Ithaca Gun Site
History and Update for Ithaca Gun Site
Current Status as of December 2008:
A final Demolition Work Plan and appendices for the Ithaca Gun Site has been accepted by the DEC
Final Demolition Work Plan- December 2008
- Demolition Plan (PDF, 538 Kb)
- General Site Map (PDF, 518 Kb)
- Detailed Site Map (PDF, 181 Kb)
- Heath and Safety Plan (PDF, 619 Kb)
- Community Air Monitoring Plan (PDF, 58 Kb)
- Waste Notification Form (PDF, 27 Kb)
- Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (PDF, 59 Kb)
- Waste Storage Inspection Form (PDF, 27Kb)
- Quality Control Document (PDF, 179 Kb)
- Tables (PDF, 98 Kb)
- Final Flow Chart (PDF, 29 Kb)
- Masonry Sampling Plan (PDF, 43 Kb)
- Protocol for Testing On-Site Material (PDF, 24Kb)
October 2008 Update
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has issued this October 2008 Fact Sheet (2 Page PDF, 300 KB), to inform the public of upcoming activities associated with demolition of the Ithaca Gun facility located at 121-125 Lake Street in Ithaca, New York. This work includes the demolition of existing buildings that are severely deteriorated and represent a public health threat.
General Site Information
The Former Ithaca Gun Factory Site operated as a firearms manufacturing facility from the late 1800s to the early 1990s. Test firing of firearms produced at the site was part of the manufacturing process. Several areas were used for these tests including the roof and basement of the factory. As a result of these tests, lead shot was deposited on the rock walls in the basement and in the raceway and gorge areas adjacent to the factory.
Fall Creek Development purchased the property in the late 1990s and entered into the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Voluntary Cleanup Program. After large quantities of lead shot were found in the raceway and gorge areas, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stepped in and initiated an emergency cleanup to remove the gross lead in these areas and on the property just south and north of the site. A majority of the lead contamination offsite was cleaned up
Recently the City of Ithaca Fire Department condemned the site and recommended the buildings be demolished because the buildings pose a fire hazard and are an attractive nuisance for trespassers. There was a fire in the buildings in 2006, and despite the best efforts of the City Police and Fall Creek Development, there continues to be vandalism on the site. The condition of the buildings poses a safety threat to emergency personnel responders and the individuals trespassing on the property.
The clean-up and development of the Ithaca Gun Site has an complex history. Through many studies and reports, areas of concern for contamination have been identified and substantial offsite cleanup was accomplished by the EPA. However, further investigation and clean-up is required. There have also been several re-development plans proposed for the site, but these plans have not been successful due to the economic restraints and lack of support for the type of development that was proposed.
A new scaled down re-development plan has been submitted by Fall Creek Re-Development LLC. It has received favorable support from both the City of Ithaca and its residents. This new plan relies on public and private funding to make it economically viable. The City has received grants of $2.3 million in Restore NY funds and $700,200 from the NYSDEC Environmental Restoration Program. These funds, along with the private investment by the developer will allow for the demolition of the existing facilities, site remediation and re-development. The plan includes transferring ownership of a portion of the property to the City for development of a public walkway and overlook to the falls. The remainder of the property will be privately owned and developed into a 33-unit townhouse complex.
As of summer 2008, the NYSDEC is reviewing the Demolition Work Plan and a Focused Site Investigation Work Plan. The purpose of these plans is to insure that the buildings are demolished properly and for the investigation of possible contamination under the building foundations and floor slabs.
Once the buildings are removed and all areas of concern are identified, then remediation of the site can begin. When remediation is completed to the satisfaction of the NYSDEC and the Department of Health, then development of the site can begin.
Community Advisory Group
An important component of the project is the newly established Community Advisory Group (CAG). CAGs can promote greater public participation in cleanup projects and help citizens and the involved government agencies make better-informed decisions. It is important to note that a CAG does not serve as a decision-making body. It is not a voting entity and does not set policy or make decisions regarding project design and implementation. Instead, a CAG is intended to provide a forum through which a broad and diverse sample of community needs and interests are represented. A CAG does not replace, but rather adds value to, the broad spectrum of community involvement activities otherwise available at a remedial site.
The purpose of the Ithaca Gun CAG is to enable citizens affected by the demolition, remediation and re-development of the Former Ithaca Gun Factory Site to participate more fully in decisions that affect their health and environment. The primary goal is to facilitate two-way communication between the new York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Department of Health, Empire State Development Corporation, and the City of Ithaca and individuals, groups, and organization that are affected by the site. The CAG for the Ithaca Gun Site is designed to:
- Promote broad, balanced representation of communities and stakeholders along the entire site;
- Encourage more routine and consistent communications and coordination between DEC and the community;
- Solicit ongoing recommendations about ways to enhance community involvement;
- Provide an avenue for the community to voice its needs and concerns; and
- Provide for a consistent source of feedback for DEC to gauge interests and needs.
- CAG meetings will also allow members to provide comments on project-related issues such as:
- Development and implementation of work plans (e.g., remedial investigation work plan)
- Community health and safety plans;
- Quality of life issues (e.g., noise, odor, lights);
- Community impacts;
- Community resources;
- Project education; and
- Evaluation of community outreach and involvement
Studies and Reports
There have been several environmental reviews and studies completed over the years. These include, amongst other:
- Sampling and Analysis Program, Ithaca Gun Property, Prepared for State Street Associates, by Radian Corporation, dated May 19, 1988
- Phase II Investigation Report, prepared by Enviro-Control Technologies, Inc., dated December 15, 1997
- Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, prepared by Enviro-Control Technologies, dated April 1998
- Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, prepared for Dr. Wally Diehl, DVM, prepared by Prescott Environmental Associates, Inc.
- Voluntary Clean-up Program Investigation Work Plan, prepared for Dr. Wally Diehl, DVM, prepared by Prescott Environmental Associates, Inc., dated November 8, 2001
- Work Plan-Ithaca Gun Company Site, dated April 18, 2002
- Voluntary Clean-Up Program Investigation Report, dated May 10, 2002
These reports are available or will soon be available at the Ithaca Public Library. The Voluntary Clean-up Program Investigation Work Plan, the Work Plan-Ithaca Gun and the Voluntary Clean up Program Investigation Report are available here.
Voluntary Clean-Up Program Investigation Report, May 10, 2002
- Voluntary Clean-Up Preface, PDF ( 93 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Report, PDF (1075 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Tables, PDF (1130 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Tables continued, PDF (1094 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Appendix A , PDF ( 879 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Appendix C, Part 1, PDF (1355 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Appendix C, Part 2, PDF (1050 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Appendix C, Part 3, PDF (1455 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Appendix C, Part 4, PDF (1302 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Appendix C, Part 5, PDF (1215 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Appendix C, Part 6, PDF (734 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Appendix D and E, PDF (621 kb)
Voluntary Work Plan, November 2001
- Voluntary Clean-Up Report, PDF (847 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Appendix A (1), PDF (860 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Appendix A (2), PDF (1247 kb)
- Voluntary Clean-Up Appendix B, PDF (1315 kb)
Work Plan- April 2002
- Ithaca Gun Work Plan Table of Contents, PDF (97 kb)
- Ithaca Gun Work Plan Report, PDF (1211 kb)
- Ithaca Gun Work Plan Appendices ABC, PDF (944 kb)
- Ithaca Gun Work Plan Appendices D1 and D2, PDF (876 kb)
- Ithaca Gun Work Plan Appendices D3 and D4, PDF (1119 kb)
- Ithaca Gun Work Plan Appendices D5 and D6, PDF (380 kb)
- Ithaca Gun Work Plan Appendix E East Area, PDF (1162 kb)
- Ithaca Gun Work Plan Appendix F Upper Mill Race, PDF (269 kb)
- Ithaca Gun Work Plan Appendix G Island Area, PDF (1281 kb)
- Ithaca Gun Work Plan Appendix H Middle Mill Race Area, PDF (979 kb)
- Ithaca Gun Work Plan Appendix I to Demolition Permit, PDF (1036 kb)
- Ithaca Gun Work Plan Figures, PDF (103 kb)