Historically, John Jewett & Sons White Lead Company operated a white lead manufacturing facility which originated at 2015 Richmond Terrace where they owned and operated the Site from 1839 until April 3, 1890 when National Lead and Oil Company of New York (“National Lead”) acquired the site property. National Lead continued the manufacture of white lead at the Site, and extended the operations across the street to include the 2000 Richmond Terrace property. National Lead owned and operated at both properties until approximately 1943.
On December 31, 1943, the Moran Towing Corporation acquired the 2015 Richmond Terrace property from National Lead. This portion of the Site is presently owned by the Moran Towing Corporation, an active tug boat facility.
On May 31, 1946 National Lead sold the portion of the Site located at 2000 Richmond Terrace. Between 1949 and 1990, various businesses operated at the this property including Sedutto’s Ice Cream factory. The 2000-2012 Richmond Terrace property ("PRC property") is presently owned by PRC, and is an unpaved vacant lot that was being utilized as a staging/storage area for construction-related materials. The ground surface at this portion of the Site consists of mostly grassy soils with some stone near the entrance. The soils had been disturbed in the past due to the presence of heavy machinery and vehicular movement.
During the period of December 17 - 18, 2008, EPA and contractor representatives from the Removal Support Team (RST), collected soil samples from 16 test pits that were excavated to a depth of approximately four feet below grade at the PRC property. Off-site samples were also collected from four locations along Richmond Terrace in order to determine if contamination had migrated from the Site. Evidence of surface runoff leaving the Site was apparent along Richmond Terrace near the bus stop on December 17th during a heavy rainfall event.
The analytical results from the sampling event in December 2008 revealed the presence of elevated levels of lead throughout most of the Site, both laterally and with depth. The average lead concentration identified at the surface was 5,081 mg/kg. The four off-site sample locations along Richmond Terrace were found to contain lead in concentrations ranging from 383 mg/kg to 2,760 mg/kg.
Based upon the concentrations of lead stated above, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) determined that the apparent migration of lead-contaminated dust warranted immediate mitigation measures to limit the use of the Site to prevent additional migration of lead-containing fugitive dust. The concentrations of lead detected in the surface soil at the PRC property and the off-property road dust represent a significant public health concern if people, especially children, are exposed to them. The Removal Site Evaluation (RSE) prepared by EPA for the PRC property dated April 24, 2009 concluded that a CERCLA removal action is warranted to address the potential threats posed by the contaminated soil at the Jewett White Lead Site.
On April 6, 2009, at EPA’s request and oversight, the property owner of 2000-2012 Richmond Terrace initiated an interim removal action to stabilize conditions at the property. The interim removal action consisted of establishing storm water management controls, improving the condition of the existing fencing, spreading grass seed and mulch, posting “lead-hazard” warning signs, and wet-sweeping sediment/dirt along the sidewalk and curb adjacent to the Site along Richmond Terrace and Park Avenue. The work was completed on April 20, 2009.
On June 15, 2009, EPA collected 14 surficial soil samples from the 2015 Richmond Terrace property. The soil samples were collected from portions of the property where exposed soil was present or where the concrete and asphalt appeared to be in disrepair. Elevated levels of lead were found to be in the samples collected at concentrations that ranged from 145 mg/kg to 2,730 mg/kg, with the highest lead concentrations present in the surface soils adjacent the Richmond Terrace sidewalk.
Based upon the elevated levels of lead in both the surficial soils on-site and in the off-site samples collected along the sidewalk adjacent the Site, EPA collected additional off-site soil samples in the surrounding community, including in residential backyards of the properties immediately adjacent to the former Jewett White Lead Company facility property and in a background area located upwind of the Site.
Elevated levels of lead were found in the residential backyards sampled and in the surrounding community with an average lead concentration of 549 mg/kg in the surface soils (0-2” depth) in the backyards, and an average concentration of lead in the surface soils in the background are of 788 mg/kg.
Attribution analysis indicates that environmental sources of lead other than from the Site are the primary contributors to lead contamination in this community. Other potential sources of lead included leaded gasoline emissions, exterior lead-based paint, elevated steel structures, and former industrial processes. Historically, the North Shore of Staten Island was a major manufacturing stronghold. The RSE for the Off-Site soil sampling dated March 18, 2010 concluded that the Jewett White Lead Site is not a significant contribution source to the lead found in the community. The lead in the community appears to be consistent with urban lead contamination typically seen in the industrialized Northeast United States.
EPA has determined that a removal action is necessary to address threats to human health and/or the environment from the high levels of lead found at the Site, and that sufficient time exists to conduct an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EE/CA) before response actions have to be initiated. An EE/CA is a key part of the removal action process, consisting of an analysis of removal alternatives for a site as required under CERCLA 40 CFR §300.415(b)(4)(i). The EE/CA examines removal options for the former Jewett White Lead Site. A 45-day public comment period on the EE/CA will be announced when it is completed.
Additional investigations to determine the extent of contamination and support an EE/CA was conducted in October 2010 at both the 2015 Richmond Terrace and 2000-2012 Richmond Terrace. From October 4 to October 28, 2010, EPA and its contractor representatives began collecting additional soil samples at the Jewett White Lead Site to determine the vertical extent of contamination. Monitoring wells were installed on both properties to determine the ground water impacts from the lead contaminated soils. In addition sediment and surface water samples were collected from the Kill Van Kull to determine if the lead contamination had impacted the waterway.
The field screening results from the sampling event in October 2010 at the PRC property indicates that the elevated levels of lead at the property are confined to the upper four feet of soil with the exception of a small well defined area located in the southwest corner of the property adjacent Park Ave. Following sampling on the property, the test pit locations were seeded with grass seed to encourage the growth of a grass cover to reduce the potential for dust generation.
Ground water samples were collected from the monitoring wells on October 28, 2010. Lead was detected at 39 µg/L in one of the down gradient monitoring wells located on the Moran Towing property. The lead concentration detected in the monitoring well is below the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) Ground Water Quality Standard (“GWQS”) of 50 µg/L, but it may be indicative of lead leaching into the ground water beneath the Jewett White Lead Site.
The EPA EE/CA were made available to the public for a public comment period from March 4, 2011 to April 17, 2011. EPA relies on public input to ensure that the concerns of the community are considered in selecting an effective response action for each Superfund site. On December 21, 2011, EPA issued an Action Memorandum that included a responsiveness summary that addressed all public comments received on the EE/CA. The Action Memorandum documented EPA's selection of Alternative 2, Excavation and Off-site Disposal as the appropriate removal action at the PRC property. Specifically the removal action will consist of excavating and removing approximately 4,200-cubic yards of lead-contaminated soil from the PRC property for off-site treatment/disposal. The excavated areas would be backfilled with clean fill.
It is anticipated that cleanup of the Site will begin in Spring 2011. Precautions will be taken during all on-site activities to ensure the public is protected.
EPA will continue to keep the community informed of current and future on-site cleanup activities.