A former shopping plaza site in Buffalo, NY, could be the next spot for remediation and cleanup, according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.
The project, located at the old Southtowns shopping plaza at 3021 Orchard Park Road, would cost more than $600,000 as the area is redeveloped into a “multi-disciplinary world class cancer center.”
The environmental remediation efforts will be paid for by 3021-3041 Orchard Park Road LLC and Comprehensive Cancer Services Oncology, P.C., and will be overseen by the DEC.
Once home to the Orchard Park Antique Mall, a Tops Market, and a CVS Pharmacy, the location also housed other businesses, including a dry cleaning service.
Dry cleaners are often responsible for the release of volatile organic compounds and other pollutants into the soil and water. This can affect groundwater, which makes up 95% of the freshwater in the U.S. and gives drinking water to half the nation.
Groundwater remediation systems are used to remove VOCs and chemicals like PERC, a dry cleaning solvent.
At the Buffalo, NY, site, VOCs such as benzene, trichloroethylene and vinyl chloride were found earlier this year, along with arsenic in the soil, according to a report by the Benchmark Environmental Engineering and Science firm and TurnKey Environmental Restoration, LLC.
While cleanup for the site could cost an estimated $1 million, the report did warn site owners that doing nothing wasn’t an option. “This alternative would not protect public health and the environment as the soil and groundwater are impacted,” the report said.
This isn’t the first cleanup project the DEC has announced in New York State recently.
In Long Island, the DEC required Northrop Grumman to do something about the groundwater contamination in Bethpage. The DEC also ordered the company to comply with the U.S. Navy to remediate the area’s groundwater.