It’s not easy to market a business property that’s classified as a “significant threat to the public health or environment,” so a recent change in the status of the former Ward Products facility in the city is seen as good news by an economic development official.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation this week reported the years-long contamination cleanup is completed for the eight-acre parcel situated in the city’s Edson Street Industrial Park.
Some engineering controls and use restrictions will remain in effect on the site of a former antenna manufacturing operation, which was found riddled with contamination in the soil, surface water, sediment and groundwater, according to the DEC.
But the property that became the subject of a state remediation project is now considered a Class 4 site — meaning it’s properly closed and requires continued management.
Work to remove contaminated sediment around the building began in 1999, and the removal of other sediment — leading from the plant 3,000 feet down to the Mohawk River — was finished in 2009.
“It’s been a long process, so actually we’re really pleased that this is coming to a close,” said Jody Zakrevsky, director of the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency.
The Ward Products’ manufacturing operation involved discharging electroplating solvents, including chromium, zinc, cadmium, nickel and trichloroethene, into a drainage ditch, which contaminated a one-acre area, according to the DEC.
PCBs were also found in the soil near electrical transformers.
Ward Products shut down in 2006, leaving about 52 employees jobless, but the building served as a job site since then.
The roughly 70,000-square-foot space housed the Northeast Home Industries furniture operation for about 18 months up until 2009. It employed seven people at the outset.
The parcel’s status as an active environmental cleanup site since then led the building’s owners, New Water Realty Corp., to try to lease the building instead of trying to sell it outright, Zakrevsky said.
It’s seen some interest — two firms took a look in the fall during a tour with representatives of the Montgomery County Business Development Center.
“There has been some interest,” Zakrevsky said. He said he expects efforts to market the building will begin soon. Its full market value is listed as $615,942.
More information about the facility and project can be found at the Amsterdam Free Library at 28 Church St.