You are here

Toxics Targeting Aims to Document Polluted NY Sites


Property owners, businesses, residents, city governments and even corporations are in for a big surprise. Toxics Targeting, Inc., an environmental data firm based in Ithaca, announced it has developed a free Internet map web site that illustrates the exact locations of more than 270,000 reported toxic dumps, leaking tanks, pollution discharges, and other known or potential environmental dangers and hazards across New York State.

The map is so precise that you have three screens: the upper left map is from Toxics Targeting's own data and records; the second top right map is linked to Google Maps; and the bottom right is either Bird's Eye View or Street View maps showing cars currently parked on the street and even tiny cracks in the building's foundation or sidewalk. The free map is posted at

The map is designed to allow users to type in an address or location in NY. The navigational tools supplied by Google, Street View, and Bird's Eye View can be used to zoom in/out, pan, rotate, and compare views for any specified location. Google provides aerial photos and street maps. Bird's Eye View specializes in aerial photos taken at an angle at a low-altitude, and Street View has present street-level images.

According to Walter Hang, president of Toxics Targeting, Inc., local outspoken environmental activist and member of the Community Advisory Group for Ithaca Gun, a well-known lead and asbestos site, the map is for property owners, residents and business owners to see what exactly is in the locations they work, play, and live.

"What we're doing in Ithaca could probably be done in any other community in the state," said Hang. "For whatever reason, these sites aren't properly cleaned up. We're going to help people figure out where these sites are."

A key for the toxic site map has symbols meaning brownfield site, gasoline spill, tank failure, hazardous wastes violation and historic utility site. You then can double click the map to explore the area of interest. For example, Hang Googled the location of a building that houses all of Ithaca City School District's food. The building where the food is stored is on top of a coal tar site. Hang said the state never dug up underneath the building, leaving coal tar remains within the bedrock posing a health risk. Hang's business has also uncovered cancer-causing pollutants that are currently undergoing research at Clinton West Plaza, home to a dry cleaner and eye doctor's office. Hang has found contamination in residential areas all across Long Island, a restaurant sitting atop an old manufactured gas plant in Ithaca, and a 30-mile-gallon puddle of oil in Brooklyn.

"People will be shocked at how many toxic sites there are that people weren't previously told about," said Hang. "By nature, people trust the government to take care of things. Then you start to look at my data and see where spills, leaks, and dumps are at how many schools, churches, homes, businesses, locations close to where drinking water is ... people who live nearby have a vested interest in making sure their property values aren't degraded and can maintain their health because there are toxic sites in their neighborhood they don't know about. I hope my free maps identify and assess the other problems statewide. The first step is knowing the problem exists."

After viewing the maps, if you're interested in obtaining detailed toxic site data on or around a specific location, Toxics Targeting can provide a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Database report. The reports can be used to conduct environmental due diligence or Phase I environmental site assessments required by mortgage lenders. For more information visit or call 800-286-9427.