Suffern Property Owner Applies To NYS DEC Brownfield Program

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DEC Seeking Public Comment On Brownfield Application By June 11

By Tina Traster

A Suffern property owner has submitted a Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) application to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for a site that housed dry cleaning businesses since the 1950s.

The application, submitted by Red’s Crib, LLC, was most recently home to the American Two Dry Cleaners at 43-45 Lafayette Avenue. The DEC seeks public comment on the application: comments must by submitted by June 11th.

Red Crib’s LLC, owned by Cynthia Gray, bought the .07-acre property with the one-story, two-suite, concrete 2,454 square-foot building in 2018. American Two Cleaners vacated the premises in May 2020. A wellness program continues to operate on site.

In a letter to the DEC, Gray writes that she wants to “mitigate any and all contamination that was caused by the previous owner.”

She also states that once the building is “safe and contaminant free,” she’d like to continue leasing the space but sell if she receives a “fair offer.”

But Ms. Gray also says she would potentially “refinance the building and use the money to renovate the entire space in order to open a full restaurant with a full bar and possibly live music.”

Ms. Gray purchased the building for $380,000 in Oct. 2018. Gray hired EnviroSure Inc., an environmental assessment and liability company, to assess the site. The company evaluated air samples collected on site.

The company tested sub-slab soil vapor samples, indoor air samples, and an outdoor ambient sample, comparing them to New York State’s allowable health exposures for indoor air. The sub-slab soil vapor samples contained PCE and TCE concentrations exceeding New York State Department of Health allowable exposure concentrations. The indoor air samples also contained concentrations of PCE above permissible levels. PCE, or perchloroethylene and TCE, or trichloroethylene, are both toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons generally used as solvents in dry cleaning operations to remove grease.

The problematic results likely stem from a source beneath the basement slab. The report says, “due to the floor conditions and open sump, the sub-slab soil vapors are migrating into indoor air.”

The company recommended sealing the basement floor cracks and sump to minimize vapor intrusion pathways and suggests additional investigation to determine the source and extent of the contamination.

New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) is designed to encourage private-sector cleanups of brownfields and to promote redevelopment by revitalizing economically blighted buildings or sites. The BCP is an alternative to “greenfield” (land not previously developed or contaminated) development and is intended to remove some of the barriers to, and provide tax incentives for, the redevelopment of brownfields. Since its inception (2003), the BCP has catalyzed the cleanup of more than 300 contaminated sites statewide and incentivized redevelopment. There are more than 350 active sites in the BCP.

Public comments can be submitted to the site Project Manager Michael Kilmer at NYSDEC, 21 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY 12561-1696 or via email at or by calling 845-633-5463.