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DEC plans Collins property cleanup hearing

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HEUVELTON - The state Department Conservation will hold a public hearing on March 6 at 7 p.m. to discuss a proposed remediation of the 5.4-acre former Collins Property, 7610 Route 68, town of Oswegatchie.

The proposed cleanup, according to the DEC fact sheet on the project, includes:

* A remedial design program for the construction, operation, maintenance, and monitoring of the remedial program.

* On-site petroleum-impacted soil will be excavated and staged, followed by mechanical aeration to promote bioremediation. An estimated 16,300 cubic yards of petroleum-impacted soils will require treatment. The mechanical soil turning will continue until there is no visual, odor or photo-ionization detector readings.

* Any site redevelopment will require and maintain a site cover.

* An environmental easement will be required to restrict future use and use of groundwater, which will have to comply with DEC’s plan and require an evaluation of the potential for soil vapor intrusion for any buildings developed on the site, including provision for implementing actions recommended to address exposures related to soil vapor intrusion.

DEC on Friday began a 45-day public comment period on the remediation plan. It will end March 25.

An investigation of the site, according to DEC, revealed the presence of volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds and metals. Soil and groundwater contamination exists above standards as the result of spills of petroleum at the facility.

The majority of subsurface soil contamination, DEC said, is present in a smear zone from four to eight feet below grade beneath both the site and the adjacent property to the southwest.

The former Collins property is located northwest of Route 68 and southeast of the St. Lawrence River. The city of Ogdensburg’s drinking water intake and the former Diamond International site are located to the west.

The property is vacant and gently slopes toward the St. Lawrence River. It is bisected by the former New York Central Railroad right-of-way which runs east to west.

The Collins-Hammond Electrical Contractors property is located immediately adjacent the southeast corner of the site and was part of the original major oil storage facility site.

The site was once used as a petroleum bulk storage facility and was owned by several petroleum companies since the late 1930s including Atlantic Fuels, Ultramar Petroleum Inc., Augsbury Corporation, Gulf Oil Corporation, and Esso Standard Oil Company.

Gasoline, fuel oil and kerosene were stored in tanks ranging in size from 353,000 to 3,300,000 gallons during its operation. These above-ground storage tanks were removed in the 1980s.

An initial site assessment was performed in 1986 and the report documented the size of the tanks and the original layout of the facility. In 1988, DEC assigned a spill number to the site and closed it as a spill site in November 1990. In 2004, a subsurface investigation revealed the presence of additional petroleum contamination.

Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available online at www.dec.ny.gov/cfmx/extapps/derexternal/haz/detailsfm?pageid=3&progno=E645045.

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