The ~78.6-acre former manufacturing facility was originally built in 1880 and first occupied by Canadian-based Ayerst, McKenna and Harrison in 1934. In 1943, Ayerst became a part of American Home Products (AHP). In 1987, AHP formed Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories. The company later became known as Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Wyeth). In 2009, Pfizer acquired Wyeth, and pharmaceutical manufacturing continued at the Rouses Point site. Pfizer discontinued manufacturing operations at the end of 2017.

Hazardous waste management activities at the Rouses Point site were regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NYSDEC under a RCRA Corrective Action Permit most recently modified in October 2014.

Environmental Conditions

The former manufacturing site historically consisted of two operations, the Main Plant and the Chemical Development Plant. In 2006, as part of its Hazardous Waste Management Permit requirements, Wyeth notified the NYSDEC of 10 Areas-of-Concern (AOC) and 26 Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) on the site. A series of soil and groundwater investigations identified a limited number of compounds, including volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, metals and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) detected in soil or groundwater at the site.

Site Soils and Solid Waste Management Units

Pfizer has achieved No Further Action (NFA) status on four AOC and one SWMU at the Main Plant, and NFA approval from NYSDEC is pending on thirteen additional SWMUs and one AOC. Investigation of the remaining SWMU on the Main Plant is ongoing.

At the former Chemical Development Pilot Plant, NFA status was approved by NYSDEC for two AOC, as well as one SMWU and a portion of two other SWMUs. Furthermore, based upon the RCRA facility assessment performed by Pfizer, No Further Action has been recommended for all remaining areas and units at the former Chemical Development Plant.

Pfizer has submitted a Draft Corrective Measures Study Report to NYSDEC which proposes final corrective measure alternatives at the site in the event future investigation activities indicate that remediation activities are warranted. The proposed remedial alternatives for soil include excavation and Monitored Natural Attenuation (MNA). NYSDEC is currently reviewing the draft report.


Comprehensive investigations of groundwater have been conducted on and around the site. Certain VOCs have been reported as detected in groundwater samples collected from select locations. Between 2013 and 2016, based on NYSDEC’s recommendation, Pfizer implemented In-Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) at specific locations to facilitate the breakdown of certain VOCs in groundwater. Post remedial monitoring of groundwater continues to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment. In 2016, the NYSDEC issued a positive Environmental Indicator Determination related to groundwater signifying that the migration of impacted groundwater has stabilized and is under control.

Off-site Vapor Intrusion Investigations

An off-site soil vapor investigation was conducted, including indoor air and sub-slab soil vapor sampling in the residential neighborhood east and south of the site in April and September 2008 and again from February through July 2009. A total of 66 properties were included in the studies. Sub-slab soil vapor concentrations of several VOCs were detected beneath some structures during the sampling program; however, indoor air results were generally within the range of expected background concentrations and were comparable to outdoor air samples collected at the same time. No further action was achieved in cooperation with the NYSDEC and NYSDOH at 25 of the off-site properties as a result of the sampling data collected in February or July 2009.

As a precautionary/preventative measure and in consultation with the NYSDEC and the NYSDOH, sub-slab depressurization systems have been installed at 36 properties to date. Pfizer continues to operate and maintain these systems through a contractor. 

Indoor air and sub-slab soil vapor samples were collected at the Rouses Point Elementary School during the 2008 investigation and all samples were within the range of acceptable results. Sampling performed at the school in August 2014 by the NYSDOH also found indoor air samples to be within the range of acceptable results.

In 2015, the NYSDEC issued a positive Environmental Indicator Determination for the site, signifying that human exposures to contamination are under control.

Following groundwater treatment efforts, Pfizer reassessed the properties with existing systems to evaluate the necessity of continued operation. To date, four systems have been shut-down and evaluations on other properties are performed on a periodic basis.

In 2020, at the request of the NYSDEC and NYSDOH, Pfizer completed an evaluation for potential soil vapor intrusion at additional off-site properties to the north and south of the Site. The evaluation, as approved by NYSDEC and NYSDOH, concluded that sub-slab depressurization systems in additional off-site properties to the north and south of the Site were not needed.