Troy Belting takes steps to clean up site

Business takes part in brownfield program after contaminants found

— A public comment period is scheduled for April 1-30 on plans to remove contaminates in the soil at a factory located at an electric motor repair facility at 70 Cohoes Road in Colonie.

The business, which has operated as Troy Belting and Supply Company since 1965, is participating in the Brownfield Cleanup Program offered by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The public is invited to comment on a work plan currently being investigated by the DEC that will clean up possible ground contamination from chemicals the factory used decades ago. The cleanup is in anticipation of a possible expansion.

“The owners of this site were preparing to expand their business and performed a site assessment investigation of the property and found contamination in the groundwater and soil,” said Rick Georgeson, the public information officer for the DEC. “They reported the contamination to DEC as required by law, and we informed them about the Brownfield Cleanup Program, which could help with the site investigation and cleanup.”

The brownfield cleanup program encourages the voluntary cleanup of contaminated properties so they can be reused and redeveloped. A brownfield is defined as any property that is difficult to reuse because of the presence of possible contaminates.

Troy Belting has operated on the property for almost five decades. While repairing motors, solvents, such as tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE), were used to clean some of the parts from the motors. The company does not currently use those products.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), TCE is a colorless liquid used for cleaning metal. If large quantities of the liquid are consumed or inhaled, it can cause nervous system effects, liver and lung damage, abnormal heartbeat, coma and possibly death.

The ATSDR website also stated that trichloroethylene dissolves a little in water, but it can remain in groundwater for a long time. Trichloroethylene quickly evaporates from surface water, so it is commonly found as a vapor in the air. TCE may stick to particles in water, which will cause it to eventually settle to the bottom sediment. TCE does not build up significantly in plants and animals.

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