Angelica Ballston Spa
Project Name: Former American Hide & Leather/Haight & Co. Tannery Site
Project Location: Village of Ballston Spa, New York (Saratoga County)
Project Description: The volunteer, which is the current owner, entered the Brownfield Cleanup Program in 2013 to remediate the primary contaminants of concern in soil, including heavy metals and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) exceeding industrial cleanup objectives, and slight exceedances for iron and magnesium in the groundwater. Interim Remedial Measures (IRM) work resulted in the removal of approximately 4,490 of petroleum contaminated soil and leather scrap material and approximately 126,000 gallons of contaminated groundwater from an excavation pit associated with a large former tannery above ground storage tank that had leaked. Once remediation is complete, the volunteer would like to sell the Site to a local developer for redevelopment purposes, but unfortunately, there are still no site purchasers or planned reuse projects at this time.
Site History: The Site was operated as a tannery from 1887 to 1960. As of 1904, there were 15 buildings associated with initial tannery operations some of which remain on site in dilapidated condition. For seventy years, the former tannery conducted bulk storage of chlorine, fuel oil, and stored tanning liquors and wastes in containers ranging in size from 55 gallon drums to 100,000 gallon above ground storage tanks. Between 1945 and 1950, an 80,000 square foot building was constructed on the eastern portion of the Site to replace many of the former 15 tannery buildings, which remains the building on-Site. After the tannery operations ceased in 1960, the Site was not occupied for a ten-year period. Between approximately 1970 and 2011, the Site was used for the commercial laundering of medical industry linens with laundry detergent by the current owner, which caused no environmental impacts to the Site.
Current Stage of the Process: The most contaminated portion of the Site was remediated during the IRM work, and a final Remedial Action Work Plan is in progress. Fortunately, significant tannery related chemical contamination was not discovered on-Site. Instead, coal related surface and subsurface soil contamination was discovered, and the Site needs to be cap for a new industrial reuse. However, significant cost associated with former tannery building demolition is required to complete the cap. This Site illustrates that not all remediation costs associated with brownfield sites are underground, but sometimes significant above ground building demolition/ remediation work is required, which can be just as costly, if not more costly when asbestos and lead paint are involved. Costs associated with finishing the building demolition and site-wide capping costs for this 6.35 acre site in this next calendar year will be significant for the volunteer company. Therefore, the volunteer was hoping the State would provide more time to finish. As a result, despite the volunteer’s best intentions, this Site might not make the end of the calendar year 2015 deadline.
Approximate date of completion: The goal will be to meet the end of the year deadline, but this goal remains a challenge at this time.
Current number of employees on location: The Site is now void of site operations, but there is one Site employee who provides basic maintenance and property oversight.
Approximate cost of construction: Since there is no planned project at this time, the costs of construction are not known, and will depend on whether a buyer can reuse the existing on-Site 80,000 square foot building.