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DEC approves completion of cleanup at former oil site in Sackets Harbor

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SACKETS HARBOR — The cleanup of contaminated soil is complete on the north side of the former Augsbury Oil site, with the village’s Local Development Corp. receiving formal approval from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

“It’s very good news,” said Donald L. DiMonda, the LDC’s president. “It’s been a long process.”

The state agency sent the LDC a record of decision Saturday stating no further remedial work was necessary at the 1,200-yard portion of the Ambrose Street site.

In late 2012, village and town crews worked to excavate about 2,400 tons of soil from the property, which followed the 2009 clearance of about 1,500 tons and a 1,000-gallon underground storage tank.

Mr. DiMonda estimated cleaning work at the north side site, completed in early January, cost about $300,000. The state paid for 90 percent of the work.

Mr. DiMonda said the LDC will now focus on removing restrictions on the deed connected to the now-cleaned contaminants, which if left alone would prevent development at the site.

“If you have a potential developer and you show them a deed that says you can’t develop there, that would be a problem,” Mr. DiMonda said.

He said getting the restrictions removed would require court approval and may take “several months.”

Mr. DiMonda said he had already reached out to a few developers to let them know the LDC was in the process of getting the site cleaned and getting that documented, but received little formal interest from those discussions.

The LDC is also in the beginning phases of marketing the property, he said.

“Until the property is off our hands and back on the tax rolls, our work is not done,” Mr. DiMonda said. “We’ll see how that plays out.”

Mr. DiMonda said the LDC is still looking into ways to deal with cleaning up the site’s larger south side, estimated to about 3,500 yards.

He said the LDC is working with the DEC in an attempt to determine any grant funding that could be available for the larger project.

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