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Part of the area to be cleaned up by Perras Environmental Control.  Photo: David Sommerstein.
Part of the area to be cleaned up by Perras Environmental Control. Photo: David Sommerstein.

Massena firm wins GM cleanup bid

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A local environmental firm was selected for the next cleanup phase of General Motors' contaminated site in Massena.

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David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

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Perras Environmental Control based in Massena was selected from among seven firms.  The company will cleanup one of the most contaminated portions of the former General Motors property, right near the St. Lawrence River. 

The area includes toxic PCBs that drained into three lagoons when the auto parts maker was using the cancer-causing oils until the 1970s.  Excavators will have to dig 50 feet down in some places to reach clean soil.

RACER Trust, which is managing the cleanup, took some flack last year for not choosing a local firm for previous stages of work.  RACER says 25 to 30 people will be working on the job for Perras starting in March.

In the press release, labor leader and county lawmaker Tony Arquiett praised the decision for bringing “good jobs for local people and a strong local business.”

RACER Trust is already trying to market the property to new businesses.  The trust hopes to finish the cleanup in about three years.

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