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General Motors

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GM Remediation Update

By Craig Arquette, Environmental Specialist

Remediation Site
Workers from Perras Environmental Control Excavate an Industrial Lagoon

Craig Arquette

I am an Environmental Specialist for the SRMT’s Environment Division. One of my job duties is to provide Oversite for the community regarding the cleanup of the GM property. Basically, I keep an eye on the GM site to make sure their remediation activities are not impacting our community. The property is currently owned by Revitalizing Automotive Communities Environmental Response (RACER) Trust.

There are several areas on the GM site that are contaminated with PCBs. When one of these areas is selected for cleanup, then a Remediation Work Plan is written. I review the work plans, along with our office’s Environmental Consultant, and we provide comments to the US EPA.

In 2011, the GM Plant building was demolished down to the concrete slab. In 2012, work began to demo the concrete slab and the contaminated soils under it. The contaminated demolition debris and soils were sent off-site to a secure landfill at Model City NY. Non-hazardous waste soils were sent to Boonville NY in Oneida County.

Right now, work is underway to remediate the North Disposal Area (NDA) and the industrial lagoons. The NDA contains sludges and other contaminated debris. When the Plant was in operation, the lagoons would fill with sludges containing PCBs. In order to maintain the lagoons, these sludges would be transferred to the NDA. During this remediation project, if needed, air emissions will be controlled by foam suppression techniques. This will keep down dust and odors. The contaminated soils will be sent off-site to a secure landfill in Indiana. Non-hazardous waste soils will be sent to Clinton County landfill. This work is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Residences in the area are expected to experience noise from the operation of construction equipment. Community members are encouraged to call the environment office if they smell or see anything unusual. There are nine air monitoring stations downwind from the work site. Two air monitoring stations are located on residential property in Raquette Point. All air monitoring stations will continue to collect samples now and till the work is completed. Monitoring results are available online at

In addition to the NDA work this year, the Water Treatment System will be reconfigured. The Water Treatment Building, the Aeration Basin, and the Clarifier Building will be taken offline and demolished. The water treatment system will be consolidated to the Red Shed Building near the river.

bucket of excavator picking up soil
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PDF file - 7.76 MB

2014 through 2015, the two sludge pits in the East Disposal Area will be cleaned up. The edge of the dump will be pulled back 150 feet from the shore of the St. Lawrence River and reservation boundary. The material removed from the Dump to create the 150 foot setback will be consolidated under new EDA/Dump cap. Also during this time period, a ground water control system will be installed. The last of the general site cleanup and restoration activities will occur in 2016.

The SRMT Environment Division and the regulatory agencies will continue to work for this community to try to achieve a more comprehensive cleanup of the property.

If you have any questions you can call Craig Arquette at 518-358-5937 ext.120.

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment Division Posted: 2013.08.09