For all that went wrong with the Geneva Foundry contamination when it came to communicating with affected residents, a lot has apparently gone right with the cleanup project itself.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation, working with contractor LaBella Environmental of Rochester, is finishing up a second year of contaminated property remediation covering about 40 parcels, around double what was performed in the initial cleanup year of 2017. The project, funded with an estimated $16 million from the state Superfund program, involves removing contaminated soil from identified properties near the former Geneva Foundry on Jackson Street.
The project also includes restoration — anything from replacing driveways and sidewalks to porches, decks, fences and sheds.
Fifth Ward Councilor Jason Hagerman and At-large Councilor Mark Gramling live in the contamination zone. At last week’s City Council meeting Hagerman said he is impressed by what has transpired.
“I don’t know how many other people in the city may travel that way,” he said, “(but) the scope of that cleanup is massive, and I just want to remark again that if anybody is unfamiliar with the work that is being done down there, come down and take a look — drive through, walk through. If the city were tasked with doing that, we would have fallen far short.”
Jeff Henderson, who operates the Geneva Peeps chicken co-op on State Street, also praised the work being done.
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