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Officials are trying to determine the extent of ground water and soil contamination apparently related to drums of solvents stored at the Wyoming County fire training facility.

Wyoming County Administrator Kevin DeFebbo said the contamination at the site was discovered in the process of removing the drums from the site on Wethersfield Road, about six miles southwest of Warsaw. He said, "The contamination we're aware of is limited, and we're taking steps to clean it up."

Testing on the well of one adjacent property owner indicated levels of tetrachloroethylene, a substance the National Toxicology Program classifies as "reasonably expected to cause cancer," beyond what is considered safe for drinking water.

Test on five other wells, which were deeper than the one that is contaminated, revealed no problems, he said.

Martin Doster, of the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said about 100 drums were stored outdoors on the site. Their contents, which included solvents, paints and thinners, were used in the late 1970s to help train firefighters to put out blazes fueled by these substances.

"What we've got out there is some of the soil that we've stored in a pile," Doster said. "We're collecting data."

DeFebbo said the county set aside $150,000 for the cleanup originally, but the additional testing, remediation and monitoring that will be required likely will end up costing the county much more than that.


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