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For Release: Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Soil Test Results Available from Properties near Former Geneva Foundry Site; Cleanup Plan Proposed

Public Meeting on October 18 to Accept Public Comments on Proposed Remedy; Availability Sessions on October 25 to Discuss Soil Test Results with Property Owners

Sampling results show that air deposition from the Former Geneva Foundry caused elevated levels of arsenic and lead in soils at residential properties neighboring the former foundry located at 43 Jackson Street in the City of Geneva, Ontario County. Soil testing results were found to contain levels of contaminants above State Soil Cleanup Objectives (SCOs), stated Paul D'Amato, Regional Director of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Office. SCOs are contaminant-specific soil concentrations that are protective of public health and the environment for a specific type of property use.

The proposed cleanup plan involves removal of contaminated soils from the former foundry site and in the nearby neighborhoods and proper disposal of soils. DEC and New York State Department of Health (DOH) representatives will hold a public meeting on October 18, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. to present details of the proposed cleanup plan, answer questions and receive public input on the proposed plan. The public meeting will be held at the Parish Center of St. Francis de Sales Church, 130 Exchange Street (located behind the church on Center Street) in Geneva.

Property owners have also been provided with individual sampling results and will have an opportunity to further discuss their results with representatives from DEC and DOH. Two availability sessions for interested property owners and residents are scheduled for October 25, 2016, from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. The availability sessions will also be at the Parish Center of St. Francis de Sales Church, 130 Exchange Street in Geneva. No appointment is necessary.

Residential SCOs were developed based on the assumption that people are exposed to chemicals in soil through activities that typically occur on residential properties (e.g., working and playing in the yard, gardening). SCOs are set at a soil level at which health effects are unlikely to occur and are used, along with other considerations, to guide decisions about the need to reduce exposure to environmental contaminants.

Property owners should be aware that, in its current condition, contact with contaminated soil at these properties is possible in areas not covered with grass or pavement, especially if there is visible soil. DOH and DEC are proposing remediation of these areas to reduce the potential for exposure in the longer term as identified in the proposed plan.

DOH recommends that property owners follow the best practices described below to reduce any potential for exposure, including:

  • Wash with soap and water after gardening or any time before you eat;
  • Minimize children's direct contact with bare soil by laying down wood chips or maintaining grass cover, especially if soil contains visible fill material such as ash, cinders, brick or slag;
  • Plant vegetable gardens in raised beds with clean soil (at least 10 inches deep). Use untreated wood to make the beds. Pressure-treated wood and railroad ties contain added chemicals; and
  • Brush off soil from clothes and remove shoes and gloves before entering a home. Additional information about healthy gardening (link leaves DEC website) is available at:

For more information on exposure (link leaves DEC website,) visit the DOH website at:

People may submit comments until November 25, 2016 on the proposed cleanup plan to:

Frank Sowers, P.E. project manager
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
6274 East Avon-Lima Road
Avon, NY 14414
(585) 226-5357

Documents including the proposed cleanup plan are available for review at:

Geneva Public Library NYSDEC Region 8 Office
244 Main Street 6274 E. Avon-Lima Road
Geneva, NY 14456 Avon, NY 14414
(315) 789-5303 (585) 226-5353

Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on NYSDEC's website at:

  • Contact for this Page
  • Linda Vera
    Region 8
    6274 East Avon-Lima Road
    Avon, NY 14414
    email us
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