Site History

Seneca Army Depot (SEDA) is a 10,587-acre former military facility located in Seneca County near Romulus, New York. It is located between Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake in Seneca County and is bordered by New York State Highway 96 to the east and New York State Highway 96A to the west. Sparsely populated farmland surrounds SEDA. The site is located in an uplands area between the two lakes at an elevation ranging from approximately 760 feet (ft) in the southeast corner to a minimum of approximately 600 ft along the western boundary.

The facility was wholly owned by the U.S. Government and was operated by the Department of the Army between 1941 and 2000; since 2000, nearly 10,000 acres of SEDA were transferred to other parties for reuse. The primary mission of SEDA was the receipt, storage, maintenance, and supply of military items.

The Incinerator Building was built in 1974. Between 1974 and 1979, materials intended for disposal were transported to the incinerator. The incinerator was a multiple chamber, batch-fed, 2,000-pound-per-hour capacity unit that burned rubbish and garbage. The unit contained an automatic ram-type feeder, a refractory-lined furnace with secondary combustion and settling chamber, a reciprocating stoker, a residue conveyor for ash removal, combustion air fans, a wet gas scrubber, an induced draft fan and a refractory-lined stack. Nearly all of the 18 tons of refuse generated weekly at the Depot were incinerated. The source for the refuse was domestic waste from Depot activities and family housing. Large items that could not be burned were disposed of at the NCFL. The NCFL is southeast of the Incinerator Building, immediately south of the SEDA railroad line. The NCFL was used as a disposal site for non-combustible materials, including construction debris, from 1969 to 1977.

Ashes and other residues from the incinerator were temporarily disposed of in the Incinerator Cooling Water Pond immediately north of the Incinerator Building. The Incinerator Cooling Water Pond consisted of an unlined depression about 50 feet in diameter and about 6 to 8 feet deep. When the pond filled (about every 18 months), fly ash and residues were removed, transported and buried in the adjacent Ash Landfill. The refuse was dumped in piles and occasionally spread and compacted. No daily or final cover was applied during operation. The active area of the Ash Landfill extended at least 500 feet north of the Incinerator Building, near a bend in a dirt road. A fire destroyed the incinerator in May 1979. The landfill was subsequently closed. A vegetative cover composed of native soils and grasses was observed on the Ash Landfill during the remedial investigation. A grease pit disposal area near the eastern boundary of the site was used for disposal of cooking grease.

After site investigations, EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in August 1990.