Flooding fuels fear about more toxins leaking from the notorious Nassau County dump.
NASSAU- Heavy rains hit the town badly almost two weeks ago; sludge and residue from the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site have cascaded into the Little Thunder Brook and down into the Valatie Kill. It’s a well-known trout stream that’s raising concerns about toxins spreading from the industrial dumping ground.
“Because of the volume of transfer down the streams, this isn’t just a Nassau problem. This is a Capital Region problem,” said the town Supervisor David Fleming.
In July, heavy rainfall flooded the Central and Southern Rensselaer County; as a result, Dewey Loeffel, located on Mead Road, was closed off. Floods caused excessive damage to homes, buildings, businesses, and roads. And raised worries about the toxins that could leak from notorious landfills due to soaking.
“There was a massive amount of sediment from the storm and the subsequent flooding. As a result, there were extremely high flood levels down the stream that empties into the Valatie Kill,” said Fleming.
Town officials have also reported toxins and sediments deposited in nearby fields, homes, and front yards that result from flooding.
After torrential rains hit the town, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of Environmental Conservation went to the dumpsite. EPA examines the Nassau Lake area and has started water testing of streams and has conducted sediment testing.
“Measures to control turbidity, such as stone dams, are also being re-established in Little Thunder Brook to limit the potential for sediments to move downstream,” the EPA reported in an announcement about its efforts.
The Dewey Loeffel Landfill is considered a toxic dump as its heavily polluted by toxins, sediments, and sludge. According to rough estimation, 46,000 tons of industrial waste such as waste oil, industrial solvents, PCBs, scrap materials, sludge and solids material is buried here.
The Valatie Kill is a protected trout stream that empties into Kinderhook Lake in Columbia County, and Little Thunder Creek is a 1,900-foot-long tributary of the Valatie kill.
The heavy rains cast aside up to five inches of rainwater nearby, causing the flooding. However, EPA said the landfill and treatment equipment were not significantly affected by the storms.
“Because these water bodies were subject to high flows, erosion and flooding, the storm … may have transported PCB-impact sediments to downstream areas,” the EPA said.