DEC report: Cleanup needed at site across from Saratoga Public Library


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A report from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has recommended that a parcel of land on Putnam Street undergo cleanup for contamination found there.

The site, 53 Putnam St., was home to a one-story concrete building which was demolished in March 2019. It is directly across the street from Saratoga Public Library.

Currently fenced off, the site “poses a significant threat to the public health or the environment,” according to a statement from the DEC.

53 Putnam St., the former site of a concrete building that was demolished last year, is seen Wednesday in Saratoga Springs.

The report states that contaminants found at the site included petroleum related volatile organic compounds, including chlorinated and semi-volatile compounds; and some metals and pesticides, which were not specified.

Research from the EPA classifies volatile organic compounds as coming from products including paints, solvents, wood preservatives and disinfectants.

Hazardous health effects caused by these compounds being left unchecked can include eye, nose and throat irritation, liver and kidney damage and headaches and loss of coordination. Some compounds have been found to cause cancer in animals, and are suspected to put humans at risk for the same.

53 Putnam St., the former site of a concrete building that was demolished last year, is seen from across the street Wednesday in Saratoga Springs.

Going forward, the state DEC must first complete its review of the site and approve the investigation report, which will be made public once given the green light. Then an alternatives analysis report and a cleanup plan will be developed and and brought to the public for comment during a 45-day period, in order to finalize cleanup plans.

The cleanup operation is part of the Brownfield Cleanup Program, a statewide effort to clean contaminated properties, called “brownfields,” and get them suited for future use.

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The site was built in the early 1900s, and was used as an ice skating rink and garage until 1925. It then became used for dry cleaning and laundry business, which remained there until 1960, after which it was believed to be vacant until 1986. It was then used for truck storage into the early 2000s, and then was vacant until demolition.

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