Soil and groundwater samples taken near the old West Side Corporation site in Jamaica have shown that the chemical contaminants from the factory have not spread to the ground underneath a residential construction site, the state said.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is still waiting for results on soil vapor samples taken from the same site in early July, but the results are also expected to show no contamination, said agency spokesman Peter Constantakes.
Weve got the soil and groundwater data and they show no impact, he said.
The construction is taking place on 180th Street between 106th Road and 107th Avenue to the northwest of the West Side Corporation site, and state legislators were worried chemicals from the now-closed factory site, including gasoline additives and dry cleaning chemicals, could have contaminated the ground beneath the new houses being built.
One of the groundwater samples did show trace amounts of tetrachloroethylene, at four parts per billion, but the level is below the legal limit as determined by the state Department of Health, and was only found in one sample, Constantakes said. The states legal limit is five parts per billion, he said.
The samples were taken in early July and the DEC tested for the chemical contaminants that had previously been found at the West Side Site, such as methyl tert-butyl ether, known as MTBE, a gasoline additive, and perchloroethylene, known as PERC, and tetrachloroethylene, dry-cleaning chemicals.
State legislators and community leaders were concerned that the contaminants might have spread to the nearby construction site, where 10 to 15 two-family homes are being built.
The DEC first thought the tests unnecessary, based on the information it gathered on the toxic plume in the ground underneath the West Side Site. But state Assemblyman William Scarborough (D-St. Albans) and state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans), and Manuel Caughman, president of the Brinkerhoff Action Association, a Jamaica-based civic group, worked to get the state to do the tests.
The soil vapor test results, which are also expected to be negative, should be in next week, Constantakes said.
Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com, or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2002 Community News Group
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