Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

25 years ago

Aug. 10, 1994

SIDNEY CENTER — The Environmental Protection Agency has quietly begun cleaning up South Pond, which is contaminated by runoff from the nearby Richardson Hill Road landfill in Sidney Center.

Work began Monday and is due to continue for three weeks, through Aug. 26, said Jack Harmon, on-scene coordinator for the federal EPA. “We’ve been working up there piecemeal, but we’re getting into the bulk of it now,” Harmon said.

He said crews are at South Pond acting upon an EPA order from late last year regarding interim cleanup at the Richardson Hill landfill site, which was contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other chemicals when the Bendix Corp. plant in Sidney used the area as a dump between 1964 and 1969. That dump and the nearby Sidney landfill site have been on the EPA’s Superfund hazardous-waste cleanup list since the 1980s.

The interim cleanup order was issued after reports of beaver and fish dying in the pond during a period of high water in April 1993. Harmon said he has seen no evidence that the wildlife died as a direct result of pollution from the Richardson Hill landfill, but the EPA issued the interim order to be safe.

Residents of the Richardson Hill Road area in the town of Sidney have had to endure the scare of pollution, continual cleanup efforts and, in the case of two households, contaminated well water in the years since Bendix Corp. used the area as a dump. Some residents are now upset that the EPA is not keeping them informed on the progress of its work.

“I don’t think it would be anything out of the ordinary to tell people what they’re doing,” said Phillip Canosa, who lives a mile south of South Pond on Herrick Hollow Road, which is what Richardson Hill Road becomes upon entering the town of Masonville.

He’s upset that the EPA ordered Richardson Hill/Herrick Hollow Road closed but did not warn residents. He wants the site cleaned but said the EPA seems to feel it can do whatever it wants without concern for the effect on citizens.