site and future work on the site. The LIRR developed the proposed remedy after performing a detailed investigation of the site under New York’s Voluntary Cleanup Program.

The NYSDEC is accepting written public comments about the proposed remedy for 30 days, from now through Jan. 4, 2011.

Submit written comments to: Tara Diaz, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7015, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Summary of the Proposed Remedy

The draft cleanup plan that identifies the proposed remedy has the following goals:

• Identify cleanup levels to be attained or the process to be used to determine these levels;

• Explain why the proposed remedy will protect public health and the environment;

• Provide a detailed description of the proposed remedy.

Based on the results of the Alternatives Analysis and the criteria identified for evaluation of alternatives, the NYSDEC has selected a remedy for this VCP site. The components of the remedy set forth in the Remedial Work Plan are as follows:

• Contaminated soils (roughly 300 cubic yards) will be excavated to achieve Soil Cleanup Objectives, which are 5.7 mg/kg within the fenced LIRR property, and 2.8 mg/kg for the unfenced LIRR property areas.

• The chain link fence surrounding the eastern portions of the substation property will be ultimately removed and replaced with high security fence to ensure that the site is secure from any possible trespass. This work will be conducted at a date after the completion of the excavation.

• Institutional controls in the form of an environment easement and/or deed restriction will be implemented to maintain the industrial nature of the property.

An environmental easement is an ownership interest granted to the NYSDEC that includes a restriction/prohibition on the use of the land that would be inconsistent with the remedy selected for the site. This document is recorded with the county clerk and attached to the property deed.

A deed restriction is a document that places a limitation on the use of the property. This document is recorded with the county clerk and attached to the property deed.

NYSDEC will consider public comments, revise the plans as necessary, and approve the proposed remedy. The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) must concur with the proposed remedy. After approval, the proposed remedy becomes the selected remedy. The draft Remedial Action Work Plan that describes the proposed remedy is revised as needed to describe the selected remedy, and will be made available to the public. LIRR officials may then design and perform the cleanup action to address the site contamination, with oversight by NYSDEC. It is estimated that remedial activities to clean up the site will take about one month.

In December 2000, the LIRR submitted reports for 20 substations on site assessments and interim remedial measures that they had conducted. Subsequently, the LIRR entered into the VCP program.  The application proposes that the site will be used for industrial purposes.

The Massapequa site is located in a commercial portion of Massapequa. It is located on Sunrise Highway and Broadway. The adjoining railroad tracks on the north side of the property are elevated. The main site features are the two–story rectifier building, transformer yard, parking lot and the greenspace areas on the east and south sides of the building. The site is currently used by the LIRR as a rectifying station to supply power to the railroad.

Prior to 1979, mercury rectifiers were used at this substation to power the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) locomotive and electric passenger car fleet. It is believed that work practices for the operation and maintenance of the rectifiers caused spills and other contaminating events.

All information on the cleanup may be obtained at the Massapequa Public Library, 523 Central Ave.