Photo from the "Island" near the Gun Hill Apartments in Ithaca, by the Ithaca Falls

ITHACA, N.Y.—The New York State Department of Environmental Conversation is looking for feedback on a local brownfield site contamination clean-up project at one of Ithaca’s most notoriously troublesome environmental spots, now slated for development in the next few years.

The site is located on the former Ithaca Gun Factory site, which is at 121-125 Lake Street in Ithaca. It’s also the potential site for a Travis-Hyde Properties project that was first proposed in 2018. The project cannot move forward until the site’s remediation process is complete.

The DEC’s public comment period will last until Jan. 2, 2021.

The site is contaminated primarily by lead, a result of its former occupants, Ithaca Gun. The amount of lead in the soil is higher than the allowable amount in residential soil, plus there are toxic materials in the site’s groundwater that surpass maximum limits in residential locations.

The plan, currently, is to excavate two feet of soil from 85 percent of the site’s footprint, meaning it would touch bedrock at certain points. There would be an on-site treatment process which would consist of a “chemical stabilization of lead contaminated soil prior to off-site disposal.” A cover system of soil would be installed that would separate the new, clean soil with any leftover contaminated soil beneath the site. The site’s contaminated groundwater would also be treated with emulsified vegetable oil.

The state’s fact sheet on its site investigation, remediation plan, and instructions on how to comment on the plan is available here.

NYSDEC is accepting written comments about the proposed plan, called a “Draft Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP)” for 45 days, from November 18, 2020 through January 2, 2021.
– Access the RAWP and other project documents online through the DECinfo Locator:
– Documents also are available at the locations identified under “Where to Find Information.”
– Please submit comments to the NYSDEC project manager listed under project-related questions in the “Who to Contact” area.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at