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Ithaca Solvent Pollution

Records detail decades of pollution

ITHACA - Oil pollution problems around the former Morse Chain plant appear to have caught the attention of local officials more than 40 years ago, according to documents on file at the Tompkins County Health Department.

But according to a local environmental watchdog who recently reviewed the files, lingering effects from oil spills may have been overlooked when other contamination issues were being addressed.

DEC wants more spill site tests

ITHACA -- The State Department of Environmental Conservation has requested additional testing be done around a toxic spill site in the city, while neighbors have banded together to request more information about
the pollution.

DEC Region 7 Engineer Mary Jane Peachey said on May 28 that Emerson Power Transmission will, at DEC's request, perform vadose zone testing around areas potentially affected by decades-old toxic solvent spills around the company's plant. The vadose zone is the area between the surface soil and the groundwater table.

Emerson clean-up raises questions

ITHACA -- A spokesman for Emerson Power Transmission on Wednesday said the company has worked closely with regulatory officials to insure that decades-old toxic spillage at the site is properly cleaned up.

"Emerson takes environmental issues very seriously, and we have been working diligently with the state of New York concerning environmental issues that have been raised at the Emerson Power Transmission site in
Ithaca," said Emerson spokesman Dave Baldridge.

Toxics watchdog urges clean-up

ITHACA -- A local company that tracks toxic sites across New York is calling for better clean-up practices around a century-old factory in the Town of Ithaca.

Walter Hang, president of Toxics Targeting, believes that efforts to remediate toxic solvent contamination around Emerson Power Transmission's facility on Danby Road over the past decade have been deficient. It
sits uphill from residential neighborhoods around West Spencer Street.


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