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Duracell Pollution Means Remediation for 80 Homes

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – The results of soil testing near the former Duracell battery plant are in, and Sleepy Hollow residents will get a chance to hear from Gillette and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at a public meeting on Monday.

The meeting will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Sleepy Hollow High School Auditorium.

Approximately 2,000 soil samples were taken from 146 properties in the area surrounding the former battery plant by AECOM for Gillette as part of the Phase I Remedial Investigation. Gillette, Duracell's successor, is responsible for paying for the clean-up of properties affected by the battery plant's operations. NYSDEC is supervising the clean-up process.

NYSDEC spokesperson Lisa King said about 75-80 properties surrounding the former battery plan will need to be remediated, which involves removing and replacing polluted soil.

The area studied by investigators is bordered on the south by Depeyster Street, on the west by Clinton Street, Barnhard Avenue and Barnhart Park, to the north by Elm Street and to the east by Cortland Street and the large apartment building at 95 Beekman Avenue.

According to a public report on the soil testing , results show investigators found mercury and lead in the sampled area. Mercury levels ranged from nothing detetable to 180 mg/kg. Lead levels were between non-detectable and 28,000 mg/kg.

The site remedial goals for the area are 4.8 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg), although the New York Department of Health recommends cleaning up soils with concentrations of mercury above 1.2 mg/kg. The state residential soil cleanup objective for lead is 400 mg/kg.

Remediation officials said in a fact sheet for affected property owners that although the remediation goals are greater than the state suggests, “it is well below the exposure levels that may cause health effects in animals or humans.”

The soil remediation will not include lead. “Because lead present in area soils can be attributable to sources other than the former battery manufacturing operations, remediation of properties in the area will not be conducted based on the presence of elevated lead levels,” King said.

You can download a PDF file of the full soil testing results here . A fact sheet provided by Gillete and the NYSDEC can be downloaded as a PDF file here .

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