Atlantic Richfield Company
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

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History

What you should know

For the better part of the last 150 years, the Hastings-on-Hudson riverfront has served as an industrial center and a major source of employment for the entire region. Thousands of workers made their living at the plants located there. These workers and their families helped build Hastings-on-Hudson and neighboring communities along the Hudson River.

The historic water tower at the One River Street site
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A 1926 photo taken of the One River Street site
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A History of the Riverfront — Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

For the better part of the last 150 years, the Hastings-on-Hudson riverfront has served as an industrial center and a major source of employment for the entire region. Thousands of workers made their living at the plants located there. These workers and their families helped build Hastings-on-Hudson and neighboring communities along the Hudson River.

The riverfront as we know it did not exist in the early 19th century. Over time, the waterfront was extended into the Hudson River by using fill material to accommodate a variety of industrial uses.

The Hudson River Steam Sugar Refinery opens in 1849

The first major industry to open along what was then the waterfront was the Hudson River Steam Sugar Refinery. The owners had learned the technique of boiling sugar by the steam method. They brought raw Cuban sugar to the docks, refined it and then exported it by ship and rail. The landfilling of what now is the riverfront west of the Hudson River Railroad likely began at this time.

This first industrial era came to an abrupt halt on December 26, 1875, when the sugar refinery burned. Arson was suspected. The $1 million loss put 300 people out of work. The factory had been insured and a new method of refining sugar had just been found. Within months, the owners opened a new refinery in Brooklyn. Shortly after the refinery fire, almost all the waterfront factories were burned.

Hastings Pavement Company opened on the site of the sugar refinery, taking advantage of the proximity to both rail and river transportation. In the late nineteenth century, the discovery of cable that could transmit electrical power created a new industry. About 1891, the National Conduit and Cable Company opened. The factory supplied cable for one of America's first public utilities: the Chicago Electric Light Company, as well as for New York's Metropolitan Traction Company and for trams and power lines in Europe. The company grew from 75 employees in 1896 to 3,200 in 1913. About this time, American Brass Company also took up residence on the riverfront.

During World War One, the waterfront industries geared up to support the war effort. Hastings Pavement supplied pavers for the Great Army Supply Base in Brooklyn and Navy yards in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and Hampton Roads. The National Conduit and Cable Company reportedly made artillery, weapons, machine gun shells and bullets in the north part of the site.

A predecessor to Anaconda Wire and Cable (AWC) bought part of the property in 1919 and eventually merged into AWC. AWC manufactured a variety of wire and cable on site until 1976, including telephone wire, electrical wire, television cable and mine-sweeping cable used to detonate underwater mines.

1978 to 1998

Several owners and tenants subsequently occupied the property, most notably Harbor at Hastings Associates (HHA) who developed a plan to redevelop the waterfront that proved unsuccessful. From 1988 to 1992, HHA leased Building 15 to Age Carting for operation as a construction and demolition (C & D) transfer station. An estimated 150,000 cubic yards of C & D waste was disposed of in Building 15 and elsewhere on the site. Under a court order, this material has been removed.

The Mobil / Uhlich Site

The 14.5 acres site south of the AR site was owned by Zinsser and Co., a manufacturer of dyes, pigments and photographic processing chemicals, until 1955. Between 1961 and 1971, that site was operated as a fuel oil storage facility by Tappan Tanker Terminal. The eastern portion of the old Zinsser site was leased to the Uhlich Color Company, a manufacturer of organic pigments, from 1964 to 1975, when the company purchased the property, which it continued to operate until 2000. Uhlich and its successors continue to own this now unoccupied property.

Mobil Oil Company bought the remaining western portion of the riverfront in 1971 and operated the fuel storage facility until 1985. The Mobil site has remained unoccupied since 1985, except for a small boat club, the Pioneer Yacht Club, which leases property on the south end of the site and whose members anchor their boats in the river off shore.

1998 to present

In 1998, AR's affiliate, AERL, purchased this site in order to gain control over environmental investigation and remediation efforts. By that time, many of the buildings on site had deteriorated to a point where they could not be saved. AERL took down several buildings in the southern part of the site and completed an environmental investigation and study of remedial options across the entire site.

Remediation history

The 28-acre former Anaconda site is a New York State Superfund site. Environmental investigations conducted over the last ten years involved soil sampling and analysis. Those investigations revealed the presence of PCBs, petroleum hydrocarbons and metal contaminants in surface and subsurface soils. In July 1989, the NYSDEC listed the site as a Class 2 site in the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites in New York.

NYSDEC and AR entered into a Consent Order on November 16, 1995 to provide for an in-depth investigation of environmental conditions on the Property. AR, the Village of Hastings-on-Hudson and the Riverkeeper entered into a consent decree that was finalized on May 27, 2003 outlining the obligations of AR to remediate the site. NYSDEC issued a Record of Decision (ROD) in spring of 2004.

NYSDEC issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the riverfront portion of the project in spring of 2004 that selected a remedy appropriate to meet the obligations of the consent decree. Based on that ROD, AR submitted on time a remedial design work plan that was reviewed and accepted in spring 2005. AR followed that with a 50% remedial design in the summer of 2006 that examined many of the technical challenges required to complete the remediation objectives at the site.

In 2004 and 2005, AR demolished 10 structures on site to prepare for future remediation work.

In 2009, AR launched a second major demolition project, removing 11 more structures, opening up views of the River and the Palisades. The water tower and the saw-toothed roof brick building on the northern end of the site, known as Building 52, were left in place for further investigation of the feasibility and desirability of preserving these buildings.

In 2010, AR began installing a series of wells to remove some liquid material containing PCBs from beneath the waterfront.

In 2012, after extensive investigation and public comment, NYSDEC issued a Record of Decision (ROD) for the river portion of the site.

AR now is proceeding with a remedial design investigation required to complete the design of the remedy.

At the end of 2013, NYSDEC and AR signed a Consent Order outlining AR’s remediation obligations at the site. The Consent Order expanded an earlier order by including the sediment remedy set forth in the 2012 Record of Decision for the river and by incorporating the improvements to the upland remedy set forth in the 2012 Modified Record of Decision for the site.