State money goes to Glenville PCB cleanup

The state Department of Environmental Conservation awarded a $16 million project to a Mechanicville company for the cleanup of 69,000 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated soil from a 12-acre Glenville site.

There is no dredging of PCBs from the Mohawk River associated with this project, said DEC spokeswoman Lori O'Connell.

More than 1.5 billion pounds of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) were manufactured in the United States before the federal government banned their production in 1977.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, PCBs have been demonstrated to cause a variety of adverse health effects and are considered probable human carcinogens.

The property slated for cleanup, at 34 Freemans Bridge Road, is listed in the state's Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites as a Class 2 site, which means it represents a significant threat to public health or the environment.

As a result, remediation costs will be paid from the state Superfund program. When the cleanup is complete, the state will try to recover the project cost from the parties responsible for the contamination.

"The PCBs and contamination at this site came from past operations of poor disposal practices from the previous owners of the land," O'Connell said. "Kitchton Cooperage Co. was the former operator and disposer that is responsible for the majority of this waste."

Kitchton refurbished and resold containers such as barrels and 55-gallon drums, at least some of which contained hazardous materials.

In 1984, the site was listed on the state registry because of drums of waste behind a building. The owner was directed to remove the drums and the site was de-listed, according to O'Connell.

In 1989, drums were again discovered behind the site building, O'Connell said. "These may have been the same drums previously discovered in 1984."

DEC officers from Region 4 removed approximately 80 of the 55-gallon drums and fined the owner for improper storage of hazardous wastes.

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