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Contamnation tests recommended for ex-Standard Shade Roller site

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More tests for concrete foundation and soil contamination at the former Standard Shade Roller site in Ogdensburg have been recommended with an eye toward full demolition and removal in spring/summer 2014.

At Tuesday’s city council meeting, Stephen B. LeFevre, managing hydrogeologist for the engineering firm Barton & Loguidice of Syracuse, outlined a plan to test the soil and concrete foundations of the demolished buildings of the former plant to determine much polychlorinated biphenyl - PCB - contamination there is.

There are already parts of the riverfront property on the city’s west side where the PCB levels both fall just below and markedly exceed the government threshold of one part per million.

It is best to know everything for sure, Mr. LeFevre told the lawmakers, because the former Standard Shade Roller site on Covington Street is tentatively coveted for mixed use housing in the city’s ambitious waterfront redevelopment plan.

“This is all in the context of getting a shovel-ready site,” he said.

For starters, Mr. LeFevre requested that Barton & Loguidice’s contract with the city be amended to add $7,500 for a cleanup plan and $6,250 for testing concrete foundation contamination.

Long term into 2014, the amendments would total $71,450 and include more sampling and testing.

“It makes sense,” said Mayor William D. Nelson. “We have to find out what is in there.”

The council took no action on Mr. LeFevre’s recommendations.

Barton & Loguidice’s findings were based on the results from 37 soil borings and seven monitoring wells. Laboratory analysis was conducted on five sediment samples, 14 concrete samples, 13 groundwater samples and 74 soil samples.

Overall, there were few surprises in the results.

“We suspected that there was contamination,” Mr. LeFevre told the lawmakers.

The city has nearly $1 million - including grants of $700,000 in 2007 and $200,000 in 2009 - to help cover the costs of remediating the former industrial site overlooking the St. Lawrence River. Mr. LeFevre estimated it would cost $343,000 to bury the demolished concrete as soil-capped landfill and $548,000 have it hauled away.

No housing development would be allowed on the landfilled site, Mr. LeFevre said.

Last January, the lawmakers approved a $60,090 amendment to a $364,225 agreement with Barton & Loguidice of Syracuse for its services.

The city acquired the former industrial property in 2007.

Demolition at the site commenced in 2011.

Standard Shade Roller, once a key Ogdensburg waterfront industry, closed in the 1990s.

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