Cleanup of Rickett’s Dry Cleaners in Ballston Spa to take place under state Superfund

BALLSTON SPA — An “expedited cleanup” of Rickett’s Dry Cleaners, a Superfund site at 2017-2019 Doubleday Ave. will begin soon, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

Cleanup of the site, which has been unoccupied for the last nine years, is expected to last about two months, the agency said. While the actual demolition of the property has yet to occur, workers were onsite last week.

A study of soil, groundwater and soil vapor performed for the state by Precision Environmental Services of Ballston Spa indicates that the primary concern on the site is chlorinated volatile organic compounds associated with prior on-site dry-cleaning operations.

The 1.38-acre location is listed as “class 2” in the state Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites, meaning it represents a significant threat to public health or the environment, and action is required.

The property is bounded on the east by Doubleday Avenue (State Route 50), on the north and west by residential properties and Park Street, and on the south by Doubleday Avenue and Park Street.

The site had been a laundry and dry cleaners along with a small self-service car wash at the south end of the property. The dry cleaners were in operation for at least four decades, until 2013, according to the DEC.

The work plan consists of a “controlled demolition” of all buildings to the concrete slab, including watering for dust control, and off-site disposal of the demolition debris; import of “clean material” for use as backfill; implementation of a Health and Safety Plan and Community Air Monitoring Plan during all ground disturbance and demolition activities; and implementation of a vibration monitoring plan performed at adjacent properties, as needed.

Mayor Christine Fitzpatrick said the long-awaited project is located at the “the gateway” to the village.

“This remediation which has been designed and taken by the DEC has taken awhile, as these things do,” Fitzpatrick said. “People in the neighborhood have been impatient. Well, we’ve all been impatient. We’ve all wanted it to be taken care of. But now it’s in the process.”

“It’s certainly been irritating for the people at the north end of the village. But these things, they’re complicated, with a lot of moving parts that started to take off under former Mayor (Larry) Woolbright.”

The property’s future after the cleanup is uncertain.

“It’s my understanding,” the mayor said, “that it’s still owned by the original owners — by the Ricketts — and that they continue to own it while the remediation is done. The likely outcome is it’ll be put up for auction because you can’t really can’t sell it until the cleanup work is done.”

Contact reporter Brian Lee at [email protected] or 518-419-9766.

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