ITHACA, N.Y. — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has found that the former Ithaca Gun Factory site poses a “significant threat to public health or the environment.”

In a fact sheet about a remedial investigation report, the DEC said it based its determination on the high concentrations of lead present in the surface soil “over nearly the entire site,” along with the presence of chlorinated volatile organic compounds in groundwater on the site and the migration of contaminated groundwater off-site.

The highest concentrations of contaminants occur on the site within fractured bedrock, the DEC states.

An investigation was conducted by the DEC and New York State Department of Health.

The former Ithaca Gun Factory site at 121-125 Lake Street in Ithaca is 1.63 acres. The factory operated from 1885 through 1986.

Though the site is currently vacant, plans were recently revealed to redevelop the property and create an apartment building for seniors. It will be developed by Travis Hyde Properties. The Ithaca Gun site was accepted in the Brownfield Clean Up program in 2012.

On Thursday, Frost Travis, of Travis Hyde Properties, said he has always intended that the cleanup efforts would run parallel to the development entitlement process. When the DEC approves the work plan, they will begin work to clean the site. Travis Hyde Properties will be obligated to take on the clean-up costs on the site, but the DEC is responsible for the off-site contamination, Travis said.

Moving forward, the DEC will complete its review and make any revisions to the report necessary. The final report will be available to the public.

Featured image provided by NYSDEC.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.