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Duracell Remediation Begins in Sleepy Hollow

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Officials don't have a definitive start date for remediation of sites around the former Duracell battery plant in Sleepy Hollow, but spokesperson Kurt Iverson said the ball has been set in motion.

Iverson said letters were sent out last week to homeowners living closest to the plant who will be the first batch of properties to undergo remediation. Homeowners will meet with officials to work out a remediation plan.

“As soon as we come to agreements with one or more of them, we'll start,” Iverson said.

Soil testing showed that about 75 properties in Sleepy Hollow will need to have mercury-laden soil removed and replaced because of pollution from the battery plant, which sat near the Hudson River and former General Motors plant. Gillette has hired AECOM to complete the actual remediation.

Officials had wanted to start the remediation process earlier, but Iverson notes it took some time to coordinate the project between the local and state agencies involved.

“We were obviously eager to get started too, because the quicker you get started, the quicker you get out of everybody's way and get things completed, but there's a lot of planning that goes in along the way,” Iverson said.

Village officials have been working with AECOM and Gillette to discuss how the polluted soil will be transported out of the village, as well as making sure the remediation does not affect residents negatively. Iverson said crews would aim to keep clean-up impacts small.

“It'll feel a lot different to each reader because, again, we try to make the least impact on the overall neighborhood,” he said, noting crews will work only on a few homes at a time.

Iverson said crews will work to ensure the safety of all residents during the remediation process.

“They use all the best practices of what they would call dust mitigation, which just means to keep the dust out of the air, which is the goal,” Iverson said. “You'll see a lot of people wetting down the soil before it’s dug up. You'll see ways to trap the soil in and seal it so then transported out fairly easily.”

Gillette has also opened a storefront at 160 Cortlandt Street for residents who have questions about the remediation process. Iverson said the office's schedule had not yet been finalized, but hours should be posted on the project's website soon. A lawn adjacent to the store will be developed to show a sample of what the remediation process will look like after it's completed, Iverson said.

“Hopefully when we get done, overall it will look like a project that's actually improved the look” of the village, Iverson said.

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