County Takes Over Contaminated Property

County Takes Over Contaminated Property

Source:, June 10. 2014

The abandoned buildings of the old Jones & Laughlin mine in the town of Clifton sit decaying on acres of contaminated land that once provided jobs.

For the last 37 years it has been an eyesore for the community and motorists passing by.

But that is about to change.

“It’s been slow. It’s been painful. It’s been frustrating. But I think today is a day to celebrate that we have hit some milestones,” said Town of Fine Supervisor Mark Hall.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens was in Wanakena to hand deliver documents to local officials allowing the county to sub-divide 18 acres of the land from the entire 54-acre property.

Meanwhile, the federal government has approved using funds to expedite the property cleanup.

“That’s a good example of how government is responding to people who want to see something happen in a community,” said

The effort to clean-up and redevelop the industrial graveyard took a major step forward, but there still is a lot more work to be done.

A number of local, county and state officials were on hand to recognize efforts to remediate and redevelop the J & L site for new opportunities.

St. Lawrence County assumed ownership without liability of the Adirondack Park’s largest contaminated property in April with plans to eventually market the land for redevelopment.

“The ultimate goal is to get the site cleaned up and to market it and get some kind of a light industry,” said county Legislator Don Peck (D. – District 5).

Officials said the decaying buildings will need to be torn down before any contamination, which includes oil, PCB’s, asbestos and other solvents, can be removed.

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