News Releases from Region 02
Ulster County, New York - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has demolished an asbestos-contaminated building and removed approximately 200 tons of contaminated debris at an industrial park in the Town of Ulster, Ulster County, New York. Exposure to asbestos can lead to a debilitating lung disease called asbestosis, a rare cancer of the chest and abdominal lining called mesothelioma, and various other cancers.
“EPA’s work at TechCity is an example of the Superfund program performing at its best,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “Working in partnership with Ulster County, the Town of Ulster, and New York State, we have taken decisive action to address the threat to public health from asbestos at this site and get this property on the path to productive reuse.”
“After years of stalemate and stalling by the property owner, we are now starting to see real positive change at TechCity. I’m grateful to EPA Regional Administrator Peter Lopez and Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, who have been terrific partners in generating the support and resources we needed to begin work. The abatement and demolition work we are announcing today is big step forward, and a refreshing demonstration of what government can accomplish when it’s energized and coordinated,” said Town of Ulster Supervisor James E. Quigley
“From day one, I’ve pushed aggressively to turn around the situation at Tech City and I’m proud of our continued progress. I want to thank EPA Regional Administrator Peter Lopez for taking swift action on the asbestos abatement at the site, which will both help alleviate public health risks and better position the property for the future. This collaborative effort between federal, state, and local governments will allow us to finally turn the corner and start to reimagine this property. I am committed to continuing to do the work to ensure that we can make Tech City a valuable part of our economy once again,” said Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan.
(Photo: Courtesy of EPA. Site of EPA Cleanup at former Tech City site in Ulster, N.Y.)
The TechCity Site (Site) is a former IBM production facility that had been in operation for more than 30 years at 300 Enterprise Drive in the Town of Ulster. The Site has been used as an industrial park since 1998. The Site contains several buildings, two of which were contaminated with asbestos-containing material (Buildings 1 and 2). The Site also contains three large piles of Regulated Asbestos Containing Material (RACM) that are currently covered. After receiving a request for assistance from Ulster County officials and attempts to negotiate with potentially responsible parties to remove asbestos from the Site, EPA mobilized to the site in March to undertake a portion of the removal work. EPA’s actions included:
- Demolition of an asbestos-contaminated, partially-demolished structure identified as Building 2 and disposal of approximately 200 tons of asbestos-contaminated material;
- Decontaminating 150 tons of steel, which was shipped off-site for recycling; and
- Securing the exterior of Building 1 by repairing barriers, installing temporary fencing, and posting asbestos warning signs.
On December 11, 2019, EPA issued notice of potential liability letters to five potentially responsible parties, which are current or former owner/operators of the site requesting that they consent to perform a removal action that included the above actions taken by EPA. The parties are: TechCity Properties, Inc., Mr. Alan L. Ginsberg, A.G. Properties of Kingston, LLC, Ms. Stephanie Laskin, and A2 Environmental Solutions, LLC. When none of these parties agreed to perform all the requested removal activities, EPA undertook the actions that presented the most immediate threats to public health and the environment.
Whether a site is being addressed under EPA’s shorter-term cleanup program, the Superfund removal program, as is the case with TechCity, or whether it is handled through the EPA National Priorities List for longer-term cleanups, the basic principles are the same. The responsible party should pay or perform cleanups, but EPA can and will step in to address immediate risks. EPA’s enforcement efforts at this site are ongoing.
To learn more about the Superfund program, please visit: www.epa.gov/superfund.
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