DEC to Investigate Historic Friedrichsohn Cooperage

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has begun a detailed investigation of the former Friedrichsohn Cooperage in Waterford, in Saratoga County. Conducted in conjunction with the state Department of Health, the investigation will delineate the extent of contamination in soil, soil vapor and groundwater by a variety of pesticides, metals and semi-volatile organic compounds from the historic half-acre parcel at 153-155 Saratoga Avenue in Waterford that operated from 1817 to 1991.

In its early years, the cooperage made and refurbished wooden kegs and barrels. At the time it closed, its primary business was cleaning and refurbishing metal drums. Inspections of the facility after it closed found the buildings in poor condition and thousands of abandoned drums, some of them leaking. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, between 1994 and 1996, removed 322 tons of contaminated sludge/soil, 9,000 gallons of liquid waste and 3,767 drums from the property. The buildings were demolished and the site was added to the Superfund program.

DEC’s investigation field work started this week with a land survey. Beginning next week and continuing through at least October, work will include the collection of surface soil samples and investigation data gathering. Future activities will include collection of subsurface soil and vapor samples, collection of sediment samples from the nearby Old Champlain Canal, sampling of groundwater and the installation of monitoring wells. Through the investigation, DEC will be able to define the nature and extent of the contamination, assess the impact on public health and the environment and develop a proposed cleanup remedy.

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