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Ashland Chemical Co

Other (Former) Names of Site: Ashland, Inc., Ashland Distribution

EPA Identification Number: NYD046877775
Facility Location: 130 South Street, Rensselaer, New York 12144
Facility Contact: James E. Vondracek, P.E. - Principal Remediation Engineer, (614) 790-6146
EPA Contact: Alan Straus, (212) 637-4160, straus.alan@epa.gov
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Case Manager: Michael MacCabe, P.E., Senior Environmental Engineer, (518) 402-9687, mdmaccab@gw.dec.state.ny.us
Last Updated: May 2014
Environmental Indicator Status: Human Exposures Under Control [PDF 2.16 MB, 9 pp] has been verified.
Groundwater Contamination Under Control [PDF 2.59 MB, 10 pp] has been recorded.

Site Description

The Ashland site is approximately 4.8 acres in size and is located at 130 South Street in the City of Rensselaer, Rensselaer County, New York. The main site area is bordered by CSX Transportation and rail lines to the west, undeveloped land to the north, South Street to the east, and Columbia Turnpike to the south.

The commercial history of the site began in 1892 when a slaughter house occupied the southern portion of the site. Chemical related industry began in 1909 when Empire Size and Chemical Corporation acquired the site and continued through successive owners until Ashland purchased the site in 1969 from Eastern Chemical.

The site has most recently been used by Ashland for a chemical distribution facility, however these operations were discontinued in 2001. The site is now vacant and is enclosed by a six-foot high chain link fence.

Site Responsibility and Legal Instrument

In 1984, Ashland entered into a Consent Agreement/Consent Order with EPA that required investigation and remediation of potentially hazardous constituents, believed to have originated from an underground leaking tank at the facility. A 1992 Administrative Order on Consent requires Ashland to continue with investigative and remedial activities at the plant site. All studies, workplans and corrective measures are reviewed by EPA, in consultation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).

Potential Threats and Contaminants

Groundwater at the facility is contaminated with chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs). Concentrations of these CVOCs exceed New York State standards for a number of contaminants including tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene (BTEX), vinyl chloride and number of breakdown products (cis-1,2-DCE and trans-1,2-DCE).

Cleanup Approach and Progress

The remedy for the site was approved by EPA in 2009, was started in 2010, and includes the following components: on-site enhanced bioattenuation (enhancement of natural microbiological processes that degrade chlorinated compounds by introducing organic compound sources (e.g. molasses, emulsified vegetable oil) to the impacted groundwater); monitored natural attenuation, groundwater monitoring, institutional and engineering controls, and groundwater monitoring and if necessary, evaluation of additional vapor monitoring at the downgradient former Volvo Service Center.

Cleanup measures that were previously implemented include the excavation and on-site treatment by enhanced aeration techniques of 6,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil; and installation of a buried culvert to isolate a small unnamed creek that runs through the site. 

Final Cleanup Status or Projection

Site Repository

Copies of supporting technical documents and correspondence cited in this fact sheet are available for public review at:
USEPA Region 2
RCRA Records Center
290 Broadway, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10007-1866
Telephone (212) 637-3043

The inspection of some of the documents cited in the site fact sheet may require a formal request under the United States Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Division of Environmental Remediation 
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-7252

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) makes its public records available for a review under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).



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