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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to assist Herkimer Glory Days Food & Spirits site with asbestos clean-up at zero cost to taxpayers. The asbestos discovery makes the site eligible for the EPA’s Superfund program.
EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck stated that samples taken by a third party before the demolition of the Glory Days building “were analyzed by [the] EPA and found to contain asbestos.”
The $50k demolition occurred due to the roof and third floor collapsing in July 2014. Property owner Glory Ventures LLC of New Jersey paid for the construction. Yet, the cost to properly remove the asbestos-containing debris is estimated at $500k.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer D-N.Y. saw the site and all of its rubble in December and helped Herkimer Village contact the EPA regarding the situation.
“EPA seeks to have polluters pay for cleanups and will contact the owner of the hotel property to determine if she can pay for or conduct the cleanup. If the property owner is unable or unwilling to do so, EPA will conduct the cleanup,” said Enck.
Herkimer Village Mayor Anthony Brindisi commented on the Glory Days site receiving EPA Superfund assistance, saying, “This means that the cleanup will be taken care of at no cost to us or the tax payers. We couldn’t be happier to hear this.”
The Glory Days building used to be the General Herkimer Hotel where the infamous Kurt Meyers situated himself after killing four people and wounding two more in a shooting in March 2013. During a shootout with the police’s tactical unit raid on March 14, 2013, Meyers died.
The EPA is no stranger in dealing with asbestos-tainted Superfund sites. Another EPA Superfund site infamous for its asbestos exposure is the town of Libby, Montana. The company responsible for the exposure, W.R. Grace & Company, operated an asbestos mine for years.
W.R. Grace & Co. became well known for illegally dumping industrial waste containing asbestos at several of their facilities in Libby. As a result, nearly half of the population in Libby has been diagnosed with asbestos disease in addition to the 200 who have already died as a result of exposure. Most recently, a $540 million cleanup plan was approved.