Land-Based Remediation Activities


The Massena West facility has been in operation since 1903. The facility is located adjacent to the Grasse River and the Massena Power canal. Throughout the years, production processes generated various waste by-products including hydraulic oils that contained PCBs. In the past, these waste by-products typically were disposed of in on-site lagoons and landfills, a practice that at the time was quite common and generally accepted. In November 2016, Alcoa successfully separated into two companies—Alcoa Corp. and Arconic. Upon separation, the Massena West forgings and extrusions operation became part of Arconic, which assumed responsibility for the Grasse River remediation project.

The company's decade-long on-site remediation program was completed in 2001 at a cost in excess of $250 million. These land-based remediation activities were key to the clean-up of the Grasse River. As a result of these activities and in conjunction with upgrades of wastewater treatment facilities at the Massena West plant, the discharge of PCBs to the Grasse River has been greatly reduced over time as evidenced by the graph presented below. Controlling sources of PCBs to the river is a critical step in reducing PCB levels in fish and must be accomplished for any of the available remedial options for the lower Grasse River to be effective.

Average Daily PCB