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Description of Superfund Site


The selected superfund site for this analysis is the Diaz Chemical Holley in Holley, New York. The ID code for this site is 14470. The affected area is around five acres of physical land. This is the former facility of Diaz Chemical, the company responsible for the release of hazardous chemicals. It filed for bankruptcy and subsequently left the site in 2003.

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Before completing this assignment, I was not aware of the existence of this site. This happens to be the truth even if I have been living in the region for several years. The exercise is an opportunity for me to complete additional studies and learn more about the major superfund sites in my locality.

Description and History

In terms of history, the selected Superfund site dates back to the 1890s. Between this time and the 1970s, the Diaz Chemical facility was used for manufacturing cider vinegar and tomato processing (EPA, 2021). Over those years, very little or no hazardous chemicals were released into the environment. In 1974, Diaz Chemical purchased it and began to produce organic chemicals for photography and beauty products. Additionally, it was a leading producer of aromatic and halogenated chemicals. From 1975 to 2002, this company remained notorious for discharging hazardous chemicals into the natural environment.

The worst release of hazardous chemical mixture took place on 5th January 2002 when around 75 gallons (EPA, 2021). Some of the key compounds include 2-chloro-6-fluorophenyl, toluene, and steam mixture. Within a few hours, most of the people in the surrounding region began to complain of headaches, skin rashes, nosebleeds, sore throats, and eye irritation (EPA, 2021). Most of the affected families began to relocate to hotels. The company was also willing to assist some of the victims and secure hotel rooms for them during the time.


The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses an effective model or scale to rank superfund sites in the country. For this specific one, the score is 50, meaning that the level of hazardousness remains high since any score above 28.5 places any site on the National Superfund Priority List (ToxicSites, 2021). Fortunately, the chemicals have reduced significantly due to the initiatives different agencies have put in place. The ongoing efforts are intended to support the cleanup process and reduce the chemicals completely.

Sources of Contamination

The sources of environmental contamination include dangerous chemicals that Diaz Chemical dealt with during the time. These included organic materials produced and processed for agricultural purposes, dye and color, photographic compounds, and beauty products (EPA, 2021). Its line of products would also include halogenated and aromatic chemicals that could at times be substituted using benzotrifluorides.

Identified Wastes, Migration, and Status

The major chemicals and hazardous chemicals found in this site include toluene, phenolic, and 2-chloro-6-fluorophenol compounds. From the nature of these compounds, it would be possible for the hazardous chemicals to migrate and impact other nearby sites. Such a problematic occurrence is possible since most of them are capable of emitting hazardous gases that can be inhaled several miles away (ToxicSites, 2021). Fortunately, the cleanup initiatives undertaken by EPA have been appropriate and capable of reducing the chances of chemical migration. Currently, the status of the Diaz Chemical site remains “contaminated”. This situation means that the relevant agencies and players should continue to be involved to support cleanup efforts. Federal strategies are also being pursued to hold the company responsible for the pollution.

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EPA. (2021). Superfund site: Diaz Chemical. Web.

ToxicSites. (2021). Diaz Chemical. Web.

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