According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), additional technology will be added to the existing treatment plant at a New York Superfund site to “further address the long-term treatment of the chemical 1,4 dioxane, a stabilizer and solvent that is also a component of some cosmetics, detergents and shampoos.” The treatment plant was constructed and is operated by the two companies responsible for the landfill’s purported contamination between 1952 and 1968. The waste deposited there included “industrial solvents, waste oils, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), scrap materials, sludge and solids,” EPA said. “Volatile organic compounds and other hazardous substances have seeped out of the landfill and contaminated the groundwater. PCBs have also moved downstream, causing contamination of sediment and several species of fish in and near Nassau Lake.”
A carbon filtration system currently in place has apparently been “effectively removing 1,4-dioxane,” and it will be the primary treatment method for the chemical until the new treatment technology is functioning. There is no discharge limit for the chemical, but the state requires quarterly monitoring, and the National Toxicology Program has included it in the “reasonably anticipated human carcinogen” category. EPA and the responsible companies apparently “agreed that adding the specialized treatment is the best longterm treatment option for 1,4-dioxane.” Environmental concerns raised by the chemical have apparently caused some companies to re-formulate their products, and EPA’s new treatment option at the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site could be applied to other treatment facilities. See EPA News Release, July 21, 2014; Cosmeticsdesign.com, July 22, 2014.