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State DEC wants comments on Genesee River cleanup plan 

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has released a proposed plan to clean up parts of the Genesee River that were polluted by Eastman Kodak operations decades ago.

It will host a public meeting on the proposal from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 23, at the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County's Rundel building, 115 South Avenue.

The clean-up plan focuses on removing silver sediment from an area near the Kings Landing wastewater treatment plant, the shores of the riverbend south of Riverside Cemetery, and a two-acre wetland near the Turning Basin, according to a DEC fact sheet.

Under the plan, about 29,000 cubic yards of dredged sediment would be hauled to a disposal facility. The plan calls for post-cleanup monitoring.

Silver is a heavy metal that's an essential component of photographic products such as film and paper. It can be detrimental to aquatic species in large amounts, though the DEC claims the levels found in the clean-up sites posed a relatively low risk to people and the aquatic environment.
The DEC estimates the cost of the cleanup will be $15 million. The effort will be financed by a $49 million trust fund established by Kodak as part of the company’s 2014 bankruptcy settlement intended to help cover the cost of mitigating pollution in the Genesee as well as at Eastman Business Park, formerly Kodak Park.

As part of that agreement, new tenants and owners of the park are absolved of responsibility for Kodak's historic pollution.

The DEC is accepting comments on the proposed clean-up plan through November 15.

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