Saturday, March 29, 2014

DEC focuses on PCBs in Niagara St. lot

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has discovered a number of contaminants in a vacant lot on Niagara Street, located 150 feet from a residential area.
According to a Proposed Remedial Action Plan found on the DEC’s website, soil and groundwater beneath the lot at 1318 Niagara St. near Lafayette Avenue contain concerning levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs. PCBs are an organic chemical compound used in electrical apparatuses and in coolant fluids in machinery. Exposure to them can result in adverse skin conditions and has also been linked to cancer.
In order to develop the property for commercial, residential or industrial use, the action plan states that more than 2,500 cubic feet of contaminated soil must be excavated from the property and replaced with clean soil from an off-site location. The new soil must then be covered with pavement or sidewalk.
The estimated cost of the cleanup is over $1.4 million, according to the action plan.
From Feb. 4 through March 20, the DEC accepted comments on the action plan from the public.
Anthony Lopes, an environmental engineer with the DEC and primary recipient of project-related questions, declined to comment as the DEC reviews the public comments.
The vacant lot was home to a brewery from 1909 to 1987. According to the action plan, private owners used the site for unknown purposes from 1987 to 2004. By Jeff Pawlak and Brittney Singletary