ADVERTISEMENT

LOCKPORT – Crews hired by the state Department of Environmental Conservation began excavated contaminated soil Tuesday at the site of the former Peters Dry Cleaning store, 316 Willow St.

The store, which was demolished in October in the wake of its partial collapse Dec. 15, 2011, was declared a brownfield because of dry cleaning chemicals apparently poured onto the ground decades ago. The chemicals caused vapors to seep into nearby homes in the residential area. The store had been in business from 1927 until shortly before the collapse.

In 2005, the DEC hauled 30 tons of dirt and two heating oil tanks away from the property. After the site is cleaned up, the city is expected to take possession of the property. The state Superfund is paying for the cleanup, which is expected to take two or three weeks. The hole will be filled with stone and graded, according to a DEC fact sheet.