East Hampton Town will soon begin a detailed environmental study at East Hampton Airport, 47 acres of which was included on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites, commonly called Superfund sites, based on detections of perfluorinated chemicals, known as PFAS.
A work plan was submitted to the D.E.C. under the state's Superfund program. The site is listed as a Class 2 site on the Superfund list, representing a significant threat to public health or the environment requiring action, according to a D.E.C. fact sheet. The agency and the state's Health Department will oversee the investigation.
Firefighting foam containing PFAS was stored and used at the airport for crash response and training. PFAS have been detected in soil and groundwater at the airport and in groundwater and private drinking water wells away from it. The concentrations exceed the state maximum contaminant limit of 10 parts per trillion for each contaminant in drinking water wells.
The investigation will define the nature and extent of contamination in soil, surface water, groundwater, and any other parts of the environment that may be affected. The first phase of field work is scheduled to begin this month and take about a month to complete. The second and third phases are to be completed in the spring of 2022.
Key components of the investigation involve taking soil samples to identify possible sources of contamination, collecting soil vapor, sub-slab soil vapor and indoor air samples, and installing and sampling groundwater wells to monitor the impacts from any areas of concern.
Information collected will be summarized in a report. After the investigation is complete, the town, with D.E.C. oversight, will conduct a feasibility study to come up with ways to clean up any contamination. The information may also support the conclusion that no further action is needed.
The D.E.C. will then develop a draft cleanup plan that describes its preferred remedy, or, if warranted, a proposal for no further action. The plan will explain the decision that led to that remedy by discussing each alternative and the reasons for choosing or rejecting it. The D.E.C. will announce the availability of the draft cleanup plan in a future fact sheet and will present it to the public during a 30-day comment period and at a public meeting.
The plan is available at dec.ny.gov/data/DecDocs/152250.