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The New York Air Brake industrial site has been the subject of resurgent concern for north side residents in Watertown. Photo: Joanna Richards
The New York Air Brake industrial site has been the subject of resurgent concern for north side residents in Watertown. Photo: Joanna Richards

DEC: We'll keep talking with Air Brake neighbors

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At a packed public meeting November 7 in Watertown, state environmental and health officials spoke with members of the public concerned about pollution on the city's north side with the New York Air Brake plant at the center of concern.

Now, DEC officials say they're working with the information they got at the meeting and figuring out what might come next.

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Reported by

Joanna Richards
Watertown Correspondent

The DEC says it took in two important new pieces of information at the meeting with current and former north side residents.

One person at the meeting said a neighbor who worked at New York Air Brake once brought home a drum full of trichloroethylene, or TCE, a solvent used to clean machinery.

And residents wanted to know whether food from a community garden that functioned in the late 1980s and early 1990s could have been contaminated.

Peter Ouderkirk manages the New York Air Brake case for the DEC which has been asking for more information from those who raised concerns at the meeting.  

"No one, unfortunately, has gotten back to us," Ouderkirk said. "We have been preparing a responsiveness summary, which is a discussion of the questions and answers that were given out at the public meeting." 

That document should be available at the public library in Watertown in about a week, he said. 

The DEC plans to study fish and sediment in two neighborhood creeks in the spring.

Watertown residents also met with environmental investigator Robert Bowcock, a representative of the well-known activist Erin Brockavich, back in August of this year.

 

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