SENECA FALLS — For 47 years, a coal-burning facility at 187 Fall St. produced gas that was used in gas lights.
After the plant closed in 1903, an environmental investigation revealed soil contaminated with coal tar and its constituents, substances such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, benzopyrenes, benzoanthracenes, benzofluoranthenes, pyrenes, chrysene and napthalene.
The site was vacant from 1905 to ’44, as various portions of the manufacturing facility were demolished. A commercial building was constructed there in the 1960s. It started as a supermarket, became an office supply store and eventually morphed into a video rental store before the structure was demolished about 15 years ago.
Now, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and New York State Electric & Gas have proposed a remediation plan to clean up the contamination. Those details will be revealed and discussed at a public meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Seneca Falls Library.
The DEC will accept written comments on the remedial plan until March 30.
The proposed action includes solidification of the upland portion of the site; excavation of soils with site-related contamination in adjacent residential property to the east; placement of a soil cover in the lowlands portion of the site and in the lowland areas in a part of the property to the west; and dredging of contaminated sediments from the nearby Cayuga-Seneca Canal near the site.
The plan also involves filing of an environmental easement on the site, which requires monitoring, prohibits groundwater uses in the future and allows for commercial or industrial uses of the site.
In addition, there is a site management plan designed to ensure that long-term engineering and institutional controls are in place.
The DEC has instituted an aggressive, manufactured gas plant site investigation and remedial program. When problems are identified, the DEC has worked with utility companies statewide to identify and assess the sites for which they have responsibility. It’s resulted in roughly 235 sites identified for remedial action by the state’s seven utilities.
The DEC has consent orders or agreements with six utilities, including NYSEG, for 222 sites.
Project documents are available for public inspection at the library or by visiting dec.ny.gov.
If you go ...
What: State DEC meeting on soil remediation at 187 Fall St.
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Seneca Falls Library, 47 Cayuga St.