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Toxics Targeting in the News

Settlement Will Help Clean Suffolk Water

When several major oil companies agreed earlier this month to pay nearly $424 million to settle a federal lawsuit brought by scores of water providers claiming damages from the gasoline additive M.T.B.E., one Long Island provider took the largest share by far.

The Suffolk County Water Authority in Oakdale, which supplies water to more than 1.1 million customers in the county, walked away with $73.4 million of the settlement. That figure was by far the highest among the Long Island providers and the other more than 150 water companies from 17 states.

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.

DEC orders Cornell to submit more analyses for Lake Source Cooling permit

ITHACA — Cornell University will be required to include a controversial analysis of the impact of their lake source cooling project in order to renew their discharge permit with the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

DEC spokeswoman Lori O'Connell said Wednesday that the DEC has decided to require Cornell to evaluate site 7, which sits south of and closest to Cornell's lake source cooling discharge, against site 4, a control site at roughly the same location on the other side of the lake.

32 Gas Stations in Report Show Spillage Signs

Correction Appended

THE water that fills the drinking glasses and bathtubs of Long Islanders comes from right beneath their feet. Thousands of public and private water wells wick groundwater from aquifers, the sole source of drinking water for 2.7 million people.

But a new study shows that they could be getting more than just water.

A four-year federally financed survey of 52 gas stations across Long Island found 32 of them to have previously unidentified petroleum spills that could threaten the Island’s aquifers.

Clinton West Plaza named Superfund site for VOC cleanup

ITHACA — The Clinton West Plaza — home of Ohm Electronics, Tanfastic, the Ithaca Pennysaver and the Daycare and Child Development Council of Tompkins County, among others — has recently been added as the
12th state Superfund site in Tompkins County.

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.

Draft plan on South Hill cleanup available to public

A draft work plan for cleanup at the South Hill Business Campus brownfield site is open for public comment from now until Jan. 24.

State insists S. Hill school's air is safe for kids

ITHACA — Representatives from the state Departments of Environmental Conservation, Health and Education reaffirmed their belief that South Hill Elementary School is safe and no further testing is needed at a public meeting at the school Monday night.

Some parents, elected officials and environmental activists at the meeting continued to insist that further testing of classroom air must occur before they will feel safe.

ICSD has no request in for TCE testing

ITHACA — The Ithaca City School District has not formally requested additional indoor air testing at South Hill Elementary school, according to a state Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman Friday afternoon.

“ICSD hasn't put a formal request to us in writing in order to consider it,” said Diane Carlton, citizen participation specialist for the DEC. State agencies such as the DEC require requests in writing before they can consider them, she said. “I expect that if they really and truly want this, they would put something in writing.”

DEC wants more data on Lake Source Cooling at CU

ITHACA — Cornell University's report on the effects of Lake Source Cooling does not provide sufficient information for the state Department of Environmental Conservation to determine whether Cornell's permit should be renewed, and the DEC will conduct its own full technical review of lake impacts before renewing the permit.