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Schumer visits Seneca County to call for greater EPA presence in Finger Lakes

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  • Staff Report 

Senator Chuck Schumer visited the former George’s Service Center in Waterloo to announce a new plan to clean-up contamination of that, and other local brownfield sites.

He called on the Environmental Protection Agency to take a more active role in the Finger Lakes region as a whole, too.

Schumer, like many other elected officials locally, see upside to these brownfield sites. There are several in Seneca County that will now be part of a focused effort to get them rehabilitated.

The property formerly known as George’s, which was a gas station, convenience store, and service shop until the 1980s, has been vacant for decades. It was leveled.

Former George’s site before demolition.

“The people of Seneca County have had to put up with this ugly block for too long,” Schumer said referring to the property along 5&20 in Waterloo. “And they’re tired of kicking the can down the road and letting pollution stand in the way of new business owners.”

Contamination at the site, like all brownfields, has made moving forward with it a challenge for county leaders and the community.

The County’s land bank is trying to access federal brownfield funding to clean-up and redevelop the property.

There are several others in Seneca County that are eyed for similar development. Those include an old gas station on Ovid Street, two landfills in Fayette, vacant tire lots in Seneca Falls and Lodi, a junkyard on Border City Road in Waterloo, as well as some abandoned land in Lodi.

Schumer says the benefit to these properties is that many are in great locations for economic development.