MASSENA, N.Y (WWTI) — The New York Department of Conservation has announced an agreement with Arconic, Inc.
Under the agreement, a final settlement of over $2.25 million will be provided by Arconic to protect and restore the Grasse River Federal superfund site.
The Grasse River was originally contaminated by the Alcoa Massena- West Plant, an aluminum production plant, in the 1950s. Alcoa began using and discharging PCBs, their toxic waste. The River was selected for EPA cleanup efforts in 2019.
Arconic will also be held accountable for natural resource impacts, and will be required to restore the Grasse River. This will help save critical freshwater mussels and other crucial resources.
The Grasse River’s freshwater mussel community is dense and diverse; at least 15 different species have been found here. The mussels perform nutrient cycling, sediment structure, and forage base.
According to the DEC, without these efforts, approximately 80 percent of the freshwater mussel community would be lost in the cleanup due to their inability to escape and a slow reproductive rate.
“Our natural resources in this community, particularly our rivers must be protected. Restoring the Grasse River will go a long way in protecting our resources. DEC’s leadership was vital to accomplishing this agreement and I thank Arconic for doing what is right,” said Timmy J Currier, Mayor of Massena.
For more information, visit the Grasse River Superfund Site website.
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