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Post date: June 13 2000

Spitzer And Dec Secure $5.4 Million For Clean-up At Allegany County Superfund Site

Attorney General Spitzer and State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner John P. Cahill announced today a $5.4 million interim settlement for costs incurred by the environmental clean-up of the Wellsville-Andover Landfill in Allegany County, New York.

The settlement, which was approved by federal Judge John T. Elfvin in Buffalo, would provide for the recovery of more than half of the State money spent to clean up the municipal landfill operated by the Village of Wellsville. The landfill was contaminated with hazardous chemicals generated by a number of manufacturing facilities in the vicinity over a 20-year period. The Attorney General is continuing to seek remaining State clean-up costs from the successors of the Rochester Button Company, one of the polluters at the site.

"The State Department of Environmental Conservation took over and cleaned up the landfill when those responsible for the problems failed to do so," Spitzer said. "These settlement agreements will ensure that those who disposed of hazardous chemicals at this site reimburse the taxpayers for site clean-up costs, as they should do. I intend to continue vigorous efforts to recover the costs of contamination at other landfills and sites around the State from those responsible for the contamination."

"This initial settlement is the result of a cooperative effort between the DEC and the Attorney General's office to recover cleanup costs expended by the State and prevent local taxpayers from having to foot the bill," DEC Commissioner Cahill said. "Working together, we will continue to aggressively pursue those responsible for contaminating the environment to ensure they are held accountable for their actions."

The settling parties include Turbodyne Electric Power Corporation, Dresser-Rand Company and Dresser Industries, Inc., ABB Air Preheater, McGraw-Edison Company and the Village and Town of Wellsville.

The site operated as a landfill from 1964 through 1983 for the disposal of municipal and industrial wastes. DEC investigations of the site and surrounding area found that chemicals were migrating from the site and had contaminated groundwater with trichloroethylene and numerous other toxic chemicals.

A number of domestic water wells and springs located in the vicinity of the site were also contaminated. In 1996-97, DEC conducted a clean-up of the site. The clean-up included consolidation and capping of the site, upgrading a pre-existing leachate collection system at the site, and associated activities.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Eugene Martin-Leff, of Spitzer's Environmental Protection Bureau.