Cleanup work to continue at Massena’s Grasse River Superfund Site

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Grasse River Superfund Site, Massena, New York (photo: EPA)

MASSENA, N.Y. (WWTI) — Cleanup efforts will continue beginning in April at the Grasse River Superfund Site.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency announced this week that in-river work will resume; aiming to address sediment contaminated at the Grasse River Superfund Site, Alcoa Aggregation, in Massena, New York.

This cleanup effort was initiated by the EPA in 2013 and called for dredging and capping of sediment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in a 7.2 mile stretch of the river.

“It’s exciting to see the tremendous progress that has been made as we near the finish line for
this critically important project,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan. “EPA, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe continue to work together on the oversight of the various components of the project.”

According the EPA, the 2021 work will primarily include placement of a 12-inch sand, gravel and stone cap in the lower five miles of the main river channel from the Route 131 Bridge, to the mouth of the Grasse River, sand backfilling in areas dredged in 2020 and habitat reconstruction.

Additionally, to support the work, the EPA will implement an extended underwater pipeline to transport some clean capping material from to staging areas to river locations. The EPA confirmed that this operation will occur 24 hours a day, six days a week. The remainder of the capping material will be transported by barges pushed by tugboats and placed mechanically on the river bottom using excavator‐type buckets. Warning signs will be posted on the river to alert oncoming boating traffic.

The Administration also added that two shoreline support areas will be used in the 2021 work season to store and mange capping materials; one near the intersection of County Route 42 and Route 131 n Massena, and the other, a newly constructed staging area on Haverstock Road.

Howmet Aerospace Inc. is responsible for performing the work at the site on behalf of the parties responsible for the Superfund cleanup.

More information regarding the Grasse River Superfund Site can be found on the EPA website.

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