The Colonie, New York, Site was remediated under the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP). FUSRAP was established in 1974 to remediate sites where radioactive contamination remained from Manhattan Project and early U.S. Atomic Energy Commission operations.
The site was previously owned and operated by National Lead Industries (NL) as a foundry from 1937 to 1984. In 1958, NL began producing items manufactured from uranium and thorium under licenses issued by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the state of New York. The AEC contract was terminated in 1968, and thereafter the plant fabricated shielding components, aircraft counterweights, and artillery projectiles from depleted uranium. The New York State Supreme Court shut down the NL plant in 1984 due to airborne uranium releases and the U.S. Congress assigned the authority to clean up the site to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). DOE subsequently acquired the site for the purposes of cleanup. DOE performed investigations and initiated cleanup under FUSRAP from 1984 to 1997. During this period, DOE investigated soil and groundwater, cleaned up 53 of 56 vicinity properties, removed the on-site buildings, and disposed of the waste materials generated during these actions.
In 1997, Congress transferred cleanup actions under FUSRAP to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Between 1999 and 2014, USACE completed the large-scale soil removal action at the main site and the three remaining vicinity properties, initiated a groundwater monitoring program to measure the progress of monitored natural attenuation for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and investigated uranium dust contamination in vicinity homes and commercial entities.
USACE issued the Colonie Site Closeout Report documenting the completion of the remedial actions in April 2018. All radioactive contamination has been cleaned up to residential-use standards on federal property, vicinity properties, and in the groundwater. Metal contamination has been remediated to residential-use standards, except for three discrete areas subject to environmental easement restrictions. Excavation in these easement areas will require prior notifications and compliance with the site management plan. Land use controls limit groundwater use and require investigation for vapor intrusion prior to building construction.
On September 30, 2019, USACE transferred responsibility for long-term stewardship of FUSRAP responsibilities to the DOE Office of Legacy Management (LM). LM’s long-term stewardship responsibilities consist of monitoring groundwater until natural attenuation brings VOC contamination levels to cleanup standards, maintaining institutional controls for the soil easement areas, managing site records, conducting long-term periodic reviews, and responding to stakeholder inquiries. DOE has determined that the site be made available for future redevelopment to benefit the community. LM has made the site available for beneficial reuse opportunities.