IBM and Endicott officials conduct testing of toxic plume

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ENDICOTT, NY – Endicott officials joined IBM contractors in taking test samples this morning to gauge the status of the village’s toxic plume.

The testing involved split-sampling in which water taken from a dozen monitoring wells around Endicott’s core were divided between IBM and the village for separate independent testing.

They are among 300 monitoring wells that IBM tests annually.

The complete cause of the contaminated groundwater underneath the village is unknown although IBM has taken responsibility for a spill of volatile organic compounds that occurred at one of its buildings in the late 1970’s.

When it was discovered in the early 2000’s that vapor from the plume was entering Endicott homes and businesses, IBM installed ventilation systems and began a more aggressive remediation through pump and treat in order to clean the contamination rather than just contain it.

In its annual progress report earlier this year, IBM wrote that it had attained teh agreed upon cleanup goals and that no further action is required.

That got an immediate response form Mayor Linda Jackson.

“I got scared. Are they quitting on us altogether? So, they called me from Manassas and said, ‘No, not at all. We don’t intend to quit. We’re going to be very, very active over here.’ And I said, ‘Can we have an independent study with you?’ Because we’ve always just taken their word for it,” says Jackson.

Jackson says IBM agreed to the joint testing which took place this morning with representatives of the DEC and Broome County Health Department present.

Endicott wastewater officials plan to send their samples to a private lab for independent testing.

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