FOUNDRY FACTS: DEC announces cleanup process for Geneva residents

The cleanup process will tentatively begin this summer. That doesn’t mean property owners should expect contamination-free soil by the end of 2017, though.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released a fact sheet for neighbors of the former Geneva Foundry, which highlights the cleanup efforts that will be taken on in the coming months.

It’s an extensive, years-long, complex undertaking, which will likely be even further complicated by potential legal matters.

Map of the area around the former Geneva Foundry.

The cleanup of the former foundry site, located at 23 Jackson St., as well as adjacent properties will include the removal of contaminated soil.

Two contaminants of concern that were addressed by the DEC in their plan included arsenic and lead. These air emissions from the foundry when it was in operation were deposited onto the soil, and now several feet of soil will need to be replaced.

“A remedial design will be implemented on a property-specific basis to provide the details necessary to attain the remedial goals and successfully remove the contaminants from impacted properties,” the DEC said in the released fact sheet.

According to the DEC, residential properties with highest levels of contamination, as well as nearby day care facilities will be prioritized.

The first step in the remediation process involves development of industrial cleanup plans, which will be implemented on a property-specific basis. This will ensure that each property gets the proper care, according to the DEC.

These plans will also require property owners written consent. Something that could be complicated by the potential litigation.

The DEC asks that residents who live in these targeted areas, or locations closest to the plant that they grant permission to the DEC as soon as possible, so that the plans can be developed quickly.

The list of properties to be cleaned up in 2017 will be developed based on sampling results, access granted by property owners and conditions on‐the‐ground.

Once permission has been granted, the DEC will meet with property owners to review the remedial design and restoration plans for the properties.

During construction, contaminated soils will be excavated and transported off‐site for disposal at a permitted facility. Specific excavation depths will be identified during the remedial design, but are generally expected to within the top 2 feet of soil.

Clean fill material will be brought in to restore the areas that are disturbed during the clean‐up process to pre‐remediation conditions.

The DEC says they will also conduct additional soil sampling in previously un‐sampled areas or properties where additional samples are required to determine whether elevated levels of contaminants of concern are present and warrant remediation.

The DEC also will be contacting the owners of these properties to obtain their written permission prior to performing this work. This will be the first year of a multiyear cleanup effort.
In future years, remedial construction activities will begin in the spring, and the DEC says they will continue to adaptively manage the project as it progresses.

The project will be funded and conducted pursuant to terms of the State
Superfund program.

Additional details on the site can be found here.

Read the entire fact sheet here

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