AMSTERDAM-Little work remains on the rehabilitation of the contaminated Rural Hosiery Mill on Pioneer Street, according to officials from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, leaving the question of how the cleaned-up site will be used.
According to DEC engineer Larry Adler, the project, which has gone on for almost five years, requires only grass seed and approval from the DEC on how the town will use the site.
According to Adler, in March 2009, the town had closed three 4,000-gallon storage tanks filled with petroleum products and removed and disposed of 4.8 tons of hazardous waste left in the building. The building was demolished soon after.
In September 2012, Larry Rogers, president of Delaware Engineering and town engineer, said the soil on the sight was “lightly contaminated” because industrial chemicals from the mill’s operating days were absorbed into the ground.
To clean the site, Rogers said, the plan was to take the contaminated soil and place it in the basement of the old building. From there, two feet of clean soil was placed over the contaminated soil and the area from which it was removed. The area would then be seeded with grass, and an environmental easement would be placed on the site.
“It basically tells the world ‘don’t be digging,'” Rogers said.
The work, according to Adler, was complete in October. The easement allows the use of the site for passive recreation, such as a park.
Deputy Supervisor Bart Tessiero, who led the meeting after Town Supervisor Tom DiMezza couldn’t attend, said he was happy to see something done to the mill.
“Too often these projects never get completed,” Tessiero said. “We took the proactive approach, and it seems the residents are happy with it.”
Many members of the town board had their own ideas for what to do with the location, such as a bike path along the old trolley line connecting the site to Hagaman or a bridge connecting the site to Shuttleworth Park.
A period of comment on the project is ongoing, between Jan. 31 and March 16. Comments can be directed to Department of Environmental Conservation Project Manager Larry Adler at [email protected]. Council members’ numbers also can be found at www.townofamsterdam.org.