690 St. Paul cleanup plan released to the public


The Department of Environmental Conservation is taking comments on a brownfield cleanup plan for parts of 690 St. Paul Street, a multi-building property that includes Rochester school district space and the Rochester Prep High School — a charter school.

A few years ago, there were concerns about the air quality in the school district's space; the property isn't owned by the district. But the building owner has since done cleanup work around that building, including soil and ground water removal and the installation of ventilation and air-monitoring equipment.

The plan released today by the DEC is for additional cleanup work, including the removal of more contaminated soil, bedrock, and ground water, as well as the installation of ventilation and air-monitoring equipment in an additional building. According to a DEC fact sheet, the property includes groundwater contaminated with the industrial solvent trichloroethene and soils that are potentially contaminated with metals and chemicals related to asphalt.

The site has a history of industrial use, including a stint as a Bausch and Lomb lens manufacturing facility. The contamination issues are well-known to the school district, state environmental officials, and the private company that owns the property. 

The DEC is holding a public meeting on the proposed cleanup plan at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 14. The meeting will be held in room 413 at 690 St. Paul Street.