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Former Geneva Foundry Site

The former Foundry is located on 2.5 acres at 43 Jackson Street, Geneva, NY (Ontario Co.), in a mixed urban residential/commercial neighborhood. A foundry was present at the site from the late 1800s until the 1980s and part of the site was a coal yard until expansion of the foundry in the 1940s. Most of the contamination is offsite and related to historical air emissions from the foundry.

NYSDEC Project ID B00019 This is the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) site which was reclassified to a classification of "N" since remediation was not completed under the ERP and application to the Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) was submitted.

NYSDEC Project ID C835027 This is the BCP site related to the on-site portion of the Former Geneva Foundry site which is classified as "A," the classification assigned to a non-registry (e.g., BCP) site in any remedial program where work is underway and not yet complete. The brownfield cleanup agreement is with the City of Geneva, who is a volunteer in the BCP. "Volunteer" means an applicant other than a participant, including without limitation a person whose liability arises solely as a result of such person's ownership of the site subsequent to the disposal or discharge of contaminants.

NYSDEC Project ID C835027A This is the off-site portion of the Former Geneva Foundry Site. When a BCP site needs off-site investigation/remediation that is not performed by an on-site volunteer, it is necessary to track the off-site work as a separate site. The off-site work is being performed under the State Superfund Program and will proceed on a schedule independent of the on-site cleanup.

Record of Decision (ROD)

The Former Geneva Foundry Site Record of Decision (PDF, 2.06 MB) was issued January 2017. The ROD describes the remedy selected to address contamination associated with the site.

Public Involvement Activities

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) held Public Availability Sessions on July 12, 2017 to discuss upcoming cleanup of properties in neighborhoods adjacent to the Former Geneva Foundry Site.

View the presentations used at the July 12, 2017 availability sessions:

DEC and DOH held a Public Meeting on October 18, 2016 to present the proposed cleanup plan, answer questions and receive public input on the plan.

View the presentation used at the October 18, 2016 public meeting:

DEC and DOH also held Availability Sessions on October 25, 2016 to discuss sampling results from individual properties with owners and residents. Information provided at the availability sessions includes:

What is Exposure? (link leaves DEC's website)

Healthy Gardening (link leaves DEC's website)

How a Foundry Works: A Brief Explanation

  • Design and make a pattern. Engineers, draftsmen, and pattern makers collaborate to make a wood model.
  • Create a mold. The pattern is pressed into sand in a box, which makes the outline of the casting. Two halves are joined to make one hollow piece. If the final product is hollow, cores are made to create the cavities.
  • Fire the cupola. The cupola is a tall stack furnace with a sand floor and a tap hole at the bottom, forced air inlets on the middle, and an opening at top. Layers of coke (distilled coal) and pig iron (refined iron ore) are burned in the cupola; more fuel and iron are added at the top (called
    "charging") as molten metal is drawn off the bottom.
  • Pour the molds. Hand-carried ladles are used to pour small molds, while overhead cranes are used for large molds.
  • Finish the pieces. After the castings cool, they are shaken out (removed), and they go through a series of cleaning and grinding steps to be finished.
  • Clean the cupola. Slag (impurities) and sand are emptied from the bottom of the cupola at the end of firing. After cooling, they are hauled away and the cupola is set up for the next firing.
  • Modern improvements in the late 20th century - "stack scrubbers" to reduce pollution, electric furnaces to eliminate the use of coke, and computer automation - have altered foundries, but they remain hot and hazardous.

View a related fact sheet that includes photos and diagrams: How a Foundry Works (PDF, 206 KB)

Examples of How the Remediation and Restoration May Look

  • Case Study: Community Soil Remediation Project
  • Location: Middleport, Niagara County, New York
  • Sponsors: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; New York State Department of Health
  • Project Highlights:
    • Soils were contaminated with arsenic by air deposition from a former agrochemical manufacturer.
    • DEC remediated and restored nearly 30 properties in a residential neighborhood and portions of grounds at a neighboring High School and Middle School.
    • Worked closely with residents to minimize disturbances, maintain access to houses, and restore property features with owner input.
    • Implemented strict safety protocols to minimize construction traffic, potential exposure to dust, and monitored vibration during construction activities.
    • Restored properties with clean backfill and topsoil. Restoration included new sidewalks, driveways, pools, sheds, trees, landscaping, etc. for all areas that could not be protected in-place during excavation.
    • Achieved No Further Action (NFA) status for every property.

View a related fact sheet that includes remediation and restoration photos: Community Soil Remediation Project (PDF, 3.81 MB)

Document Access and Other Information

Environmental and health assessment summaries are available at:

Information regarding access to other pertinent documents not linked to this page is provided below under "Document Repositories".

NYSDEC Fact Sheets

The links below provide access to Fact Sheets prepared by DEC:

Site Documents

Document Repositories

Complete copies of the documents listed on this web page and other documents pertaining to the Former Geneva Foundry Site, are available for public review at the following locations:

  • Geneva Free Library
    244 Main Street
    Geneva, NY 14456
    315-789-5303
  • NYSDEC, Region 8 Office
    6274 East Avon-Lima Road
    Avon, NY 14414
    Contact Linda Vera for an appointment
    585-226-5324

Other Resources

City of Geneva Former Geneva Foundry Web Page (link leaves DEC's website). This resource provides additional information about the Former Geneva Foundry Site. For example, the link to the City Council's July 11, 2017 meeting provides information about Access to Fresh Produce, Raised Garden/Flower Beds and Dog-Bark Park Passes that are all City of Geneva programs created in response to the Former Geneva Foundry Site contamination.

Additional information about the project may be obtained by contacting DEC's Avon Office at 585-226-2466 or DEC's Albany Office at 518-402-9814.