10 Million Gallon Lagoon
10 Million Gallon Lagoon

Ten-Million-Gallon Lagoon Excavation Begins at General Motor’s Superfund Site

Apr 3, 2017

AKWESASNE — The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe’s Environment Division is notifying Akwesasne residents that it has completed its review of RACER Trust’s Remedial Design Work Plan to remediate the ten-million-gallon lagoon at the Former-General Motors property. The United States Environmental Protection Agency and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation have already approved the work plan, with work activities having started on March 27 and expected to be completed by fall 2017.

“We are continuing to call for measures to be implemented that safeguard the environmental and public health of the Akwesasne community,” said Environment Division Director Ken Jock. He added, “There are more air monitors in operation now compared to the number used two years ago. We have also concentrated on lowering the action level for air emission detections from earlier remedial actions conducted on site.”

The excavation work at the Superfund Site’s lagoon will be conducted in two phases. The first phase involves removing sludge from a concrete structure inside the lagoon and will take three weeks. The second phase begins in June, during dryer weather conditions, and involves pumping water from the lagoon’s remaining portion and excavating sediments. All sludge and sediments will be dewatered by mixing them with wood pellets and then shipped off site to a hazardous waste landfill.

The Environment Division will have personnel on site to oversee the work activities and will be monitoring the air quality throughout this project to minimize the community’s exposure to emissions. Five high-volume PCB air monitors are currently set up on residential properties in Raquette Point; with steps being taken to control the dust and odors on-site by covering waste piles with plastic. People in the area can expect an increase in noise due to the activity.

The air monitoring results are available online for individuals to download and review at http://racertrust.org/News/Massena_Community_Air_Monitoring_Plan_Reports.If you have any questions you can call Environmental Specialist Craig Arquette at (518) 358-5937 ext.119.

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The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk People. ­