Department of Environmental Conservation

Selected Operating Practices Related to the Remediation of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites

The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for cleaning up sites that have been contaminated by hazardous waste. We examined certain aspects of the actions taken by the Department in cleaning up sites that are no longer in use. We found that, even though the funds set aside for such remediation activities (the Superfund) have nearly been exhausted, many of the contaminated sites have yet to be remediated. We also note that residual contamination at some of the remediated sites may continue to pose a threat to the environment and to public health. We further note that improvements can be made in certain aspects of the Department's administration of the remediation activities. For example, restrictions are to be placed on the property deeds of some remediated sites to limit the use of the sites in the future. However, we found that the procedures established by the Department do not provide adequate assurance that deed restrictions are recorded as required, and we identified at least one deed that may not have been restricted as required. We make a number of recommendations for improving the information made available to the public about the remediation of inactive hazardous waste disposal sites.

For a complete copy of Report 99-S-33 click here.