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Sleepy Hollow Smooths The Way For Duracell Cleanup

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Sleepy Hollow officials have taken the first steps to make cleaning up pollution at the former Duracell battery plant slightly easier so crews can get to work faster.

Trustees approved a flat fee for all work permit and tree removal applications on properties that will undergo remediation. They also allowed contractor AECOM to set up a fund for expedited permit inspections.

Testing shows that about 75 properties in Sleepy Hollow must 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 hired AECOM to complete the remediation, which is not mandatory for property owners.

The cleanup efforts will begin on the block adjacent to the former battery plant site, bounded by Andrews Lane, Elm Street, Kendal Avenue and Beekman Avenue, and spread from there.

The flat fee means AECOM will pay $450 for each property that needs to be cleaned up instead of paying a building permit fee, a tree removal fee and a certificate of occupancy fee. AECOM can also put $2,500 in a village escrow account to be used for expedited inspections, village officials said.

AECOM will be able to submit property plans for each site remediation and restoration to streamline the process and make it faster.

New York Department of Environmental Conservation Spokesperson Lisa King said the cleanup process will involve several steps: gathering necessary permits, establishing erosion and dust suppression controls, setting up temporary fences and barriers, relocating site features, removing soil with excess mercury levels and, finally, restoring the site, including landscaping.

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