Thermal Desorption at the Sarney Farm Superfund Site, Amenia, New York

Site Name:

Sarney Farm Superfund Site


Amenia, New York

Period of

August through December 1997


Full scale


Mark A. Fleri, P.E.
Project Manager
Williams Environmental Services, Inc.
2075 West Park Place
Stone Mountain, GA 30087
Telephone: (800) 247-4030
Fax: (770) 879-4831

Thermal Desorption
- Low temperature thermal desorption (LTTD) system owned by Williams Environmental, Inc
- System included a desorber unit that consisted of a direct-heated rotary kiln, feed belt, thermal desorber burner, and discharge screw conveyor; a baghouse unit; a thermal oxidizer unit; and a control unit
- Average system throughput - 27 tons/hr; residence time - 15 to 20 minutes; soil exit temperature - 650 to 750 F

Cleanup Authority:
- ROD signed September 27, 1990

EPA Remedial Project Manager (RPM):
Kevin Willis
EPA Region 2
290 Broadway, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10007
Telephone: (212) 637-4252
Fax: (212) 637-3966
Prime Contractor:
Jim Bannon
410 Amherst Street, Suite 100
Nashua, NH 03063
Telephone: (603) 889-3737
Fax: (603) 880-6111

Volatile Organic Compounds
- Seven contaminants of concern (COCs) were identified including 1,2-dichloroethane, 2-butanone, 4-methyl-2-pentanone, chloroform, toluene, trichloroethene, total xylenes

Waste Source:
Leaking drums and disposal of wastes in trenches

Type/Quantity of Media Treated:
- 10,514 tons of soil
- Primarily coarse sand with small amounts of clay and silt
- Moisture content of <25%

Purpose/Significance of Application:
Thermal desorption treatment of soils contaminated with VOCs

Regulatory Requirements/Cleanup Goals:
The ROD specified the following soil cleanup levels: 1,2-dichloroethane - 0.1 mg/kg, 2-butanone - 0.3 mg/kg, 4-methyl-2-pentanone - 1.0 mg/kg, chloroform - 0.3 mg/kg, toluene - 1.5 mg/kg, trichloroethene - 0.2 mg/kg, total xylenes - 7.0 mg/kg

All treated soil met the cleanup goals for the seven COCs on the first pass through the system

Cost Factors:
The total project cost was $2,918,600, including $1,932,300 in costs for the thermal treatment application and $986,300 in other project costs such as excavation, compliance sampling, disposal of residuals and miscellaneous costs
- Treatment costs included $1,932,300, including $745,600 in capital costs and $1,186,700 in operating costs
- The calculated unit cost for treatment was $184 per ton based on treating 10,514 tons of soil

The Sarney Farm Superfund Site (Sarney Farm) is located in the town of Amenia in Dutchess County New York, approximately 90 miles north of New York City. The site encompasses 40 acres and includes a five-acre permitted sanitary landfill that operated from 1968 to 1969. During that time, non-permitted industrial wastes and barrels of waste solvents were disposed of in and around the landfill, as well as in trenches around the site. Site investigations indicated that soil and groundwater at the site were contaminated with organics, primarily VOCs. The ROD, signed in September 1990, specified removal of drums and excavation and on-site treatment of contaminated soil using low temperature thermal desorption for two areas. Removal of drums, which were disposed of off-site, was completed in March 1995.

The thermal treatment system used for this application was a low temperature thermal desorption (LTTD) system owned by Williams. A total of 10,514 tons of soil were treated from August through December 1997. All treated soil met the cleanup goals for seven COCs on the first pass through the system. The LTTD system reduced contaminant concentrations to non-detectable levels based on available data on individual contaminant concentrations. According to ESE, local permit constraints limited LTTD operation to daylight hours (about 10 to 11 hours per day), five days per week. Had the unit been allowed to operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week, the thermal treatment likely could be completed at a lower cost. According to Williams, this project was performed without the benefit of existing site utilities. Electricity was provided using an on-site generator; water was imported to the site on a daily basis using a tank truck; and soil was quenched using treated water from the excavation.