March 6, 2009 - Cleanup efforts in place since 1994 have focused, largely unsuccessfully, on the reservoir. With new geological and historical information, Emerson and the state Department of Environmental Conservation have determined that in fact, the leak allowed TCE from the firewater reservoir to worm its way down 85 feet below the surface where it currently poses no risk to human health or the environment, according to DEC engineer Gregg Townsend, DEC geologist Carl Cuipylo, and state health department engineer Susan Shearer.
The dumping in the sewers, on the other hand, allowed TCE to move along bedrock just below the ground's surface, spreading into neighborhoods where it enters some homes through soil vapor intrusion. TCE is considered a likely carcinogen.
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