Schenectady County

Agreement in works for Glenville site cleanup

The state and federal governments are close to completing an agreement to clean up soil and water co

The state and federal governments are close to completing an agreement to clean up soil and water contamination, including the carcinogen trichloroethene, on 60 acres of the former Navy Depot on Amsterdam Road.

The cleanup could amount to $3.3 million under the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s preferred option. The federal General Services Administration, which owns the property, would pay the cost.

Once the contamination is removed, the property would be declared surplus and would become available for redevelopment, said Ray Gillen, commissioner of Economic Planning and Development for the county.

“The cleanup of this site would set the stage for the redevelopment of more than 60 acres of government property that would be returned to the tax rolls and would create an attractive, shovel-ready site near the Exit 26 bridge,” Gillen said.

The Route 5 property, once home to the Scotia Navy Depot, lies between the former Scotia-Glenville Industrial Park and the former Corporations Park, now called Glenville Business and Technology Park.

The Galesi Group and private businesses own portions of the park.

Toxic levels of trichloroethene, or TCE, were detected in residential wells across the street from the former depot in 1991. TCE is a cleaning solvent used mainly to degrease heavy machinery.

State and federal agencies said a likely source of the contamination, which has spread underground in a plume, was a former burn pit located in the 400 block of the park.

Gillen said the state has determined the TCE plume is stable and not increasing in size. He said the DEC, which has jurisdiction over the cleanup, expects to issue a proposed remedial action plan later this month or in February. A public hearing and 30-day comment period will follow. The state will then issue a record of decision in March or April and remedial work will began after that, he said.

“We clean up another brownfield site in the county, which is near the Great Flats Aquifer,” Gillen said.

County officials have been working on cleaning up the site since 1994, said Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna, chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature.

“The goal is to make sure that the federal government agrees to completely clean up the Glenville site. The county has been pressing both GSA and DEC to get this moving,” Savage said.

The GSA will follow a process in disposing of the property. One option is to auction the property; another is to transfer it.

Two years ago, the GSA sold via an online auction a smaller 7.5-acre parcel containing the 40,000-square-foot former naval recruitment center building. John Park of North Hollywood, Calif., bought that property for $221,005.

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