GLOVERSVILLE - A $2 million soil and water cleanup project is under way at a former gas station site at Kingsboro and East Eighth avenues, where petroleum leaked into the ground.
The project, which will include the replacement of soil and extensive monitoring of the site, could take at least three years, said Janet Tallman, an engineer for project contractor Matrix Environmental Technologies.
The site, at one point occupied for years by a Robin gas station, was contaminated by various gas stations and auto garages that operated on the site over the years, said city Department of Public Works Director Kevin Jones.
The Leader-Herald/Levi Pascher
Construction is under way at the corner or Kingsboro and East Eighth avenues in Gloversville earlier this week to remove petroleum-contaminated soil. The soil removal is expected to be completed by the end of this year, although the entire project could take at least three years.
Sunoco Inc. is paying for a large part of the project. Tallman said her company, Matrix, based in Erie County, is working as an on-site contractor for Sunoco with JN Giammarino Construction of Binghamton.
"This has been a problem for a long time, but we are finally getting it addressed now," said Tallman.
She said monitoring wells around the site showed contamination. The state then came to the site and began to clean it up.
When the state finds contamination on a property, it looks for previous owners to pay for the cleanup, said Tallman. She said Sunoco owned the property for a short time before selling it to Shepard Oil.
Tallman said the state required Sunoco and Shepard to reach a stipulation agreement in which Shepard will pay for the work done by the state and Sunoco will pay for the rest of the work.
"Sunoco is very proactive when it comes to the environment, and they went after this in a big way," said Tallman.
Tallman said the contractors will have to remove the top 30 feet of contaminated soil and take the soil to the Fulton County Landfill. Contractors will replace the old soil with fresh soil.
She said water treatment equipment is on the site because when the contractors hit ground water, petroleum will be floating on top of the water table. Workers will vacuum the petroleum and place it in a storage tank on the site. She said small amounts of petroleum will be in the ground water, so the workers will have to pump the water out and treat it.
Jones said the contaminated water will have no effect on city drinking water.
The cleanup portion of the project is expected to be completed by the end of this year, Tallman said.
She said the site has been divided into 15 compartments, and workers will work on one cell at a time.
After the work is completed at the site, documents will be submitted to the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Department of Health for review.
After the review process is completed, the state will send a decision back to the company explaining what may or may not be built on the property and what limitations may be applied to possible future businesses on the site.
The soil-removal portion of the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Tallman said phase two of the project will begin in the spring and include replacing monitoring wells and checking surrounding properties for further contamination.
She said if the company has to expand the cleanup operation at that time, it may cost more.
Tallman said she hopes the project and research will be completed in three years, but the project could take longer, depending on the extent of contamination.
Jones said there currently are no permits or plans for any new construction at the site. He said the only permit for the site now is for cleaning and treatment.
Levi Pascher can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.