EPA to unveil E. Fishkill Superfund cleanup plan

The Environmental Protection Agency's plan to clean up an IBM contractor's groundwater contamination in East Fishkill -- the problem relates to operations conducted nearly 50 years ago -- will be detailed at a public hearing Sept. 12.

The contractor, Jack Manne Inc., rented a property at 7 East Hook Cross Rd., East Fishkill, from 1965 to 1975, and used the space for a process that cleaned and repaired IBM computer chip racks. The racks were used in the manufacture of computer chips.

In the process, the EPA has said, tetrachloroethene and other solvents leaked into groundwater and residential wells. Tetrachloroethene, also known as PCE and PERC, is widely used in dry cleaning and can damage the liver and kidneys and erode memory and attention, according to the New York State Department of Health.

The area was designated a Superfund site in 2001, and IBM excavated the contaminated areas. As part of the cleanup, area residents were connected to the Fishkill municipal water supply in March 2009.

In a second phase of the cleanup, the EPA is proposing to continue to extract and treat groundwater at the site, restrict the use of groundwater and develop a system for monitoring wells.

Eugene Dauner of Jackson Road, one of the residents connected to the Fishkill municipal water supply, said the EPA has done a good job of informing local residents about progress on the cleanup plans and that he and his neighbors have been satisfied with the cleanup so far.

"I haven't heard any complaints," he said.

The hearing will take place at 7 p.m. at the East Fishkill Fire District Administration Building, 2502 Route 52, in Hopewell Junction.

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