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Field work begins on South Hill Monday


ITHACA — Many South Hill residents on Monday will begin to see the latest round of field work associated with the environmental contamination in their neighborhood.

According to a press release from Emerson Power Transmission, utility companies will be marking the location of underground utilities along streets next week. Field work on the factory property will begin at the same time.

Emerson estimates the total work period in the neighborhood to be around 10 weeks, with hours of operation from around 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The press release said that neighborhood work will involve drilling and installing monitoring points on South Cayuga Street, South Hill Terrace, East Spencer Street, Turner Place, Columbia Street, Pleasant Street and South Aurora Street. All of the work will take place within the public right of way and much of it will require the use of drill rigs and support equipment.

During the drilling activities, caution tape and traffic cones will mark the work areas and parking may be temporarily restricted. Emerson is asking residents not to enter the designated work area for safety reasons.

This work is part of an ongoing investigation into contamination from trichloroethylene, known as TCE, and other chemicals in the area.
Up until the 1970s the former factory owners, Morse Chain, used TCE to degrease metal parts manufactured on the site. Since then, TCE has been classified as a likely carcinogen and has shown up in the indoor air of homes downhill from the plant.

This latest round of work will investigate the factory's fire water reservoir, where the pollution was first detected, onsite areas of concern, as well as offsite groundwater and soil vapor monitoring.

Residents with questions about the proposed work can call Emerson's Derek Chase at (866) 265-0634.

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