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Ithaca Gun / Ithaca Falls

No word from state on Ithaca Gun funding

Three months after work halted at Ithaca Gun, there's still no word about when or if demolition debris piles will be removed, though the developer is still eager to move forward on redevelopment plans.

In August, the developers behind the proposal to demolish the gun factory and replace it with high-end condos announced that because of cleanup cost overruns, they didn't have the money to pay their contractors, and work stopped.

Sprinklers installed at demolition site

In response to concerns about dust from Ithaca Gun, sprinklers have been installed over stockpiled demolition debris on the site.

Several members of the Community Advisory Group (CAG) for the project have repeatedly asked for more dust suppression, arguing that potentially contaminated material could be blowing into the neighborhood.
The city and the state Department of Environmental Conservation have responded that the four air monitors around the perimeter of the site are ensuring that neighbors are safe.

Gun Factory Clean-Up Site Raises Issues

The scene enclosed by the chain link and barbed wire fence surrounding the 2.1 acre property at 121-125 Lake Street represents your typical demolition site – save for a few transformers leaking dielectric fluid, federally-mandated aerosol lead monitors stationed around the perimeter and signs that read: “Danger: Asbestos, Cancer and Lung Disease Hazard. Authorized Personnel Only."

Group concerned about Ithaca Gun dust

As the Ithaca Gun demolition proceeds, three members of the Community Advisory Group are questioning whether the city and state are doing enough to protect neighbors from potentially contaminated dust.

Group member Walter Hang sent an e-mail to Mayor Carolyn Peterson last week arguing that the demolition contractors are not using enough water to suppress dust and that there is insufficient monitoring to know whether potentially contaminated demolition dust is moving off-site. Hang is president of Ithaca-based Toxics Targeting, which maps polluted and hazardous sites in New York state.

Good-Bye Ithaca Gun?

Ithaca Gun is slated to be demolished by the beginning of September. The big question is, however, will all pollutants be removed prior to taking down the building? The demolition of a toxic building without entirely removing all enclosed pollutants poses a severe risk to the public health and surrounding neighborhoods.

Gun factory to be razed

ITHACA — After more than a century as an icon on Ithaca's East Hill, the Ithaca Gun factory could be gone by this summer.

Demolition of the dilapidated and environmentally contaminated factory could begin by “late June, early July,” said Nels Bohn, director of the Ithaca Urban Renewal Agency. How long it will take to finish demolition will depend on the contractor, but it could be as little as a month, he said.

The project is going forward even though the city has not yet secured a state grant needed to clean up lead and other pollution in the ground around the factory.

TCE found in groundwater at Ithaca Gun

ITHACA — Groundwater testing at Ithaca Gun has identified the presence of TCE above the standard established by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Samples were taken from three groundwater monitoring wells on the property in November 2007, said Mary Jane Peachey, a DEC engineer. Two of the three samples registered trichloroethylene, or TCE, readings above the state's groundwater standard of 5 parts per billion: one location between the factory and the smokestack was 152 ppb; one location near the smokestack was 98 ppb.

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