New York’s DEC proposes final steps to clean up former IBM campus

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ENDICOTT, N.Y. (CBS NEWSPATH) – New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation proposed final steps to clean up a contaminated former IBM campus and is looking for your opinion.

“It’s really a long term story that doesn’t get better as time goes by,” said former IBM employee Rick White.

Overgrown and decaying buildings remind White of what the company once was.

White also says they were the good guys and the company brought jobs, which allowed them to build homes.

The Endicott site is still haunted by contamination from IBM nearly 40 years after it was discovered.

The DEC lists the former IBM campus as a class two superfund site.

It’s contaminated land that poses a significant threat to public health or the environment.

“I’ve known of people that were sick and died because they had cancer and its suspected that that’s because of the plume and the chemicals they worked with or it came in in their basement,” said White.

While there’s no direct evidence of this, the department of health links many of the contaminants on site, like Trichlorethylene (TCE)  to cancer.

White is also worried that the exposure to all these chemicals may affect his future health.

DEC declined the media’s request for an interview.

However, they have been working to cleanup up the dangerous chemicals for decades.

The agency says the amount of contamination has shrunk substantially, and is proposing a final cleanup plan to the public.

White hopes to see them do as much cleanup as possible to the site.

The DEC has outlined several options ranging from no further action to an estimated more than $13 million project to clean the groundwater contamination, cover the site, and prevent soil vapor intrusion.

The DEC is holding a public meeting on March 19 at 6 p.m. to discuss the proposed remedy.

It will be held at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library in Endicott.

The DEC will also be accepting public comment about the proposal through March 29.

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