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DEC FINDS 'NO BASIS' TO TEST OLD HAMBURG LANDFILL

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has no plans to test the former Town of Hamburg landfill for hazardous waste.

Though they are requiring the town to set up monitoring wells outside the landfill, DEC officials said they could find no evidence that hazardous waste was dumped at the site.

"There's no basis for testing this landfill," said Peter J. Buechi, regional remediation engineer for the DEC, adding that the department has no documents to support claims that hazardous waste was buried at the landfill.

Buechi and Frank Shattuck of the DEC discussed the landfill at Wednesday's public meeting on the former Nike base contamination. The town now owns the sites and operated a landfill there until 1984. Since the Nike base was brought to public attention nearly two years ago, the DEC has found problems with maintenance of the landfill.

"The landfill was closed in 1984. The requirements at the time were followed," Shattuck said, adding that since then, "There has been some degradation."

The DEC is requiring the town to bring the landfill into compliance, which includes having a minimum of 18 inches of compacted soil covered by six inches of topsoil over the entire landfill and grading it properly. The town also is to remove trees and brush from the surface of the landfill, relocate waste material away from the adjacent wetland area and install ground water monitoring wells.

The town hired GZA GeoEnvironmental to prepare a work plan and closure report.

Shattuck said the DEC found very low levels of contamination, but it was not hazardous waste.

"I've seen rims and washing machines. Town employees have said they have seen drums," he said.

He said the DEC checked out leads from town employees who said they had seen drums delivered to the landfill for disposal, but the companies named denied ever using the Hamburg landfill.

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