The Buckbee-Mears Company (“BMC”) manufactured aperture masked used for television picture tubes and computer monitors from the mid 1970s until its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in June of 2004. International Electron Devices-USA, LLC (“IED”) acquired the Site property in October 2004 from BMC when it sold the property in connection with its bankruptcy proceeding. The Site was operated by IED for a brief period in 2005 to manufacture aperture masks for cathode ray tubes and other photo-chemically etched parts for the medical, automotive and electronics industries. In or about May 2005, IED ceased manufacturing operations and abandoned the Site, leaving significant contamination behind. During the summer of 2006, the Cortland Police Department discovered large quantities of abandoned chemicals. The Cortland Police notified the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (ANYSDEC@) of its findings, and NYSDEC notified EPA.
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On September 29, 2006, EPA issued a Unilateral Administrative Order (UAO), pursuant to Section 106(a) of CERCLA to IED. IED did not comply with the Order.
The EPA Removal Action
From January 2007 to May 2009, EPA conducted an extensive removal action at the Site. The removal action included, but was not limited to: sampling; removal and disposal or recycling of extremely hazardous materials in bulk storage tanks; draining, cutting and removing almost 200,000 linear feet of contaminated chemical feed lines; removal of potential radiation sources in instrumentation units; removal and disposal of mercury switches; building demolition; salvaging or recycling metal waste; and encapsulation of toxic concrete floor slabs. The Site is not on the National Priorities List and EPA has no current plans to list it.
For additional information on the removal action, visit the Pollution Report (POLREPS) section of this webpage.
Current Status – Settlements and Reuse Assessment
Attempts to contact IED proved unsuccessful thus EPA began a dialogue with the State Bank of India (the “Bank”), the mortgage holder, as well as the City of Cortland (“City”) and the County of Cortland (“County’), holders of tax liens, to resolve the parties’ competing liens on the Site property. On June 6, 2012, the City signed an Agreement with EPA (“City Agreement”) in an effort to facilitate the foreclosure, sale, and redevelopment of the Site. EPA signed the Agreement on June 8, 2012. A similar agreement was signed by the County and EPA on July 12, 2012. These 2 agreements are collectively referred to as the “Municipal Settlements.” Under the Municipal Settlements, the City and the County have agreed to facilitate the sale and redevelopment of the Properties.
A 3rd agreement has also been negotiated with the Bank (the “Bank Agreement”). Under the Bank Agreement, the Bank has agreed, in part, to foreclose on the Site property, attempt to sell the Site property at auction, and pay a share of the proceeds from the sale to the City, the County and EPA. EPA hopes to finalize the Bank Agreement in August 2012. If the Site Property does not sell pursuant to the Bank’s foreclosure auction, the sale will proceed as agreed to in the Municipal Settlements.
In 2012, the EPA Superfund Redevelopment Initiative funded a Reuse Assessment to document the cleanup status, clarify the site’s suitability for reuse and to identify recommendations to address potential barriers to reuse. The Reuse Assessment Presentation and Reuse Handout, created by Skeo Solutions, are available for review on the Documents section of this webpage.