The Genesee Valle Metal Finishing site is a former metal electroplating facility that had been in operation for several decades at this location. The site is bordered by commercial properties to the north, a parking lot to the east, Brown Square Park to the south, and residential properties, including a school to the west. The facility plated metal items primarily with zinc, nickel, and chrome finishes.
On January 17, 2020, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) forwarded information to EPA about the Site, for which, a formal referral is forthcoming to consider the Site for an Emergency Removal Action. EPA and the Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) contractor conducted an initial assessment at the Site on January 29, 2020. The assessment identified the following conditions present within the facility:
• A large dilapidated wastewater treatment system containing ~1,000 gallons of partially treated plating solutions and several tons sludge;
• Approximately 25 poorly labeled drums and totes believed to contain hazardous plating solutions;
• Incompatible lab reagents stored together (Potassium Cyanide and Sulfuric acid);
• Approximately 15 plating vats containing caustic and acidic plating solutions;
• Approximately 70 plating vats which contain hazardous residues/rainwater;
• Badly deteriorated roof which is allowing water to enter the building;
The agency completed the cleanup work at the facility In February 2021, disposing of electroplating related chemicals and hazardous waste, and dismantled the electroplating and wastewater treatment equipment.
During the cleanup, EPA discovered a common industrial solvent trichloroethylene (TCE), in the soil underneath the facility from historic operations at the site. EPA will initiate an investigation to determine if TCE contamination is migrating away from the site and potentially impacting neighboring properties. EPA will seek consent from some neighboring property owners in March 2021.
EPA and its contractors continue implementing health and safety plans specific to the site and COVID-19 precautions.