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High levels of toxic chemical found at G.W. Lisk site in Clifton Springs

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The G.W. Lisk Co. manufacturing site in Clifton Springs has been identified by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as having dangerously high levels of trichloroethene (TCE), a toxic chemical used in industrial processes.


The DEC’s Region 8 office in Avon, after reviewing a Remedial Investigation Report prepared by the company, has determined that the site poses a significant threat to public health and the environment due to the elevated levels of TCE in the groundwater, according to the Finger Lakes Times.

TCE, a halocarbon, is commonly used as a degreasing solution in industrial settings and for paint stripping.

The report highlighted that the levels of TCE found in the site’s overburden groundwater are 340 times higher than the state’s permissible limits, measuring at 1,700 micrograms per liter.


Additionally, the bedrock groundwater contained TCE concentrations 70 times above the allowable level.

The possibility of this issue affecting off-site structures in the future as the contamination plume spreads remains a concern.

In response to these findings, the DEC, along with the state Department of Health, will continue to review the investigation report and may approve it for public access. G.W. Lisk officials are expected to develop a cleanup plan, termed a Remedial Action Work Plan, which will outline the approach to address the contamination under the supervision of DEC and DOH.