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EPA Cleanups: GE-Pittsfield/Housatonic River Site

On-Plant Consolidation Areas - Overview

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Hill 78 On-Plant Consolidation Area (OPCA)
This area encompasses approximately 6 acres and is located within the boundaries of the Hill 78-Remainder RAA. It is located in the northern portion of Hill 78-Remainder Area, and is surrounded on all sides by the Hill78-Remainder RAA, except for the east, where it is bordered by the Building 71 OPCA. The Hill 78 OPCA includes the former Hill 78 landfill, which was a 15-foot tall on-site disposal area that was historically used by GE for excavated soils, building demolition and construction debris, and other materials generated within the GE facility. In 1991, GE installed a temporary cap on the former landfill that consisted of a geotextile layer covered with either one foot of crushed stone or soil.

This area was designated in the Consent Decree as a consolidation area for certain materials excavated or otherwise removed as part of various Removal Actions and building demolition debris at the GE-Pittsfield/Housatonic River Site. This area received approximately 134,500 cubic yards of materials from 1999 through 2009. (See below for more details on material placement requirements.) The area was filled to capacity and final capping was completed in 2009.

GE submitted a Final Completion Report for the Hill 78 and Building 71 OPCAs on September 15, 2011and EPA issued a Certificate of Completion to GE on September 26, 2011. GE is currently performing all required Post-Removal Site Control Activities, including inspection, monitoring and maintenance activities.

Building 71 On-Plant Consolidation Area (OPCA) - This approximately 4.4 acre area is also located within the boundaries of the Hill 78- Remainder RAA. It is located immediately to the east of the Hill 78 OPCA. The co-generation facility is located directly to the south. This area was designated in the Consent Decree as a consolidation area for certain materials excavated or otherwise removed as part of various Removal Actions and building demolition activities at the GE-Pittsfield/Housatonic River Site. This area received approximately 110,500 cubic yards of materials from 2001 through 2006. (See below for more details on material placement requirements.) The area was filled to capacity and final capping was completed in 2006.

GE submitted a Final Completion Report for the Hill 78 and Building 71 OPCAs on September 15, 2011and EPA issued a Certificate of Completion to GE on September 26, 2011. GE is currently performing all required Post-Removal Site Control Activities, including inspection, monitoring and maintenance activities.

Pre-Construction actions and ancillary areas associated with the Hill 78 and Building 71 On-Plant Consolidation Areas (OPCAs) – The construction of the OPCAs was preceded by the demolition of Building 71, the demolition of a structure located along the western side of the Hill 78 OPCA, and the removal and/or abandonment of storm sewers associated with Building 71.  Two stormwater basins were constructed to manage the flow of clean run-off water from the OPCAs.  Approximately 60 cubic yards of soil with elevated PCBs were removed from the northern stormwater basin and placed in the Building 71 OPCA.  Any other disturbed soil was used as backfill or in re-grading activities - no soil was transported off site for disposal. 

In addition to the area associated with the placement of materials, the two stormwater basins encompass 1.1 acres and other support areas consist of 0.65 acre.  Thus, the OPCA RAAs cover a total area of approximately 12.15 acres.  

Hill 78 and Building 71 On-Plant Consolidation Areas (OPCAs) Placement Requirements - Certain materials generated during the performance of Removal Actions and building demolition debris were permanently consolidated at these two OPCAs. The materials generally included soils, sediments, and existing surface materials (e.g., asphalt, other debris) that were excavated or otherwise removed as part of the Removal Actions for each RAA and building demolition debris.

Specifically excluded from consolidation within the OPCAs were free liquids, free product, intact drums and capacitors, and other equipment that contains PCBs within its internal components, as well as asbestos-containing material required by applicable law to be removed from structures prior to demolition.

Materials consolidated within the Hill 78 OPCA were limited to materials that contained less than 50 ppm PCBs, on average, and were not classified as a hazardous waste under regulations issued pursuant to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Materials that contained more than 50 ppm PCBs or were classified as a hazardous waste under regulations issued pursuant to RCRA were allowed to be consolidated at the Building 71 OPCA. The Building 71 Consolidation Area was constructed with a bottom liner and a leachate collection system.

The final cap at both of the OPCAs was a multilayered cap consisting of an impermeable high-density polyethelyne (HDPE) liner, a geosynthetic drainage composite layer, eighteen inches of sand, and six inches of top soil with a vegetative cover.

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