From: Sarah A. Booth, Watertown Daily Times, N.Y.
Published February 14, 2005 12:00 AM

City to Meet over Contract to Clean Up Harmful Agents

OGDENSBURG, New York — City councilors will meet at 7 p.m. today to agree to a contract with Solvents & Petroleum Service Inc., Syracuse, to dispose of heavy detergents, sludge, dry bleach and other hazardous material from the former Quik-Rite Dry Cleaners, 1322 Ford St.

Solvents & Petroleum quoted the lowest price at $3,462. Op-Tech Environmental Services, Massena, quoted $4,995 and Safety-Kleen, Syracuse, quoted $4,170.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation regional solid waste and hazardous materials officials inspected the building Aug. 25 and identified eight to 10 products considered hazardous wastes. Other items include Klera-cid, Adco Sta-Dri, driveway sealer, upholstery cleaner and small containers of sodium perborate bleach and aerosols. A DEC letter gave the city until the end of October to carry out the cleanup.

Councilors were looking for a company that would remove the waste at a lower price than Op-Tech estimated in October. DEC gave the city extra time to find lower prices, city Director of Planning and Development Martin D. Murphy said Friday. "It was a situation that was imminent but not immediate," he said.

DEC requires disposal of dry cleaner waste after it is inactive for a certain period. The city was made liable for cleanup when it claimed the property in 2003 from former owners R. James Leboeuf and his wife, Virginia K., because of $12,000 in unpaid taxes. Mr. and Mrs. Leboeuf filed for bankruptcy in 2003.

Quik-Rite neighbors requested last year that the city investigate the ground for hazardous waste contamination. "There is no record of hazardous spills at the DEC at this point," Mr. Murphy said. "It's speculation." An investigation would take place only if the city had a complaint based on a definite reason to believe the ground is contaminated, he said.

"Otherwise, you're kind of chasing a ghost," he said.

To see more of the Watertown Daily Times, or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to (c) 2005, Watertown Daily Times, N.Y. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News.

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