Atlantic Richfield Company
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

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A statement from Atlantic Richfield Company regarding Building 52 on the waterfront

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In order for Atlantic Richfield Company (AR) to keep the waterfront environmental remediation project on track and on schedule, a decision must be made on the future of Building 52. The location of the building currently prevents access to investigating the subsurface in that portion of the site and hampers the remedial design needed for the site clean-up. AR has presented to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) a comprehensive analysis of the potential options for the building, and will continue to work with the appropriate state agencies and the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson in the review of that document.

AR understands and appreciates the desire of some members of the community to preserve and restore Building 52. However, AR strongly believes that the best alternative is the removal of the building to allow for the continuation of environmental remediation at the site. It is important to remember that Building 52 was the main location where cables intended for battleships in World War II were coated with PCB material as a flame retardant. Due to that activity, there is substantial contamination within, underneath and adjacent to the building.

Based on sampling that has been conducted to date, preserving Building 52 will require extensive removal of PCBs, including excavation of soil beneath and around the building and grinding down the interior brick walls, when it's already compromised by age and weathering. Even a major, costly and potentially dangerous effort won't get 100% of the contamination. Inaccessible PCBs are likely to remain, especially underneath the building slab itself, posing a long-term environmental and safety concern that's contrary to the very intent of the remediation. Postponing the remaining clean-up to a later date when the site may be occupied will introduce health and safety risk that could be avoided if it the building was taken down now and the remedy finished.

It also should be noted that the building's poor condition will pose a significant and unnecessary risk to workers as they go about their business in or around the building.

Removing Building 52 and conducting a thorough, site-wide excavation and capping remedy as directed and overseen by NYSDEC is simply the right thing to do for the environment, the community and the future of this site.

For more information, see a full Building 52 Report available at our Reports and Publications page.