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DEC investigates contaminants at Ithaca Superfund Site


Information about the contamination at an Ithaca brownfield is raising eyebrows in Tompkins County. The site is surrounded by dozens of homes.

The Department of Environmental Conservation released a completed investigation on the old Emerson site in the city. For decades it has been a known brownfield, contaminating nearby land.

The report's findings include that chemicals like vinyl chloride were exponentially above recommended levels.

The DEC categorizes the site as "class two," which means it poses a significant threat to public health and action is required. Local environmentalists say they want the site to be upgraded to a class one which would require immediate action.

"After 31 years, we've finally have found a huge underground accumulation of oil but there is no plan to clean it up,” said Toxics Targeting President Walter Hang. “We've just simply got to require Governor Cuomo to stake his reputation on remediation this site on strict compilation on all applicable standards, once and for all, no further delay, no excuses. Clean up this site."

The report says its next steps are to devise a clean-up plan.

We've reached out to the DEC for comment and have not yet heard back.