Fairport homeowners briefed by DEC amid concerns of possible contamination

(WHAM photo)

Fairport, N.Y. - Citizens in Fairport who are concerned about possible contamination from a nearby industrial site received some reassuring words Wednesday night. The State DEC told them there is no reason for any health concerns, and there are plans for a cleanup.

Those chemicals were discovered after a 2012 spill at Qualitrol. The cleanup process has been long underway, but officials are still finding above-normal levels of dangerous chemicals. Some homeowners said at a public meeting Wednesday that they're worried about their health, and that help has taken too long to arrive.

Philip Dillon says trichloroethylene, or TCE, was discovered in his home more than two years ago.

“Accidents happen; I get that," he said. "But step up and do what’s right. Clean up the neighborhood.”

He says he never came to an agreement with Qualitrol for cleanup. To protect his family, he installed his own air filtration system in his basement.

“Obviously, the levels are past where they’re supposed to be," he said, "where the state regulation says it should be, and I think they should take care of it.”

The State Health Department says, despite some TCE detections being above acceptable levels, there’s no immediate or major health concerns.

But officials admit TCE is very dangerous, and homeowners don’t like the idea of living with it around.

“What’s done is done, but is does seem odd it took two years to come up with a very obvious solution," said Greg Brooks. TCE was discovered in his home.

Many like Brooks say the DEC has been slow to come up with a solution. The agency says cleanups like these take time.

Meanwhile, other nearby homeowners are learning about potential risks for the first time, as the DEC prepares to test additional homes in the area.

“Definitely want to see it cleaned up and taken care of so there’s minimal exposure or none and it sounds like that can be done," said John Frayser, who just received a letter telling him to have his home tested.

The DEC says phase four of the cleanup project will be begin in the coming weeks. They say Qualitrol is targeting more than a dozen additional homes in the area for more tests.

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