Case: Saint Lawrence
Site History: This Site includes the General Motors Central
Foundry Division, listed on the National Priorities List in 1984, as well as
the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA West) and Reynolds Metals Company (ALCOA
East) facilities. The ALCOA West facility has produced aluminum from alumina
using the pre-baked anode method since 1903. The Reynolds Metals Company was
constructed in 1958 to produce aluminum from alumina using the soderberg
process. General Motors Central Foundry manufactured aluminum cylinder heads at
this plant beginning in 1959. Starting in the late 1950s polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs) were used in hydraulic fluid and electrical equipment
at the three plants.
Location: Massena, New York.
Case status: The Trustees conducted and settled natural
resource damage assessments with Alcoa and GM to address injury to ecological,
recreational fishing, and cultural services.
The case is now in the restoration planning phase.
Overview: The Alcoa West (Grasse River plant), Alcoa East (former Reynolds Metals Company), and General Motors Foundry are located in Massena, New York. PCBs as well as aluminum, fluoride, cyanide, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and dioxins and furans have been released into the surrounding environment including the Grasse River, the Raquette River, the St. Lawrence River, and Turtle Cove/Turtle Creek. Land- and river-based remediation has addressed some but not all of the source conditions. Records of Decision have been issued for the St. Lawrence River at GM and Reynolds, Turtle Cove, and the Raquette River. Since the initial remediation was conducted at these sites, additional dredging and capping was performed in the St. Lawrence River adjacent to Reynolds and on-site remediation is continuing at GM. EPA issued a Record of Decision in April 2013 for the Alcoa Grasse River site that requires dredging and backfilling of contaminated nearshore sediments, and armored and non-armored capping of contaminated main channel sediments as the final remedy.
The Trustees formed the St. Lawrence Environmental Trustee Council
(SLETC) in 1990 to coordinate their activities resolving natural resource
liability at these three sites. The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe serves as the Lead
Administrator for the SLETC. A Pre-assessment Screen was prepared by the SLETC
in 1991. A cooperative assessment was initiated between the SLETC and the
Companies in 2000. This process assessed injuries (by
quantity or quality) to ecological resources such as sediment, fish, birds,
mammals, reptiles and amphibians. There was also a parallel effort to quantify injury to recreational fishing and qualify injury to cultural resources of the St.Regis Mohawk Tribe. Settlements were reached in 2011 and 2013. Instructions for submitting comments on the 2013 Consent Decree and the Restoration Compensation and Determination Plan are posted to the Restoration Activities page.