Genesco Pays $5.25 Million|for Polluting Water

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CN) — Genesco will spend $5.25 million to clean up drinking water in two Long Island towns as part of a settlement for releasing dry-cleaning contaminants into groundwater.
     The settlement requires the Nashville-based textile company to ensure the maintenance of water treatment and indoor air treatment at the Fulton Avenue Superfund Site in Hempstead and North Hempstead. It also requires monitoring of groundwater and indoor air contamination at the superfund site.
     Monday’s settlement in Brooklyn Federal Court also requires the company to reimburse the Environmental Protection Agency for its work as the EPA monitors the cleanup.
     At issue is a 0.8-acre commercial facility in Garden City Park that from 1965 to 1974 operated as a Genesco fabric-cutting mill. The mill cut and processed knitted fabrics, which were then dry-cleaned with tetrachloroethylene, known as perc, and then dumped it into the environment.
     The EPA considers perc a likely carcinogen, and it also causes neurological impairments that affect the kidney, liver, immune system and reproduction.
     The contamination affected two public water wells, Garden Center Water District wells 13 and 14. They are being filtered, treated and operated by the Village of Garden City.
     “This settlement reinforces this office’s firm commitment to eliminating the hazards posed by sites that threaten public health and safety,” U.S. District Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Robert Capers said.
     The settlement survived a 30-day public-comment period with no objections.

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