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NY DEC: Former landfill in Cayuga County no longer a public health threat

The Citizen - 5/2/2024

May 2—The state Department of Environmental Conservation says a former landfill in Cayuga County is no longer a public health threat after achieving the cleanup requirements at the state Superfund site.

The 14.7-acre site is on Town Line Road in the town of Springport. According to a Wednesday news release from the DEC, the towns of Aurelius and Springport used the northern portion of the property as a landfill in 1968 and 1969.

It's believed that two local companies also polluted the site. The DEC says from 1964 to 1970, employees of the former General Products in Union Springs dumped an estimated 600 drums of liquid trichloroethylene and waste hydraulic oil. Trichloroethylene is used in cleaning products and is a cancer-causing substance, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Employees of General Electric also dumped approximately 60 drums of liquid wastes at the site in 1965 and 1966, the department said.

In 1987, the DEC designated the property as a class 2a site before listing it as a class 2 site in 1993, meaning action was required because it posed a significant environmental or public health threat.

Over the years, the remedial work at the site included removing the drums of liquid trichloroethylene and contaminated soil. In the former landfill area, approximately 3,500 cubic yards was removed and disposed at another location. The excavated areas were backfilled with clean soil.

Other actions included removing other waste, including scrap metals and tires.

With the cleanup goals met, the area has been reclassified as a class 4 site — a designation that means it no longer presents a significant environmental or public health threat, but requires continued management, according to the DEC.

To prevent exposure to remaining contamination at the site, there is an environmental easement and site management plan in place. The department says the easement restricts the future uses of the property to commercial, industrial, residential or restricted residential. Groundwater can't be used as a source of potable water.

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