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Queens Chronicle

Toxic site mitigation to begin in LIC

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Posted: Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:32 am, Thu Apr 25, 2013.

No hazmat suits required, but it is toxic.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation plans to decontaminate an old motor parts industrial site this summer.

Standard Motor Products, Inc., — which will pay $416,000 in construction costs with an annual cost for five years of $289,000 — used the land at 37-18 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City from the mid-1900s until 2008 to produce auto parts and components.

In 1990 the site was investigated “after an oily sheen was observed in a puddled-area on the southeast side of the property,” state Health Department spokesman Peter Constantakes said.

In 2008 the spot became a commercial office space with a six-story building dominating most of the land.

Acumen Capital Partners, which did not return requests for comment, owns the building and has leased the rooftop to Brooklyn Grange, a commercial urban farm.

An employee at the farm said its members did not know about the toxic site.

Constantakes said vapor from the land is not a threat to the produce.

Since 2009 the building has operated a depressurization system that helps mitigate dangerous soil vapor in the building.

“This system vents any contamination from beneath the slab well above the roof line, where it breaks down and dissipates into the atmosphere,” Constantakes said. “Therefore, site-related contamination will not effect any green roof activities.”

The land beneath the building has been classified a class 2 inactive hazardous waste site as part of a state list of Superfunds sites, which means the toxicity represents a “significant threat to public safety or the environment,” according to the DEC.

The three-month remedial project will take place in the open area of the property, which is adjacent to the Sunnyside Yard. It will be performed by the motor company with oversight by the state DEC.

The cleanup will include the installation of an air sparge and soil vapor extraction system that will treat contaminated soil and and groundwater. A management plan will be published to ensure monitoring, maintenance and reporting.

After completion Standard Motor Products will prepare a final report certifying the requirement of the decontamination has been achieved, according to the DEC.

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