On July 13, 2016, EPA was asked by the NYSDEC R5 office to investigate an abandoned leather tannery in Johnstown (Fulton Count) NY. The DEC performed a walk-thru of the site and discovered over 100 drums and other containers that had been abandoned. They also observed that a number of drums had been overturned by l trespassers and unknown liquids that appear to be concentrated leather dye have been released onto the surrounding floor. This material migrated outside the building and stained the parking lot.
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The Site is located in a residential neighborhood bounded on three sides by woods. A former railroad right-of-way that was transformed into a public walking trail is located less than 60 feet from the main building. The Cayadutta Creek, a navigable waterway of the US, is located next to the trail, This creek empties into the Mohawk River which is approximately 5 miles south of the Site. This section of the Mohawk River is part of the Erie Canal system and is a major fishing and recreational water way. On July 14, 2016 two OSC visited the site and observed that one window was missing and a ground floor overhead door was open and unlocked. The OSCs also documented both the presence and release of hazardous chemicals. A written referral of this Site from the NYSEC to EPA was received on 7/26. On 8/10 ERRS was mobilized to the Site and initiated a removal action.