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Rogers Island Removal Action

During Fall 1999, EPA conducted a removal action on several residential properties on the northern portion of Rogers Island to remove PCB and lead contamination in the soils there.

EPA conducted soil and sediment sampling in order to investigate possible PCB contamination on Rogers Island. The results of that sampling were shared with the public in June 1999, and indicate PCB (and lead) contamination exists in the soils of a limited number of residences on the northern portion of the island, and along the shoreline of the island's southern half.  EPA also calculated the human health risk posed by this contamination and published those findings in a Human Health Risk Assessment, which is available at the Information Repositories listed at the end of this page.

Executive Summary to the Human Health Risk Assessment for Rogers Island.

EPA removed approximately 3,530 tons of PCB-contaminated soil and 910 tons of lead-contaminated soil. The excavation was completed in December 1999. The affected properties were restored during 2000 and 2001, including the construction of a retaining wall, backfilling, seeding and the planting of trees.

Based on the current land use for the southern portion of the island, results of the sampling performed by EPA does not indicate an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment and does not warrant additional cleanup work. Although development has been proposed for the southern portion of Rogers Island, no permit applications have been made and no construction has occurred. In the event that the land use changes, EPA may reassess the need for any further response action.

Site History & Background

Rogers Island is located in the Town of Ft. Edward, Washington County, New York. Areas of soils on Rogers Island are believed to have been contaminated as a result of the deposition of dredge spoils and river sediments resulting from both human activities and natural occurrences.

In 1992, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) sampled soils on Rogers Island and found some areas of PCB contamination at a variety of levels. At that time, the DOH concluded that no action needed to be taken unless something happened on the island to change the human exposure scenario. In 1998, it came to the attention of the State of New York that a portion of Rogers Island was undergoing development for a planned resort, including boat docks, launches and an interpretive center keyed to the historic significance of the locale. The development had begun in the form of digging out some areas of soil and moving others from one place to another. Recalling the opinion of the DOH regarding possible action in a change of exposure scenario, a preliminary assessment was planned. The EPA, coordinating with NYSDEC and DOH began the preliminary assessment, and NYSDEC sampled soils in areas of concern early in the summer of 1998.

In October 1998, EPA began its soil and sediment sampling effort on Rogers Island. The Agency mapped each yard and collected approximately 20 surface soil samples from each resident's yard. In addition, each property that interfaced with the water had at least one sediment sample collected. In total, in excess of 2,000 samples were taken across the island.


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