Feedback: Renewed Hope For Old J & L Property

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For the last four decades, travelers passing through the Adirondack hamlet of Star Lake have been greeted with abandoned and decaying buildings on the highly contaminated former Jones & Laughlin ore processing mine property.

But efforts are slowly moving forward to change that.
 
"The long term goal of that is to have an industrial site back there," said town of Fine Supervisor and St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency member Mark Hall.

Hall says a plan that subdivides 18 acres of the 54 acre industrial property is what "a baby step" towards the eventual redevelopment of the site.
 
"Breaking off into smaller pieces and looking at it piece by piece really gives us hope that we can accomplish our long term goal of having it completely cleaned up," said Hall.
 
Even though the state Department of Environmental Conservation has proposed restricting the property to commercial use, the DEC suggests no cleanup is necessary on the smaller 18 acre parcel, consisting of what was once a former parking lot, an ore tailing pile and the current site of an electrical substation.

That's because studies found no significant environmental impact in the soil or groundwater there.
 
The remaining 36 acres on the J & L property remain heavily contaminated with fuel oil, asbestos, PCBs and other solvents.

Officials say that part of the property will more than likely become a Superfund site.                                  
 
"Now it's moving forward in a really positive way, but there have been a lot of stumbling blocks of trying to get everybody on the same page," said Chris Westbrook, Clifton-Fine Economic Development Corporation president.

A public meeting will be held March 12 at the Wanakena Ranger School to accept public comment on the remediation plan.

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Friday, October 31, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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