Jan 20, 2022, 1:26 pm

Rosen Brothers Scrap Yard/Dump Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) Site

EPA Identifier: NYD982272734
CERCLIS ID: NYD982272734
42.591669, -76.175281

Cortland, NY

Final Date: 19890331

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Site Summary:
Federal Register Notice:  March 31, 1989

Conditions at proposal (June 24, 1988): Rosen Brothers Scrap Yard/Dump covers approximately 20 acres adjacent to a residential/commercial area in Cortland, Cortland County, New York. The southern border abuts Cortland City High School and is a natural route for students.

Wickwire Brothers, Inc., produced small metal items and disposed of industrial wastes on the site until 1970, when the facility burned to the ground. Philip and Harvey Rosen started a scrap metal processing and waste disposal operation there in 1971, purchased the site in 1975, and stopped operations in 1985.

In 1972, 1984, and 1985, the Cortland County Health Department cited the Rosen brothers for violating State and county laws concerning waste handling. On June 18, 1985, the department ordered Philip Rosen to fence the property, forego burning or dumping, conduct daily inspections, plan for testing and removal of all materials, and secure the pit. Rosen has not complied. Also, in 1985, a consultant to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) found that a building and 150-foot smoke stack were structurally unsound. Municipal waste, industrial waste, construction waste, timbers, and drums had been disposed of in an unlined open dump approximately 100 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 15 to 20 feet deep. The consultant estimated that approximately 500 drums, contents unknown and many leaking, were on the surface. In addition, drums had been buried in two areas. Also on the surface were crushed cars and refrigerators; 5,000-gallon steel tanks; approximately 10 fuel truck tanks; and an open pit containing water with an oily surface.

In April 1986, NYSDEC's consultant detected 1,1-dichloroethylene, 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, and tetrachloroethylene in on-site wells; trace concentrations of trichloroethane, fluorene, di-n-butyl phthalate, fluoranthene, pyrene, and di-n-octyl phthalate were also detected. Drums labeled with some of these compounds were noted during the site inspection; other compounds detected are petroleum constituents attributable to the car-crushing operation.

In September 1987, using CERCLA emergency funds, EPA fenced the site; secured and segregated containers of hazardous materials; removed a number of gas cylinders; and sampled wastes. Cadmium, chromium, lead, PCB-1242, chrysene, anthracene, phenanthrene, and pyrene were identified at the site during the removal action. EPA anticipates conducting a second removal action involving the treatment and/or disposal of the remaining hazardous materials.

The site overlies the Cortland-Homer-Premble Aquifer, a glacial outwash sand and gravel deposit. Public and private wells tapping the aquifer within 3 miles of the site are the sole source of drinking water for an estimated 24,000 people.