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Former Navy Depot clean up underway

Supervisor eyes site for consolidated DPW facility, economic development

— Several years of inactivity at the former Scotia Navy Depot is nearing an end.

Schenectady County officials recently announced the federal government started working on the pre-design state of environmental clean up of the approximately 60-acre property. The plan involves installing an underground permeable reactive barrier to stop chemicals from entering the Great Flats Aquifer, which is the main source of drinking water for county residents.

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A building at the former Scotia Navy Depot partially collapsed on Sunday, June 15, 2012. Town officials called upon federal officials to demolish the collapsed building.

“The start of engineering work is very positive,” said Marty Finn, county legislator and chairman of the county’s Economic Development Committee, in a statement. “This project is not only critical to safeguarding our water supply, but will boost our economic development efforts in the Glenville Business and Technology Park and Schenectady County.”

Town Supervisor Christopher Koetzle said a timeline hasn’t been established for the cleanup, but he welcomed any progress. He’s hopeful for it to be completed in eight months to a year and is excited to begin redevelopment at the location.

“This has gone on much longer than we anticipated,” Koetzle said. “It has been on our strategic plan for years now … this is the fourth year.”

Koetzle added the site could house a new town Highway Department facility, but the town would only use a small portion of the site for such a purpose. He also envisioned a possible consolidated Department of Public Works facility with the county or other municipalities.

“The highway facility we have right now is very dated,” Koetzle said. “There is a lot of different ideas and I think any one of them we can easily support.”

In March 2010, the General Services Administration agreed to a state Department of Environmental Conservation Record of Decision outlining the environmental problem and a plan to fix it. In October 2011, GSA signed an agreement with DEC proposing a $3 to $4 million cleanup plan, which includes installing a zero valent iron permeable reactive barrier beneath the surface of the affected area to stop the chemical trichloroethylene, or TCE, plume from spreading.

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