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Chemicals found in Glenville groundwater

DEC says drinking water along Freemans Bridge Road not at risk

Underneath the ground in Glenville by Freemans Bridge Road lies a chemical contamination that can't be cleaned up quickly.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation held a meeting at Glenville Town Hall on Monday, Oct. 18, to discuss groundwater contamination stemming from the former Kenco Chemical Company, Inc. property, which was located at 107 Freemans Bridge Road, Glenville.

The chemicals contaminating the ground water are tetrachloroethene and its breakdown chemicals, and petroleum compounds. The contaminates discovered by the DEC are typically used for dry cleaning or industrial cleaning.

Along Freemans Bridge Road everyone is on public water, so there is no risk of drinking the contamination, said Stephanie Selmer, research scientist for New York State Department of Health. "We don't know when this got into the ground. I can't address whether it is a long-term or a short-term [effect on residents]."

The information sheet provided by the DOH at the meeting discussed exposure to general chemicals and dangerous substances, but there was nothing directly addressing a certain type of chemical on the sheet.

Selmer also said the only studies that have really been done on the chemical is with actual dry cleaning workers, which would have been exposed to a higher level of the chemical.

"Short term [affects] at very high levels can be headaches and dizziness, something like that," said Selmer. "It is a possible carcinogen, but that is typically longer term exposure."

Selmer said all the DOH can do at this point is make sure that there are no more future exposures to the contaminates and deal with the problem at hand.

Christopher O'Neill, PrDEC, said the after the clean up process is done, which would be long-term, followed up by monitoring the contamination are for several more years.

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