Cleanup On Washington Street

Public comments are being asked for by the state Department of Environmental Conservation when it comes to the C&B Dry Cleaners site.

On Monday a public meeting was held at the James Prendergast Library, where people had the chance to discuss the remedy proposed for the site. Four members of the public attended the meeting.

Martin Doster, DEC regional engineer, Anthony Lopes, DEC environmental engineer, and Kristen Davidson DEC citizen participation specialist, led the informative session. The proposed remedial action plan includes the excavation and off-site disposal of on-site shallow contaminated soils which exceed guidance limits.

The DEC will conduct an engineering design for the site that is anticipated to be complete in 2014. DEC officials stated they will keep the public informed throughout the investigation and cleanup of the site. The cost of the environmental cleanup is estimated to be around $1,264,000. Project work will be done in 2014-15.

The site is currently inactive. Chautauqua County obtained the property through foreclosure in 2001. The .22 acre site is located at 2241 Washington St., Jamestown. The site is located south of Pal Joey’s. It was operated as a dry cleaners from 1931 until 1999. In 2001, based on an environmental site assessment and site inspections, the county conducted an emergency removal action to remove various abandoned chemicals and solvents, including bleach, ethylene based solvents and tetrachlorethene. Two 500-gallon underground storage tanks, associated piping and excavated soil/fill were removed and disposed off-site during this 2001 emergency removal action. The building was demolished in 2003.

Access to the site is unrestricted. However, contact with contaminated soil or groundwater is unlikely unless people dig below the ground surface. People are not drinking the contaminated groundwater because the area is served by a public water supply that is not contaminated by the site.

Volatile organic compounds in the groundwater may move into the soil vapor, which in turn may move into overlying buildings and affect the indoor air quality. This process, which is similar to the movement of radon gas from the subsurface into the indoor air of buildings, is referred to as “soil vapor intrusion.” Because there is no on-site building, inhalation of site contaminants in indoor air due to soil-vapor intrusion does not represent a concern for the site in its current condition. However, the potential exists for the inhalation of site contaminants due to soil-vapor intrusion for any future on-site development. A sub-slab depressurization system has been installed in an off-site building to prevent the indoor air quality from being affected by the contamination in soil vapor beneath the building.

People who did not attend the meeting can still submit a written response during the 45-day comment period, which ends March 31. Written comments can be mailed to Lopes at DEC division of environmental remediation, 270 Michigan Ave., Buffalo, NY 14203.