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Ciba Geigy - Hercules Plant Site


EPA Identification Number:
Facility Location:
89 Lower Warren Street & Quaker Road, Queensbury (Glens Falls), New York 12801
Facility Contact:
Bruce Hough (302) 995-3404
EPA Contact:
Andy Park, (212) 637-4184, park.andy@epa.gov
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Case Manager: Brian Jankauskas, (518) 402-9626, bfjankau@gw.dec.state.ny.us
Last Updated:
June 2014
Environmental Indicator Status:
Human Exposures Under Control [PDF 439.3 KB, 19 pp] has been verified.
Groundwater Contamination Under Control [PDF 10.66 MB, 21pp] has been verified.

Site Description 

The approximately 45-acre Main Plant site is located in the Town of Queensbury, just east of the City of Glens Falls in Warren County, New York. The site is in a mixed industrial/residential area on the northern bank of an easterly flowing segment of the Hudson River.

Manufacturing activities began in 1901 and initially involved the manufacture of wallpaper and later, inorganic pigments. Hercules Inc. purchased the site in 1960 and sold it to Ciba-Geigy in 1979. Ciba-Geigy stopped producing pigments in 1989 and demolished the buildings. Stained or potentially contaminated debris was transported off-site for disposal as hazardous waste. Hercules and Ciba have entered into a cooperative agreement whereby Hercules is managing the corrective measures while Ciba retains ownership of the site.

Site Responsibility and Legal Instrument

Corrective action is being implemented through a 6 NYCRR Part 373 post-closure permit issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and its subsequent major modifications.

Potential Threats and Contaminants

The soil, groundwater and sediments at the site have been contaminated with heavy metals, cyanide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from several sources that included:

Potential Threats From Contaminated Groundwater
Contaminated groundwater does not pose a human health threat since no known water-supply wells have been impacted by this groundwater. However, New York State considers all its groundwater to be a potential source of potable water that should be remediated to the state's groundwater quality protection standards. In addition, the groundwater may leach into adjacent surface waters and sediments. Trespassers are kept off site by fencing and security and are not expected to come in contact with contaminated groundwater. Workers sampling groundwater and handling it follow an appropriate health and safety plan.

Potential Threats From Contaminated Soil
The site is secure and trespassers should not coming in contact with the contaminated soils. Off-site, the potential for human contact with contaminated sediment or waste in the Hudson River and the ponded backwater area has been mitigated due to the implementation of remedial measures.

Potential Threats From Air Contamination
Currently, there is a soil and vegetative cover at the Main Plant site, and a soil cover at the areas that required remediation at the pretreatment plant site. Additionally, at the Main Plant site and pretreatment plant, there is a very low potential threat from volatile contaminants since there are no occupied buildings on these sites. Historically, release of airborne dust was not a problem at the Main Plant site given the slabs, vegetative growth, and debris covering the site. In addition, monitoring for volatile compounds was required where volatiles were known or may have been expected in the soils.

Cleanup Approach and Progress
Full scale implementation of final corrective measures was accomplished in September 2002. The following corrective measures were implemented:

Off-Site Cleanup:

Permit Status

On September 30, 1991, NYSDEC issued a 6 NYCRR Part 373 post-closure permit to the facility for closure and post-closure care of the north lagoon (a surface impoundment). The corrective action portion of this permit required the facility to investigate the impact of past operations on the property and off-site areas, including the adjacent surface waters.

The post-closure permit renewal, which became effective on January 6, 1997, addressed the requirements for the final corrective measures at the Main Plant Site and at the pre-treatment plant. The permit was modified on January 12, 1999 to incorporate the final corrective measures for the off-site properties impacted by past air releases from the site; for the off-site Glens Falls Cement Company pond; and for the contamination in the Hudson River adjacent to and immediately downstream from the site. The post-closure permit was modified again to impose corrective measures for the ponded backwater area. This major permit modification was effective as of December 6, 2000. 

NYSDEC renewed the post-closure permit for this facility on April 21, 2009.

Site Repository

Copies of supporting technical documents and correspondence cited in this fact sheet are available for public review at:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Remediation
Remedial Bureau A
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-9764

For appointment, please call Brian Jankauskas, (518) 402-9626.

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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