DEC plans sessions on cleanup of former explosives manufacturer in Ulster Park

Hercules Powder boxes are on display at the museum at Nevada’s Hoover Dam. (Photo by Dan Barton)

The state Department of Environmental Conservation will next Thursday, June 27 hold its first of two dates of public information and feedback sessions of the coming cleanup of the old Dyno Nobel/Hercules Powder Co. site in Ulster Park, where explosives were manufactured for almost 100 years before shutting down in 2010.

There will be two separate sessions at Esopus Town Hall, 284 Broadway in Ulster Park, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. According to the DEC, state officials and company officials will be available to answer questions and gather information about what went on at the 260-acre site.

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This week, Esopus Town Supervisor Shannon Harris urged residents and any local officials with purview over the Town of Esopus to attend and make their concerns known to the DEC.

The entrance to the old plant

“The town, and many of its residents are concerned that the DEC’s Proposed Remedial Action Plan for the Dyno-Nobel site may not adequately address the significant level of possible health risk and contamination,” said Harris. “The town is concerned that these contaminants could be migrating off the property into environmentally-sensitive areas of our town relying on private water wells.”

The primary contaminants of concern at the site, listed as a Class “2” site in the State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites, are the presence of high concentrations of carcinogens, metals and “energetic” (potentially explosive) materials in the soil, groundwater and wetland sediment in specific areas throughout the site.

“The DEC needs to see that the town stands together with our demand for a full and comprehensive cleanup,” Harris said.

The other public feedback session has been set for July 18. 

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