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Hazardous waste probed at old Palmyra Landfill

The old Palmyra Landfill, a 6.8-acre site along Garnsey Road west of Route 31 in Palmyra, closed in the late 1970s. Water testing in late 2017 and last summer detected chemical pollutants — perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) — in groundwater and leachate samples, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The DEC is now coordinating with the town “to determine the presence of hazardous waste and whether that waste poses a significant threat to human health or the environment,” according to an April 2019 Fact Sheet the DEC just released.

Town Supervisor Kenneth Miller said he doesn’t have any reason to believe there is any health risk from the old landfill. Residents on Garnsey Road are on a treated, municipal water supply sourced from Canandaigua Lake, he said. There is one building on the road not hooked up to public water, which the supervisor said is vacant as far as he knows.

Miller assurred residents that the town is cooperating fully with the DEC. The project is like those happening across the state where towns once operated small, municipal dumps, he added.

“We are making sure it has been properly closed,” Miller said.

Work will involve a thorough check of records regarding the former landfill, site visits, and interviews regarding past use and disposal activity. Sampling and surveys of soil, surface water/ sediment and leachate will take place, as well as geophysical surveys and groundwater monitoring.

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