Asbestos Piles to be Removed from TechCity Site in Ulster County, New York Under EPA Settlement
NEW YORK - Asbestos piles will now be removed from the Tech City site, under a June 7, 2022, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreement with developer iPark 87, LLC requiring it to remove asbestos contamination from the site in Ulster County, New York. The site is being cleaned up under EPA’s Superfund program.
“EPA has worked diligently to get the asbestos identified at TechCity cleaned up and this settlement is key to that process,” said EPA Regional Administrator Lisa F. Garcia. “By working closely with the iPark 87, LLC, as well as our state and local partners, this cleanup will help put the site back into productive use. EPA collaborates with property owners and communities to reclaim and reuse formerly contaminated land to boost local economies and create jobs.”
Under the settlement, iPark 87, LLC has agreed to remove three large outdoor piles of demolition debris contaminated with asbestos and will abate asbestos in one building (building 1). 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 properly stabilized the site while the agency pursued the settlement. In addition, EPA will recover all its past costs as well as the cost of overseeing this work. After entering into the settlement, the company purchased most of the site property, with the intention of developing it into a variety of ventures including highlighting local businesses.
The site is a former IBM computer manufacturing facility that had been in operation for more than 30 years until 1998, when it was sold to companies affiliated with Mr. Alan Ginsberg, who re-branded the facility as TechCity and operated it as a multi-tenant industrial park. Between 2015 and 2016, improper asbestos abatement and demolition of buildings occurred at the site. In May 2017, Ulster County requested EPA assistance with addressing the conditions at the site. EPA attempted to negotiate with the potentially responsible parties to remove asbestos without success. In March 2020, EPA mobilized to the site to undertake a portion of the removal work, which included demolition of an asbestos-contaminated, partially demolished structure identified as building 2, disposal of approximately 200 tons of asbestos-contaminated material, and the securing of building 1.
On July 15, 2021, Ulster County filed an action to foreclose on 18 parcels at the site for failure to pay over $12 million in property taxes. In September 2021, EPA unilaterally issued an administrative order to six potentially responsible parties directing them to remove the three large piles and abate building 1. Despite initial compliance, the cleanup work did not proceed. EPA then secured funding to perform the work itself. In December 2021, in connection with a court-approved settlement of the County foreclosure action, iPark 87, LLC indicated its intention to purchase and redevelop the site, perform the remaining asbestos cleanup work, and reimburse EPA’s costs. The settlement will mean that public funds will no longer be needed for the cleanup.
For additional background, visit the EPA’s Tech City Response Page.
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