DEC: 10 years in, progress in cleaning Endicott plume

By Julianne Peixoto

August 13, 2014 Updated Aug 14, 2014 at 10:06 AM EST

Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It's been 10 years since IBM was issued a consent order to clean up a chemical plume in Endicott. State representatives said progress has been made.

"A very large portion of the offsite plume now meets groundwater standards, has basically disappeared," said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation representative Alex Czuhanich. "Today is a positive day, and we've got a lot of work to do especially on site, but we're making really good progress with the peripheral areas and offsite areas ."

Czuhanich said that 97 percent of the existing contamination resides in the on-site area, and that will be the next hurdle to tackle.

"They've really done a lot of protective measures to protect the residents," said James Little of the Western Broome Environmental Stakeholders Coalition. "There's over 500 homes contaminated with the vapor intrusion, and they've put systems on all the buildings and done all the various type of clean up so, great job, we're happy."

Charts were shown during the presentation to display how much of the contaminants have been cleaned up so far.

While IBM wasn't solely responsible for the chemical spill, they have been given the sole responsibility of paying for it.

NYSDEC representatives estimate that it's cost IBM more than $100 million in cleanup funds so far. IBM is required to reimburse the state for all cleanup expenses, so the process is using any taxpayer dollars.