NEW YORK -- The second phase of cleanup work at the Mercury Refining Superfund site, a former mercury reclamation facility in the towns of Colonie and Guilderland, is set to begin, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
According to officials, soil, sediment and ground water at the site became contaminated with mercury as a result of past operations and waste disposal practices.
Exposure to mercury can damage people’s nervous systems and harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and immune systems. Mercury in soil and sediment can also impact fish and other wildlife.
In 2013, the first phase of the cleanup was conducted to remove contaminated surface soil and sediment at the facility and in an unnamed tributary to the Patroon Creek adjacent to the facility. In 2014, the estimated three-month cleanup will target the deeper contaminated soil and ground water.
Health and safety procedures, including air monitoring around the work zone and site perimeter, will be in place to protect the surrounding community.