Bi-national Great Lakes Citizen Coalition Calls on US Agency Not to Remove Niagara-area Hazardous Waste Site From Superfund Priority List

Sep 18 2012

Toronto – A Canadian-United States coalition of environmental groups has called on the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States (EPA) not to remove from the agency’s list of priority Superfund sites, a 60-year old hazardous waste dump that has been a source of contamination to the Niagara River and Lake Ontario.

Great Lakes United (GLU), a bi-national coalition of approximately 100 Great Lakes-based environmental organizations, was responding to an EPA notice issued late last month, in which the agency announced its intention to delete the Hyde Park landfill, in Niagara, New York from the Superfund National Priority List (NPL) of the most seriously contaminated sites in the United States.

Hyde Park received approximately 80,000 tons (160,000 pounds) of hazardous waste between 1953 and 1975, including chemicals such as PCBs, pesticides, Mirex (a flame retardant), and trichlorophenol (TCP), a breakdown product of which is dioxin, one of the deadliest substances known. Hyde Park was the site that Hooker Chemical (now known as Occidental Chemical Corporation) commenced dumping in when another of the company’s sites, the Love Canal, was sold. Hyde Park was added to the NPL by EPA in 1983 and has been the subject of remedial action over the last few decades.

“The wastes are still there, they are still hazardous and, because of the remedial method chosen by EPA (hydraulic containment of contaminated water), they will require robust environmental management essentially forever”, said John Jackson, Great Lakes United Interim Executive Director. “Keeping Hyde Park on the NPL reminds everyone of the continuing vigilance that is necessary at this site in order to protect human health and the environment on both sides of the border”, Mr. Jackson added.

“EPA says that water contamination at Hyde Park is now being contained, but GLU questions whether delisting Hyde Park from the Superfund NPL is prudent”, said Joseph F. Castrilli, a CELA lawyer representing Great Lakes United. “Delisting Hyde Park from the NPL serves no one’s interests and may hamper future EPA remedial efforts at the site”, Mr. Castrilli stated.

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Background Information: CELA Letter on Behalf of GLU to EPA sent today.

For further information, or to arrange for an interview, contact:
John Jackson, GLU Interim Executive Director - 519-744-7503; jjackson@glu.org
Joseph F. Castrilli, CELA Counsel - 416-960-2284, ext. 218; castrillij@sympatico.ca