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Environmental cleanup completed along Fall St. in Seneca Falls

Work is done to clean up a superfund site in Seneca Falls.

The site at 187 Fall Street was home to a manufactured gas plant that heated coal and petroleum products to produce a gas mixture that was distributed through pipelines for heating, cooking, lighting and streetlights. That process resulted in groundwater and soil contamination by coal tar, benzene, cyanide and other chemicals.

In April a $4 million cleanup project began, which was led by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The old power plant was demolished by 1944 and a commercial building was constructed on the site in the 1960s. It was last used as an office supply store until it was demolished in 2009, as reported by Finger Lakes News Radio.

Components of the cleanup are:

  • Excavate and dispose of off-site subsurface structures, mainly the old concrete foundations, and adjacent soils to allow for on-site treatment of deeper soil.
  • On the adjacent residential property at 185 Fall St., the plan calls for excavating and disposing of soils that exceed residential soil cleanup objectives and standards.
  • Treatment of the deeper soil on the upland portion of the site, using a process to bind soil particles together to prevent contaminants from migrating.
  • After excavation and treatment, a cover of clean, imported backfill will be installed across the site and adjacent properties to allow for future commercial use of 187 and 193 Fall St. and continued residential use of 185 Fall St.
  • Sediment contamination with MGP constituents will be removed from the adjacent Seneca-Cayuga Canal, disposed of off-site and replaced with clean, imported backfill to restore aquatic habitat.
  • Imposition of institutional controls in the form of an environmental easement, developing a site management plan for post-remedial action monitoring.

Photo below of the site by Greg Cotterill, of Finger Lakes News Radio: