UNDERSTANDING IN THE 21st CENTURY
"pump and treat" system installed as part of the 1994
Record of Decision was thought to be adequate by DEC, who posted
this entry in the
Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites in NY - Vol.
7, pg. 7-221. Despite finding that "Monitoring wells
located downgradient of the reservoir have shown high levels of
volatile organics (TCE at 180 ppm).", and that the toxins
plume "is a threat to the surrounding environment", it
concludes that "The remedy (operation of the two phase extraction
system) is performing properly and is effective."
groundwater extraction system specified in the 1994 Record of Decision
(above) continued to be used, and results were monitored and readings
from one well (MW-3-31, located East of the top of South Cayuga
Street, between the Fire Reservoir and the NYSEG Substation) are
summarized in this
February 2004 report prepared by Radian. The wild fluctuations
from season to season and year to year, seem to be a clear indication
that there's a lot more TCE than could have been held on only the
fire water reservoir.
May of 2004, Walter Hang, President of Toxics
Targeting, Inc. held a Press
Conference below the Morse Plant discussing the first of two
he would send to Emerson and to the NYSDEC, referencing many historic
documents and maps his firm had collected and prepared. Mr.
Hang deserves considerable credit for sounding the alarm on these
issues, and for being way "ahead of the curve" in terms
of understanding the complex nature of the problem we face.
of the documents that have been issued and discussed are online
in the "Files" area of the Ithaca-SHIP
Yahoo! group. While you need to join the group to get access
to the Files and other group features, you can choose to receive
NO e-mail from the group, if that is your preference. There is a
lot of material in the Files area. This website (Ithaca-SHIP.org)
was started when we realized that we were collecting more material
than could be held in the Yahoo! Files area.
all of the air testing data that neighbors have shared (almost all
owners have shared or offered to share their data) has been entered
into a special set of databases, maintained by Timothy J. Weber,
in the "SHIP
Toxic Chemical Database" site. Many of the maps you may
have seen in news stories about this issue have been generated using
the data and mapping tools available in this extraordinary site.
Please check it out. No group membership or login is required.
Mr. Hang's letters and responding to the attention drawn to the
high levels of toxins still present at the EPT site, South Hill
Residents sent this letter
(dated May 25, 2004) to NYSDEC, NYSDOH, EPA, and Ithaca Mayor Carolyn
Peterson calling for investigation into the TCE problems and the
failure to properly remediate them, and requesting cleanup without
delay. The letter echoed Mr. Hang's call for full disclosure
of the industrial dumping history and practices, for a comprehensive
study of the health effects of the toxins, and for immediate
communication with the affected residents.
June 15, 2004 Emerson issued this "Public
Notice" to S. Cayuga Street and Spencer Street Residents
describing 8-hour canister tests to begin on June 16 with the installation
of monitoring points to sample vadose zone gas. They concede
"We are working closely with the state to remedy a situation
that was present when Emerson purchased Morse Chain in 1983.",
but contend "these response actions are adequate and in compliance
with the NYSDEC Record of Decision."
June 16, 2004, Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton sent this letter
to South Hill residents describing her efforts to organize a public
meeting to discuss the EPT site concerns, and her contacts
with EPT and DEC to ensure their involvement.
July 2, 2004, this letter
was sent by Walter Hang, President of Toxics Targeting, Inc., to
Erin Crotty, NYSDEC Commissioner, providing more details about the
TCE contamination on and around the EPT site, and the history of
contaminated oil seeping from the site into the neighborhood and
into Six Mile Creek. He cites the recommendations made by
NYSDOH in Jan. 1990, which have yet to be implemented: sampling
of seeps along the creek, testing and mitigation efforts for affected
residences, and studies to explore the "possibility that there
are higher concentrations under the plant."
7, 2004 Letter from Scott P. Haitz, Senior Project Director
for Environmental Strategies Consulting, LLC (ESC) to Carl Cuipylo
(Syracuse DEC) describing the vadose zone sampling tests and results
obtained on June 17, 2004. Test results for TCE, Tetrachloroethene,
and 1,1,1-Trichloroethane along South Cayuga Street are far above
NYSDOH "background" concentrations.
from NYSDEC, NYSDOH, and Tompkins County Health Departments of the
Public Meeting to be held on August 4. The tests performed
so far show the need for further remediation and investigation.
"While the existing groundwater treatment system has reduced
contaminant levels, further reduction is appropriate."
The agencies suggested that test results should be available six
weeks after sample collection. The two-page notice also included
a map of various sampling wells and test points.
from EPT about the August 4 "Public Information Session ".
from NYSDEC Regional Engineer, Mary Jane Peachey, PE, to Ithaca
Common Council Member Pam Mackesey and South Hill Residents responding
to the residents' May 25, 2004 letter to Commissioner Crotty.
A public meeting will be held on August 4; they are reviewing the
reclassification of the site from a "4" (closed) to "2"
(significant threat to environment); the DEC "expects Emerson
to more aggressively investigate and remediate site-related contamination";
health studies and evaluations are the purview of NYSDOH.
from Gary A Litwin, Director, Bureau of Environment Exposure Investigation,
NYS DOH, to "concerned citizens" conceding that 1991 tests
showed three homes with soil vapor contamination by site-related
chemicals, and that EPT did not carry out the soil vapor testing
required by the 1994 Record of Decision. However, he states
"We do not plan to conduct health studies specific to this
site." Attached to his letter was the May 2004 revision
of the NYSDOH four-page FAQ on Soil Vapor Intrusion.
letter from DEC Engineering Geologist Carl Cuipylo (with 16
pages of attachments) to Scott Haitz (ESC Project Director), responding
to August 2, 2004 Indoor Air Assessment Work Plan.. Mr. Cuipylo
criticizes the detection limits used in the June 2004 testing as
being too high and requests that ALL the volatile organic compounds
(VOCs) detected in test be included in the reports to provide information
about the interference that other compounds may be causing.
He states that the locations to be sampled need to be expanded,
and that comprehensive testing of the ambient air and subslab (or
subsurface in the absence of a slab) test most be performed.
The attachments include the NYSDOH "Indoor Air Sampling &
Analysis Guidance" (08/01/01), "Indoor Air Quality
Questionnaire and Building Inventory" forms, "Substructure
Soil Gas Sampling" instructions, and the NYSDEC "Guidance
for the Development of Data Usability Summary Reports".
by Tom West, Assistant City Engineer, to South Hill Residents on
subsurface soil investigations performed August 11, 2004, showing
that samples from the Cayuga Street embankment, soil, and water
all reflected compounds below cleanup standards. Among the
chemicals found were Tetrachloroethene, Toluene, and Chloroform.
from Carl Cuipylo (DEC) to Scott Haitz (ESC) reviewing July 28,
2004 Supplemental Off Site Investigation Work Plan. He specifies
inspection and repair of several suspect wells, and requests certain
new wells into the "unconsolidated overburden", as well
as tests of the seep behind 123 South Hill Terrace, the seep at
514 South Cayuga Street, the cistern at the upper end of South Cayuga,
and of the artesian well behind 212 Wood Street. He refers
to "the persistent elevated concentrations of contaminants remaining
in the on site groundwater and those found in the off site vadose
zone and nearby residences."
from Derek Chase (EPT) to Carl Cuipylo responding to the Nov. 9
review of the Supplemental Investigation Work Plan agreeing to most
of the DEC points, but refusing to investigate the artesian well
as it is "beyond the study area".
from James Burke (DEC) accepting the response by EPT to their review
and indicating that DEC will test the artesian well and sample some
wells of particular concern.
Department of Health "Public
Comment Draft" of Soil Vapor Intrusion background, testing,
and regulations. Items discussed include the timing of tests:
"A vapor intrusion investigation may also be conducted outside
of the heating season. However, the results may not be used to rule
out exposures. For example, results indicating "no further
action" or "monitoring required" must be verified
during the heating season to ensure these actions are protective
during the heating season as well."
The oft-cited "Decision Matrix" is part of this document
For the proper installation of mitigation systems:
"To avoid entry of subsurface vapors into the building, the
vent pipe's exhaust must be
i. above the eave of the roof (preferably, above the
highest eave of the building at least 12 inches above the surface
of the roof)
ii. at least 10 feet above ground level,
iii. At least 10 feet away from any opening that is
less than 2 feet below the exhaust point, and
iv. 10 feet from any adjoining or adjacent buildings,
or HVAC intakes or supply registers."
people have been or may be exposed to contamination, providing them
with accurate and timely information about those exposures is extremely
25, 2005 Letter
from DEC "Site Control Section " to EPT, with notification
of the plant site's reclassification from 4 to 2 (Significant Hazard
from James Burke (DEC) to Derek Chase (EPT) calling for expansion
of the indoor air study area to include areas west of Spencer Street,
including "the area bordered by Albany, Wood, Plain and Elmira
Roads." A second letter, dated the same day, calls for
more comprehensive reporting of monitoring well data, including
all analytic sampling from 1995-present.
for public meeting. Review of late 2004 and early 2005 activities.
Phase I and II results show need for Phase III. Site reclassified
from 4 to 2 "based on indoor air results".
11, 2005 Letter
from ESC to DEC detailing plans for testing the VOC emissions related
to the operation of a sub-slab depressurization system at 126 South
Hill Terrace", to "evaluate the potential affect on ambient
from Derek Chase (EPT) to James Burke (DEC) detailing the results
of the additional Ground Water test wells tested on Feb. 25, claiming
that these results (as well as the prior air sample results) show
that "there is no technical basis for expanding the current
study area at this time."
from James Burke (DEC) to Scott Haitz (ESC) requesting changes in
the proposed Preliminary Onsite Remedial Investigation Work Plan.
More detail is desired, especially involving those places to be
tested and their relation to areas identified in prior studies.
ESC is instructed to use a lower detection limit for TCE (0.25 ug/m^3
rather than the 0.82 ug/m^3 used in Phase I and II. Mr. Burke
also comments, "The statement that the 2-phase system is "containing"
VOCs cannot be confirmed presently due to the lack of a historical
offsite monitoring network.
from James Burke (DEC) to Brian Silfer (ESC) about the DEC and EPA
review of the "Drum Recovery / Soil Sampling Report";
asks that this report be incorporated in the "onsite investigation"
EPT has proposed for other purposes.
April 21, 2005, a "Public Hearing on Vaporization of Contamination
from Soil and Groundwater into Indoor Air" was conducted by
members of the NYS Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental
Conservation at the Ithaca Town Hall. Testimony was received from
Ithaca Mayor Carolyn Peterson, NYSDEC Deputy Commissioner Carl Johnson,
NYSDOH Director G. Anders Carlson,, Cornell Professors Tammo Steenhuis,
Lawrence Cathles and James Gillett, SUNY-Binghamton Professor James
Dix, Broome Community College Professor Bruce Oldfield, Toxics Targeting
President Walter Hang, Environmental Attorney Ken Kamlet, IBM Employee
James Little, and several Ithaca area residents who have been involved
in the local pollution remediation efforts. The Ithaca Hearing Summary
The Committee's final report (released February 1, 2006) is here.
Journal articles about the hearing are here
An Editorial is here.
May 4, 2005, Ithaca's Common Council passed a resolution calling
for full disclosure (by Emerson and Borg Warner) of all toxic substances
known to have been used in the plant, and of all spills of such
substances. For the text of the Resolution, see pages 26 and 27
of the Council
Minutes. The Ithaca Journal article on the meeting is
(May 11, 2005) from Scott Haitz (ESC) to James Burke (DEC) reports
the Feb. 2005 sampling results for offsite GW monitoring wells around
the EPT facility, which found no significant levels of any chemicals
of concern. Retests in April 2005 and additional wells
tested then also showed no significant concentrations of any chemicals
of concern. EPT proposes more wells at the uphill end of South
Cayuga Street and also proposes to conduct an electrical resistivity
(ER) imaging geophysical survey with dipole arrays of electrodes
spaced 3 meters apart.
(June 2, 2005) from James Burke (DEC) to Derek Chase (EPT) regarding
the March 2005 proposals for Aquifer Testing and GW Evaluation of
the Remediation area. Mr. Burke acknowledges that there will
be some value to the proposed pump tests, but feels it will be necessary
to review all site data to properly understand the effectiveness
of any proposed changes to the recovery system. He states,
"A major issue is the lack of any one time assessment of all
possible data collection points. The Department has put together
a snapshot of the site based on data from different time frames
and although the Department can achieve a reasonable picture of
site conditions, it is uncertain how accurate this picture is or
how conditions change over time with relationship to one another.
This site lacks comprehensive periodic monitoring. Although
several of the wells in the immediate area of the extraction wells
have been monitored regularly, there is no periodic monitoring over
the entire site and affected off site areas from which to evaluate
trends over time." He also rebukes EPT for considering
the fire reservoir to be the sole source for the
on site groundwater contamination.
(June 21, 2005) from James Burke (DEC) to Derek Chase (EPT) regarding
the Electrical Resistivity (ER) tests EPT has proposed. DEC
wants more test points on the plant site itself. Mr. Burke
also reminds EPT that previously-requested detail for monitoring
wells on and off the site property still has not been received.
(also June 21, 2005) from James Burke (DEC) to Derek Chase (EPT)
regarding the expansion of the air test study area. Mr. Burke
states, "Through negotiation and counter-proposals, agreement
has been reached in regard to the resampling of specific homes,
an expansion into additional homes, and a vapor point installation/sampling
project west of Geneva Street." As for EPT's contention
that no further home tests are needed west of Spencer St., he says,
"That monitoring wells in the western neighborhood showed no
detectable levels of site-related VOCs cannot be used as definitive
proof that vapor intrusion is not an issue. It is one piece
June 21, 2005) from
James Burke (DEC) to Derek Chase (EPT) regarding the May 11th proposal
for tests in and around the R&D ("Service") Building
at the top of Turner Place. He states that the proposed tests
"will not sufficiently define or evaluate groundwater quality
downgradient from the R & D Building" . He requests
that GW levels be included in data for all sampling events, and
that the "seep" north of the building be analyzed and
included in the R&D report.
Public Meeting was held June 22, 2005 to discuss the results from
the first Phase II indoor air tests and to announce the expansion
of the test area for Phase III, adding homes north of Hillview Place
along both sides of Turner Place, both sides of South Hill Terrace,
and on the "uphill" portion of the 100-block of East Spencer
Street. The Ithaca Journal's site has both preview
the summer of 2005, It was announced that Emerson would hire consultants
to study the "Electrical Resistivity" of the areas below
the plant, to try to identify various features under the surface.
from ESC to DEC on the Summer 2005 "Supplemental Groundwater
Investigation". The general flow within the shallow bedrock
aquifer is to the northwest. "The overall pattern of
flow generally mimics the surface topography, with a steep gradient
observed between the EPT facility and West Spencer Street (South
Hill) and a flatter gradient west of West Spencer Street."
Newly-installed Monitoring Well 32-B, less than 200 feet above the
South Hill Terrace intersection on South Cayuga Street, showed a
TCE level of 200 ug/L as well as 160 ug/L of DCE, cis-1,2,-dichloroethene
(a product of TCE degradation.)
from Forrest Environmental Services, Inc. on the Electrical Resistivity
(ER) imaging tests performed at the EPT site in early July 2005
and again in late September 2005. The report describes the
theory of the dipole arrays and measurements, and how they suggest
patterns of water and different substances under the ground surface.
The results indicate various "conductive anomalies" which
"appear to be saturated fractures."
somewhat fleshed-out version of the FESI
report which states, "The size and position of the mapped
features in the resulting profiles may be slightly offset from their
actual locations in the subsurface but still represent the overall
pattern of bedrock features and, thus, are consistent with the approach
of a low resolution survey of the site." "The results
of the geophysical survey reveal a complex geologic and hydrogeologic
network." "This preferential flow through the openings
often results in greater groundwater flow velocities (as compared
to flow through the rock matrix) and can yield unexpectedly tortuous
flow paths depending upon the level of connectivity between the
various openings in the rock. The pathways by which the ground
water flows through bedding plane fractures, joints, faults, or
all of the above at the EPT facility is not directly addressed by
this survey." (The graphic results are here.)
Assessment", released on December 13, 2005 (links to document and components of it below), ESC reviews various maps and previous environmental
reports to try to piece together the history of operations in the
various buildings. "The solvent TCE, was reportedly used
to clean metal parts and scrap metal in conveyor type vapor degreasers
located on the ground floor of the main plant building (Building
4 - 507 Degreasing Department). Only one of three areas requiring
"oily soil remediation" was treated to a point that it
met applicable standards. SVOCs and PCBs were found in the
soil remaining after various corroded drums ("discovered"
in Dec. 2004) and other pieces of scrap were removed. Activities
once performed in various sections of the plant (mostly no longer
used) include solvent degreasing and recovery, copper and cadmium
plating. One degreasing using was the "source of an unknown
amount of solvent released to the sanitary sewer system", though
its exact location is unknown. Oil leaking from scrap was
captured in scrap loading area but there were discharges which were
detected in the South Cayuga St. sewer and in the outcrops along
West Spencer Street. There was a "Cyanide Room Drainage Trench",
and acid pickling tanks. There were coal piles and four "below
grade oil quench pits" which are no longer in service, though
a fifth quench oil pit is still in use. Various underground
storage tanks are no longer in use and have been closed in accordance
with NYSDEC regulations. Many of the aboveground storage tanks
still remain in service, but ten tanks, including a 100,000-gallon
fuel oil tank, have been removed. Potential migration of chemicals
from offsite sources (including Therm, NCR/Axiohm, and various other
spill sites) is also reported. Test samples in the Axiohm
disposal area show high levels of TCE, cis-1,2-DCE, vinyl chloride,
SVOCs and metals. 21 specific "Areas of Concern"
throughout the EPT site are detailed, as are the sewer lines down
Turner Place and South Cayuga Street, and "seven potential
migration pathways" identified on old maps. ESC states
that their August 2005 tests suggest that the R&D building (built
on top of a former City Reservoir) is no longer an Area of Concern.
You may view or download:
The full document (12.5 MB)
Figures (including map of Areas of Concern)
Environmental Database Report (The names of databases reviewed)
EDR Radius Map - Findings (Details on spills and incidents)
Government Records Searched
GEOCHECK Physical Settings Source Records
Sanborn Map Report
EDR Historical Topographical Maps
from EPT presentation at the Jan. 25, 2006 Public Meeting.
Overviews were presented on the various investigations performed
during 2005, including R&D air and slab tests, GW tests, the
Geophysical Survey, the Onsite Assessment results, and the expansion
of the Study area for the Phase IV testing: homes on lower Turner
Place, Pleasant Street, and East Spencer St.
of plan to investigate soil surrounding the two sanitary sewer
lines running down Turner Place from the EPT site - one called the
1878 Line and the other called the 1979 Line. There would
be 24 borings just to the west of each of the lines, spaced about
100 feet apart, with soil samples analyzed in the field for VOCs
using a photo ionization detector and then shipped to a lab for
from ESC to DEC reporting the results of Nov. 18, 2005 vadose zone
tests performed along the "NCR sewer" line which runs
downhill on the east side of the plant site. The highest values
found were for TCE with a reading of 477 ug/m^3 at the downhill
end, near where the line runs to South Aurora Street, and 536 ug/m^3
at the uphill end where it enters the EPT site.
Intrusion of Toxic Chemicals: An Emerging Public Health Concern"
by NYS Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation on their
investigations and hearings on the issue of vapor intrusion across
NY State. The report contains a status summary, findings,
and recommendations. Details on the Hearings held in Endicott,
Ithaca, and Hopewell Junction are included, as are comments submitted
on draft proposals. Among the report's conclusions:
- The New York State air guideline for TCE of 5.0 mcg/m^3
is not based on the most protective assumptions supported by science.
- The movement of VOCs is difficult to predict accurately,
and seasonal and day-to-day variation in the factors that influence
vapor intrusion make it difficult to accurately measure the true
concentration of VOCs under foundations and in indoor air.
- The costs of monitoring and mitigation are comparable.
- DOH should revise its current indoor air guideline
for TCE to reflect the most protective assumptions about toxicity
and exposure supported by science.
- DEC and DOH should adopt a general presumption that
mitigation will be implemented for any structure where detectable
VOC contamination is measured under the sub-slab or in indoor air
and evidence exists that such contamination may be caused by vapor
- Accelerated and aggressive cleanup of the contamination
causing vapor intrusion, including the pulling back of groundwater
plumes, should become routine practice at all vapor intrusion sites.
from ESC to DOH on the sub-slab and indoor air tests performed in
the EPT site buildings, Dec. 12-13, 2005. "TCE was detected
in subslab soil gas samples at concentrations between 3.5μg/m3
(main level Building 6A) and 3,800 μg/m3 (basement, Building
34). Indoor air samples contained between 0.328 μg/m3 (main
level, Building 34) and 12.8 μg/m3 (basement, Building 4) of
TCE. PCE was detected in subslab soil gas samples between
2.96 μg/m3 (basement, Building 24) and 1,700 μg/m3 (basement,
Building 34). No PCE was detected in indoor air samples from
Buildings 13B, 34 (main level), and 35, while levels in the remaining
buildings ranged from an estimated concentration of 0.689 μg/m3
(Buildings 33 and 34) to 1,200 μg/m3 in Building 3."
to DEC on the January 2006 air samples taken in the R&D Building.
PCE and TCE were found in all indoor air samples at levels below
the NYSDOH guidance values, though the .819 ug/m^3 TCE value found
in the basement would have qualified for mitigation under the standards
EPT is using for area homes
from Derek Chase explaining that EPT was reducing the threshold
level of TCE in a home's indoor air to qualify for mitigation.
from Derek Chase offering a mitigation system to the owner of a
qualifying property. Also included are the forms for Landlord
and Tenant to sign, for use with rental properties.
DiNapoli is the NYS Comptroller now, but he was the Chair of the
NYS Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation. This
document contains his comments
on draft regulations for the Environmental Remediation Program,
with references to needed changes in soil remediation policies to
require stricter limits on toxins and other compounds which are
allow to remain in soil and groundwater after cleanup operations.
from Derek Chase (EPT) explaining how EPT will contribute $12 each
month to be paid to NYSEG toward the cost of operating the mitigation
systems they've installed.
and Executive Summary for presentation by Cornell BEE/EAS471
course participants to public given at Ithaca City Hall on May 23,
2006. The presentation was made to summarize and explain the
final report, which is online here.
advertising the appearance of Erin Brockovich for a talk on TCE
and advocacy to be given at GIAC. The event took place on
June 1, after travel delays forced rescheduling.
Historical and Technical Review and Analysis of TCE Contamination
in the South Hill Area of Ithaca, New York" - A report
to the Citizens of South Hill by students in BEE/EAS471 with input
from faculty and citizens of Ithaca. This is the final version
of the course's term project.
to DEC Comments on the July 2005-January 2006 Semiannual Progress
to DEC Comments made in May 8, 2006 Correspondence on the March
10 Proposed Supplemental Geophysical Survey correspondence.
to DEC Comments made in May 8, 2006 Correspondence on the March
20 Proposed Supplemental Geophysical Survey correspondence.
letter to DEC for the Aquifer Testing Summary and Design Modification
to DEC May 8 correspondence on December 2005 Onsite Assessment Report.
ESC provides only the 1981 industry chemical use inventory report
for Borg Warner as a listing of chemicals ever used in the facility
before EPT took ownership. Various "Areas of Concern"
are discussed. One area that DEC mentions is the area where the
"oily soil remediation" was performed, and DEC states
"contaminated soils remained onsite above standards. These
areas should be reinvestigated." EPT/ESC simply refuse to investigate
this problem area further, citing the determination (in 1995) that
the site was identified as "closed - does not meet standards"
at the time. Similarly, EPT/ESC contend that they have done all
that they can do to remediate the oil-contaminated areas below a
degreasing unit and conveyor system and that the site met cleanup
criteria (below 1,000 parts per million) set in 1994. ESC/EPT decline
to provide requested details of interviews with employees of the
prior owner, citing past litigation between EPT and the prior owners
(attorney/client privilege) and records destroyed in a fire. DEC
also notes that the levels of VOCs found in both indoor air and
subslab testing onsite require those locations to be considered
as Areas of Concern.
to homeowners of the need to work on their property as part
of the Supplemental Geophysical Survey.
brief summary" prepared by EPT describing:
- the completion of Phase IV Indoor Air Testing; two additional
homes offered mitigation systems
- Turner Place Sewer Investigation - borings taken along sanitary
- Supplemental Geophysical Survey to begin the week of July 24,
Modifications being made to remediation system: more wells and new
from ESC on the Turner Place sewer investigation. While PCE and
TCE were detected in 18 of 25 soil samples taken, the levels are
below the cleanup standards set by DEC. The highest readings
were found in sample locations between two of the homes with the
highest subslab TCE levels: 207 South Hill Terrace and 316 Turner
unanimously passed by Ithaca's Common Council calling for an expanded
testing area and for "blanket" offers of mitigation for
ALL homes in the affected neighborhoods, regardless of individual
listing of results from Phase IV, with lists of which properties
were tested in which rounds, numbers of homes which are "No
Further Action", "Further Monitoring", and eligible
for mitigation. Details are provided for test results for
all Phase IV tests, as are questionnaires and household inventory
from "WSP Environmental Strategies LLC" (the new name
for Environmental Strategies Consulting LLC) detailing the extraction
well tests conducted January to June 2006, during which period the
average system uptime was 80%. The system removed 170,558
gallons of groundwater, including a half-pound of VOCs from the
aqueous phase and approximately 31 pounds of VOCs from the vapor
phase. This brings the estimated total of VOCs removed by
the system to approximately 350 pounds since the start of system
operation. TCE levels ranged from 38 to 32,000 ug/L, cis-1,2-DCE
from 15 to 8,100 ug/L, trans-1,2-DCE 89 to 92 ug/L, vinyl chloride
4.6 to 1,200 ug/L and methylene chloride 48 to 640 ug/L. The
report states "Since September 2004, when ESC Engineering began
managing the 2-PHASE ™ extraction system, the concentrations
of VOCs in these wells have exhibited no consistent trend."
of "Packer testing and sampling" performed onsite August
14 - 23, 2006. The tests hoped to explore the nature of open
horizontal bedding plane fractures present in extraction wells EW-1
and EW-3 at approximately 52 feet below the top of each well.
"The packer testing results indicate that the bedding fracture
identified at 52 feet is a transport pathway for groundwater below
the current remediation. The results suggest that the horizontal
bedding plane fracture has been intersected by a vertical conduit
(joint set), which allows affected groundwater to migrate downward
to the bedding fracture plane... the upper C-zone and B-zone wells
are not in direct hydraulic connection with the deeper extraction
and Map from WSP describing the properties they intend to test
as part of Phase V. (The letter refers to "Table 1"
which is not part of this copy.) They will test 18 properties that
were sampled once during Phase IV. Two properties have been
offered mitigation but have not accepted the offer and will be tested
again. One home (Property 97b) will be sampled for the first
time, as will the Ithaca City Court building and the Ithaca Police
Department headquarters. [Subsequent discussions supposedly
added the Police garages to the list - they are located across from
the IPD main building, below the "creek side" row of homes
along the 100-block of East Spencer St.]
Work Plan submitted by WSP. "The additional subsurface
information gained from this investigation is necessary to complete
the design upgrades to the remediation system at the site.
The proposed scope of work involves installing and sampling six
open boreholes in areas hydraulically upgradient, cross-gradient,
and downgradient of the fire reservoir and three shallow B-zone
wells immediately surrounding the reservoir."
Geophysical Survey - A 225-page report prepared by WSP, with
all manner of theory and discussions of the additional Electrical
Resistivity tests, with results displayed with various colorful
graphs. Fields notes and tables of points along the various
lines are included, as are notes of anomalies found. Unfortunately,
there is no discussion about what all this might mean in terms of
changes to be made in testing or remediation efforts.