In the fall of 2016, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced a massive project to replace the soil on 220 properties in Geneva because of elevated lead and arsenic levels. The project, which is expected start this year, will cost close to $17 million.
The DEC was able to link the contamination to the former scrap iron foundry located on Jackson Street. But reporting indicates that state and local officials knew about potential dangers in the soil of some properties for decades.
Documents show the DEC first tested the property next to the foundry site in 1986 and found spilled fluids and excessive levels of lead and other metals. In 1998, the City of Geneva acquired the foundry property and did more testing that showed elevated metal levels next door to the site and in properties at least a block away.