Air Force Plant 51
The Former Air Force Plant No. 51 in Greece, N.Y., is a FUDS project. The plant produced B-52 bulkheads, and Talos missiles and related equipment. New York District Corps of Engineers performed a rapid response cleanup at this site.
In September 1959 the plant was closed, and eventually bought by a private concern. The Corps conducted a limited site investigation at the end of 1999, taking water and soil samples from seven different areas. The results indicated that two areas needed immediate attention.
The most critical area of concern (AOC) was AOC-1, a pond northwest of the main building. This pond collected wastewater from electroplating operations. A variety of contaminants, including vinyl chloride, cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel, zinc, and lead were detected in the pond water and sediments.
The $1.7 million cleanup involved draining the pond and dredging the contaminated sediments. Vacuum tanker trucks removed the liquid for off-site disposal at a proper facility. The sediments were mixed with cement and loaded into dump trailers for off-site disposal at an authorized landfill.
The project faced several challenges. The pond is near a wetlands and a channel leading to Lake Ontario, and the Monmouth County Water Authority facilities are just 80 feet from the pond. Engineering controls were necessary to prevent off-site migration of contaminants. Water and sediment removal were performed in stages by dividing the pond into individual cells. The Corps maintained a community air monitoring program following New York Department of Health guidelines throughout the work. The initial phase of work began last October, and ended in February. The district will now perform a remedial investigation/remedial action.
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