EPA will clean up TechCity and bill the owner for the cost

(File photo by Phyllis McCabe)

Faced with dire threats last December from town, county, state and federal officials if he didn’t clean up his TechCity properties, owner Alan Ginsberg did what he usually did: Nothing. This week the federal Environmental Protection Agency announced it would begin an emergency partial cleanup of the former IBM property and potentially hold Ginsberg personally liable for its costs.

At a press conference this morning in one of the former IBM buildings over which Ulster County is asserting ownership, county executive Pat Ryan said that the days of Ginsberg “thwarting our economic potential are almost behind us.” He vowed to exert maximum pressure on the long-time owner, who owes more than $12 million in back taxes. According to a county press release, Ginsberg had so far failed to respond satisfactorily to EPA’s December notice that he was under Superfund law personally responsible for the proper removal and cleanup of asbestos-laden demolition-debris piles at the Town of Ulster site.

Ulster town supervisor Jim Quigley said the EPA action was “a ray of sunshine through the clouds of pessimism.” But he reminded the small audience of journalists and fellow public officials assembled in the shadows of the building’s half-light that the weather was still cloudy.

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There are 10 comments

  1. Dr. Marcus P.

    Once it is cleaned-up by the EPA, bulldoze the entire complex for a clean slate and either get one or more of the
    digital giants: Amazon, Google, Microsoft, or other cloud services to build servicing, cloud service data facilities,
    warehousing.

    Or simultaneously develop a plan through NY’s Private and Public Universities and literally establish and build from scratch a new university – including academic campus, green space, research facilities in engineering, data, and bio-med; dorms and faculty, staff, and graduate student housing. This site is prime for such a use and could put several thousand undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff, and support staff into the Ulster-Kingston area which would be an epic economic boon to the region.

  2. Burnt Child Scared Of Fire

    Mr. Ginsburg is not the first person to not have headed caveat-emptor in buying a property in the county. It’s a free country, and he’s free to go.

  3. Mr. Buttered Dancing Popcorn Bucket

    A new modern drive-in movie theatre. That would be better than empty, nontaxpaying, useless buildings.

  4. Dwayne

    Good luck. You can “bill the owner”, but what makes you think he’ll pay? Just another dunning notice he’ll ignore.

  5. Bill H

    Hopefully the owner pays the bill. But can the owner’s failure to pay lead to the state’s seizure of the land?

  6. Cheryl Olsen

    What about us small businesses that still call Tech city home, we like where we are and none of us really want to leave.His about fix the buildings that can be fixed and let the residence stay, keep our small struggling businesses where they are instead of forcing us out of business

  7. Stanley Hess

    Is there no editor employed by Hudson Valley One? How is it possible that an article littered with this many tense mistakes makes it to print. The quality of writing from this outfit always leaves something to be desired but this article was a new low. The same week the site goes to a pay model is the same week we get this? Why would anyone pay to read this garbage?

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