DEC Launches New Investigation At Former Duracell Site In Sleepy Hollow
A new investigation into suspected mercury and lead contamination in Sleepy Hollow (Westchester County) will soon begin as part of a cooperative agreement between the Gillette Company and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Commissioner Pete Grannis announced today.
(Media-Newswire.com) - A new investigation into suspected mercury and lead contamination in Sleepy Hollow ( Westchester County ) will soon begin as part of a cooperative agreement between the Gillette Company and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ( DEC ), Commissioner Pete Grannis announced today. The agreement stems from an initial assessment by DEC that showed some properties may have residual soil contamination from the historic operations that took place at the former Duracell battery site.
"Localities statewide continue to be affected by our state's highly industrial past," Commissioner Grannis said. "Today's agreement with Gillette is an important step toward finding out the extent of mercury contamination in Sleepy Hollow, so we can develop a mitigation approach that complies with the stricter state standards now in effect."
The former Duracell site, located at 60 Elm Street in Sleepy Hollow, was home to a battery manufacturing facility that operated between 1945 and 1984. The facility produced mercuric oxide batteries from 1945 to 1974; air emissions from the manufacturing process resulted in mercury contamination of on- and off-site soils. A cleanup completed in 1993 involved demolition of factory buildings and removal of mercury-contaminated soils located both on-site and adjacent to the factory. The site was de-listed from the state Superfund registry in 1994 after meeting state standards in place at that time.
In late 2008, a prospective home buyer had the soil sampled at a residential property located immediately south of the former Duracell site and the results indicated the ongoing presence of mercury. DEC and the state Department of Health ( DOH ) began collecting soil samples from residential and Village-owned properties, with 36 properties showing potential contamination impacts.
DEC approached the Gillette Company, which acquired Duracell in the late 1990s, to take responsibility for the next step in the process. The company signed a "consent order" that requires it to implement an investigation plan to assess the extent of mercury and lead contamination in soils. The investigation is anticipated to begin next spring. Following the results of the investigation, DEC and DOH will then work with the company to develop a cleanup plan.
This story was released on 2009-12-28. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date. See our disclaimer for additional information.