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State to probe contamination at former Waterford plant

State to probe contamination at former Waterford plant

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) it will begin a detailed investigation of t

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) it will begin a detailed investigation of the former Friedrichsohn Cooperage in Waterford, where the state found thousands of abandoned drums, some of them leaking, after the business closed in 1991.

DEC said today its investigation will be conducted in conjunction with the state Department of Health. The probe is to determine the extent of contaminaton in soiil, soil vapor and groundwater by a variety of pesticides, metals and semi-volatile organic compounds.

A public information meeting on the inquiry is set for 7 p.m. next Tuesday at the FB Peck Firehouse at 85 Saratoga Ave., Waterford.

The company operated on a half-acre parcel at 153-155 Saratoga Ave. from 1817 to 1991.

DEC said at the time it closed, its primary business was cleaning and refurbishing metal drums. Inspections of the facility after it closed found the buildings in poor condition and thousands of abandoned drums, some of them leaking. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, between 1994 and 1996, removed 322 tons of contaminated sludge/soil, 9,000 gallons of liquid waste and 3,767 drums from the property. The buildings were demolished and the site was added to the Superfund program.

DEC's investigation field work started this week with a land survey. Beginning next week and continuing through at least October, work will include the collection of surface soil samples and investigation data gathering. Future activities will include collection of subsurface soil and vapor samples, collection of sediment samples from the nearby Old Champlain Canal, sampling of groundwater and the installation of monitoring wells.

DEC said its investigation will not only define the nature and extent of the contamination, it will assess the impact on public health and the environment and develop a proposed cleanup remedy.

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