A representative from the state Attorney General's Office will take a look at the portion of town with underground contamination.
New state Department of Environmental Conservation Region 8 Director Paul D'Amato will escort an environmental staffer from state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office Wednesday on a visit to the contaminated area on a western part of town. Town environmental consultant Paul Lytle announced the visit Monday at a Town Board meeting.
The visit Wednesday afternoon is expected to include the Modock Springs area and the Syracusa Sand and Gravel operation, where officials believe industrial solvents spilled into the ground and then flowed north, from a spot south of Dryer Road, near the gravel pit, to Modock Springs Road.
The visit follows a trip to Albany last week by town Supervisor Leslie Bamann, Lytle, and attorney Rich Palumbo.
Lytle and Bamann reported progress is being made on the state's investigation of the contamination.
Lytle said he was "disappointed" that those working on the case with the state DEC and state Department of Health "had no suggestions" about funding public water hookups and installation of more ventilation systems where residents are concerned about air pollution from the toxins.
Lytle also said details need to be worked out with state officials about creating letters that can be used by homeowners that document their residences are free of contamination. "Many people are concerned with home-value protection," he said. Also being discussed are ways to help those whose home values have decreased due proximity to the underground contamination.
Lytle recommended the town bring in "a technical liaison" to decipher data in the case and provide feedback.
State health officials may also pursue a second cancer-cluster study that includes village residents, said Lytle, in response to a request from Mayor John Holden. The Modock Road springs previously served as drinking water for the village.
As for work under way to find out who is responsible for the contamination first discovered 17 years ago, Lytle said state officials are being "highly secretive and confidential."
Bamann said the town assessor will give a report in October regarding home values affected by the contamination. State officials are due to update residents on the investigation sometime this fall.
Julie Sherwood can be reached at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 263, or at email@example.com.