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Cleanup of former Trico site to pave way for lofts and retail space

Groundwater at the former Trico windshield wiper factory on Washington Street is contaminated with various chemicals.

There are PCBs and metals such as arsenic, mercury and barium in the soil.

And various metals also contaminate standing water in a basement at the 617,000-square-foot complex, which includes five connected buildings.

Those problems and others are proposed for cleanup under a brownfield site redevelopment project. After the cleanup, an Orchard Park developer wants to put in loft-style apartments, as well as office, commercial and retail space in an $80 million project.

Krog Corp. plans to repurpose the historic complex at 791-817 Washington St.

The property was used between 1920 and 2000 by Trico Products Corp. It has been vacant since then after the company shifted operations to Mexico.

During its manufacturing days, "operations included electroplating, smelting, die-casting, rubber extrusion and metal fabrication," according to a state Department of Environmental Conservation fact sheet.

Before that, the oldest of the five buildings at the site was used as a brewery from about 1890 until Prohibition in 1920.

The site map of the planned development. (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

For the environmental cleanup at the site left from its industrial days, the developer recently filed its planned remedies with the DEC.

They include treating groundwater, which doesn't flow off site, "to degrade contaminants into harmless compounds," as well as removing and possibly treating the standing basement water, decontaminating utility and sewer pipes, installing indoor air protection systems and other remediation activities to render the property safe for use.

The public can comment on the cleanup plan by writing Jaspal S. Walia, P.E., Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Environmental Remediation, 270 Michigan Ave., Buffalo, N.Y. 14203, or by emailing Appointments can also be made by calling 716-851-7220.

The comment period runs through April 19.



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