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February 2006 - Former Smith Corona Facility Fact Sheet

The purpose of this fact sheet is to provide information regarding an upcoming environmental assessment planned at and near the former Smith Corona Manufacturing Facility. This facility is located near the intersection of NYS Route 13 and Lime Hollow Road in Cortlandville. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), in cooperation with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), will be conducting a groundwater and soil vapor investigation to evaluate the potential for vapors to migrate from the groundwater into homes and businesses.


The NYSDEC and the NYSDOH are currently in the process of performing assessments across New York State where environmental contamination is present in soil or groundwater. The purpose of these assessments is to determine if there is a potential for vapor migration to impact indoor air in buildings where people are living, working, or that are otherwise occupied. The enclosed Soil Vapor Intrusion fact sheet provides general information about the vapor migration process.

The former Smith Corona Manufacturing facility released trichloroethene and other chemicals into the soil and groundwater during its operation in Cortlandville. NYSDEC required Smith Corona to perform an environmental investigation, remove contaminated soil and install environmental treatment systems to address this contamination. Smith Corona also funded public water lines to the affected area, and a long-term groundwater monitoring study administered by the Cortland County Health Department. The long term monitoring data indicate that concentrations of trichloroethene in the groundwater in the area are low but are above New York State standards for drinking water. Because all homes in the area are provided with public water, your drinking water is unaffected. Routine testing confirms this.

The Work Plan

The NYSDEC has requested that South Cortland Warehouse Project (SCWP), the successive owner of the former Smith Corona Manufacturing facility, investigate the potential for vapor migration into homes and businesses in the area. During February 2006, NYSDEC will begin installing groundwater and vapor monitoring points to the north of the former manufacturing facility. These new locations, in conjunction with historically-sampled locations, will be tested to evaluate the potential for vapors to be generated from the contaminated groundwater and migrate toward buildings, homes and other structures. Additionally, NYSDEC is working with SCWP to have them perform additional and similar environmental testing on the former manufacturing facility.

It is important to note that even if investigative activities are taking place in close proximity to your property, this does not mean that your house or structure is impacted by vapor intrusion. Testing results will be shared with the public either through future mailings like this one or at a public meeting. If the results indicate it is appropriate to test inside structures, NYSDEC will contact potentially affected home and business owners to more fully explain the procedure, request property access and make specific arrangements for the testing. It is anticipated that these initial results will be completed during this winter season. These test results, provided by a private, independent laboratory, are expected to be available within the next few months.

Additional Information

You may obtain additional information by contacting one of representatives listed on this fact sheet, or you may view project documents at the Cortland Free Library located at 32 Church Street, Cortland (hours: Monday-Thursday 10:00 am-8:30 pm, Friday and Saturday 10:00 am-5:30 pm) You can learn more about vapor migration at DER's Vapor Intrusion Guidance.

For information, call: Mr. Jim Burke, P.E., NYSDEC, 315-426-7550

For health-related questions, call: Ms. Henri Hamel, NYSDOH, 315-477-8154 or

Cortland County Environmental Health Department, 607-753-5035

Map of Cortlandville Project Area

Map of Cortlandville project site

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