A former industrial property located between Broadway’s commercial scene and the Saratoga Springs Public Library needs an extensive environmental cleanup, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has determined.
A draft brownfield cleanup plan for 53 Putnam St. calls for excavation and removal of the top 2 feet of soil, which are contaminated with metals; on-site biological treatment of petroleum-based and other organic chemicals; installation of a cover system; and backfilling with clean soil.
The goal is to make the site suitable for redevelopment with a multi-story building offering first-floor commercial development, with apartments above — the kind of development under consideration by the owner, Putnam Resources LLC.
The cleanup work would be done under the brownfields program, which uses tax credits to encourage privately funded environmental cleanups, with the goal of making polluted properties suitable for new development.
The 0.3-acre property is now vacant. The large one-story concrete block building that occupied the site was torn down in 2019, but the soil contamination remained, according to an earlier DEC report.
“Based on the findings of the investigation, NYSDEC, in consultation with the New York State Department of Health, determined the site poses a significant threat to the public health or the environment,” DEC said in releasing the cleanup plan.
Based on soil, groundwater, and soil vapor sampling, DEC said contaminants on the site include a variety of petroleum-related chemicals, metals and pesticides, with the specific chemicals present including PCBs, PFAS, and 1,4-Dioxane, though in small amounts.
The building was built in the early 1900s, and used as an ice-skating rink and garage until about 1925, according to a site history put together by DEC. From then until about 1960, there was a laundry and dry cleaning operation in the building. From 1960 to 1986 it is believed the building was vacant, and it was then used for a time in the early 2000s for truck storage. Most recently, it was again vacant.
The plan remains in draft form, subject to a public comment period that began on Wednesday and runs through Feb. 7. Comments can be directed to DEC project manager Samantha Salotto at NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany NY, 12233-7017; [email protected]; or by phone to 518-402-9903.
Project documents are available on the DEC website and at the Saratoga Springs Public Library.