DEC proposes brownfield remedy for Jones & Laughlin site near Star Lake
Saturday, February 16, 2013 - 7:59 am

STAR LAKE – The state Department of Environmental Conservation has put forward a proposed brownfield site management remedy to the former Jones and Laughlin Steel ore processing site.

A public meeting on the cleanup plan at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12 at The Ranger School, 254 Ranger School Rd. in Wanakena.

The public comment period on the plan runs through March 29.

The site, divided into three management parts, is 18 acres in total, at the intersection of State Route 3 and County Route 60 in the town of Clifton, east of Star Lake and next to the Benson Mines site.

The remedy proposed for the site includes restricting the site to commercial use by placing an environmental easement on the property and restricting groundwater use.

The investigation of the site found no significant environmental impacts in the surface soil, subsurface soil, sediment, or groundwater.

PCBs were found above DEC’s unrestricted Soil Cleanup Objectives (SCO), but were well below the commercial use SCO. Limited metals contamination was observed in groundwater above standards, DEC said.

The plan recommends a cover system, which could include structures, pavement, sidewalks or one foot of clean fill.

The plan describes three different parts of the site called “areas of concern” (AOC).

AOC A is 5.8 acres that is primarily flat and consists of the former parking lot and the former vehicle wash station.

AOC B is 6.34 acres of wooded area with the large tailing pile from previous mining operations.

AOC C is 5.86 acres with an active electrical substation, overhead power lines, a stretch of concrete road, and a pond. The Little River flows across the eastern corner of this AOC.

The entire parcel is zoned for industrial use. Abutting properties are owned by Benson Mines Trust and are heavily wooded.

Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on NYSDEC's website at

Project documents are available at the Town of Fine Municipal Building, 4078 State Highway 3, Star Lake, phone 848-3121.