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State seeks to expand cleanup at Glen Cove toxic sites

The state is looking to expand cleanup efforts at two adjacent Glen Cove toxic waste sites where chemicals spilled decades ago still contaminate soil and groundwater.

At the Crown Dykman site on Herbhill Road, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed a $1.7-million plan to remove dry-cleaning chemicals and petroleum residues. The pollution stems from laundries and an auto body shop that operated there between 1955 and 1990, according to the DEC. A public meeting on the remedy is scheduled next week in Glen Cove.

Just north is the Powers Chemco site, a former typewriter ribbon factory off Charles Street where inks and petroleum-derived solvents such as toluene were dumped or spilled between 1950 and 1979. Despite earlier state-mandated cleanups, the DEC said recent tests show contamination there persists and "presents a significant threat to the environment."

The DEC reopened the site last year after "very high levels" of the toluene and other aromatic hydrocarbons derived from coal and petroleum were found in soil and groundwater. State standards for groundwater limit concentrations of such substances to 5 parts per billion; the 2009 tests found toluene at 520,000 parts per billion.

DEC spokesman Bill Fonda said the contamination does not threaten public water supply wells. Fonda said the agency needs more information about the full extent of the remaining contamination before it proposes a cleanup plan. The next step will be a supplementary investigation by the current landowner, Konica Minolta Graphic Imaging, which recently relocated to Michigan.

At the Crown Dykman site, the DEC has already removed some contaminated soil from the property and taken steps to prevent vaporized chemicals from seeping into a building there. Now the agency wants to remove petroleum residues from groundwater by installing wells to pump up the tainted water. A plume of dry-cleaning solvents in the western and southwestern portion of the site would be injected with chemicals to break the plume down into less-harmful substances.

The DEC and the state Health Department will discuss the plan with the public at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Glen Cove City Hall.

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