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Brownfield cleanup at Whitestone dry cleaners site delayed

By Madina Toure

The Great Atlantic Pacific & Tea Company currently has no definite plans to clean up a brownfield at the former Johnny on the Spot Dry Cleaners site in Whitestone after the company filed for bankruptcy in July, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

At the end of July, A&P, which also owns Pathmark and Waldbaum’s, announced it had agreed to sell 120 stores for about $600 million. The company said it secured financing of $100 million and voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

In July 2014, A&P submitted an application on behalf of the former Johnny on the Spot Dry Cleaners at 152-45 10th Ave. to the DEC’s Brownfield Cleanup Program, a voluntary program that helps repair and redevelop brownfields, or contaminated properties.

A&P declined to comment on the status of the cleanup at this time.

Although the DEC is working with A&P’s consultant to implement the brownfield investigation and the cleanup, the food company has no firm redevelopment plans, said Thomas Mailey, a DEC spokesman. The consultant is working on revisions to the investigation work plan and plans to submit the revised work plan for DEC approval, he said.

The site is part of the Whitestone Shopping Center, a 62,000-square-foot property. The A&P has a 40-year lease on the property, according to an agreement between Feil Whitestone and Waldbaum’s Inc. dating back to 2004.

The main contaminants at the site are tetrachloroethene, a manufactured chemical used in the dry cleaning of fabric, and its degradation products trichloroethene, dichloroethene and vinyl chloride, according to the brownfield application.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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