EPA’s OK of Alcoa cleanup in Massena a ‘positive step,’ Rep. Owens says
Friday, April 5, 2013 - 5:35 pm

Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) calls the Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of a cleanup plan for the toxic waste in the Grasse River near the Alcoa industrial site in Massena “a positive step” for the company and the community.

“Today’s announcement eliminates a roadblock that has created uncertainty around Alcoa’s modernization, and I applaud this progress,” Owens said Friday.

“Finalizing a plan to clean up the Grasse River is another positive step forward for Alcoa, for workers and labor at the facility and for their families in the community,” said Owens.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced officially Friday that it has finalized its Grasse River Superfund plan for Massena. As part of the plan, Alcoa is expected to assume $243 million in costs associated with the project.

The announcement comes on the heels of Alcoa’s recent commitment to invest $52 million for modernization at their Massena operation and to support local economic development.

Alcoa’s work on the Grasse River stems from a Superfund order issued by the EPA in the late 1980s.

According to the EPA’s announcement, the plan includes a cleanup along a 7.2 mile stretch of the Grasse River contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. The cleanup effort will include a mix of dredging and capping.

Owens represents New York’s 21st Congressional District, stretches from just north of Pulaski in the west to just north of Albany in the east, and up to the St. Lawrence River and the Canadian border in the north, including all of St. Lawrence County.