Client: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Location: West Islip, New York
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) engaged EA to complete a Climate Resilience Assessment to assess potential climate impacts and adaptation measures for a major remedial design and construction project at the Former Dzus Fastener Company Inactive Hazardous Waste Site located in West Islip, New York.
The site is a former fastener and spring production facility, with wastes consisting of heavy metals from the metal plating of fasteners and springs. These plating operations led to soil, groundwater, sediment, and surface water contamination impacting 4,000 linear feet of non-tidal and tidal portions of Willetts Creek, which flows into the East Bay, an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, and 8 acres of Lake Capri. The planned remedial action involved removing over 50,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment and soil from the creek and lake and providing for restoration of the waterways and adjacent areas.
The EA climate and coastal resiliency team evaluated a range of climate change scenarios that could affect both the long-term success of the remedial action for the site and the design of those remedies. The team reviewed current associated projections for sea level, frequency and severity of precipitation events, and associated stormwater runoff impacts, as well as temperature trends in the project area. Climate change projections up to the year 2050 were used to identify the potential vulnerable components and assess the overall resiliency of the remedy over this timeframe. These included potential climate vulnerabilities of the planned remedial work, including impacts to projected stabilized residual material and stream restoration areas.
As a result of the vulnerabilities review, the design team produced a climate resiliency assessment that outlined both coastal and upland strategies and measures for the site. Elements were then integrated to provide resilience into the overall final site design and monitoring plan, also completed by the EA team, and the construction work. Resilience measures covered a wide range of items including appropriately sized bank stabilization design to protect against both projected sea level rise and possible flow from storm surge moving inland, as well as stormwater runoff moving seaward.
The assessment also provided demonstration through data review and modeling of how potential coastal and climatic vulnerability of site design and remedial components could be evaluated through proactive monitoring over time. The plan also included a listing of additional resilience strategies for the site with defined impact thresholds for possible future mitigation, if needed, based on increases to sea level and other climate change impacts.