Former Beech-Nut site in a battle with EPA over contamination

CANAJOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The baby food maker, Beech-Nut is saying no way.

The company, which moved their production to Florida, N.Y. (just east of Canajoharie) in recent years, say they sold the 26 plus acre property back in 2013 and since then it has had two other owners.

The new owners claimed to specialize in rehabbing old industrial buildings.

According to The Daily Gazette (Schenectady), the developers came in and stripped the site of scrap metal and then stopped paying property taxes.

Beech-Nut said when the area was scrapped; the developers improperly disposed of the asbestos materials which created the issue.

However the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is arguing that Beech-nut knew very well how bad the contamination was when they put it up for sale. So much so, that the original asking price was reduced from $1,000,000 to just $200,000.

The property has been deemed a Superfund site. This means the EPA believes the contamination level is so high that it’s a threat to the surrounding community.

The county is working with the EPA and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to secure state and federal grants for rehabilitation.

But, the estimated cost to remove the known carcinogen from just half of the site is $1.7 million.

NEWS10 will continue to update this story as more information is released.

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