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South Hill Business Campus / NCR / Axiohm

Once Home to NCR, Now being Reused as a Commercial Center

 2003  -  2005  -  2006  -  2007  -  2008  -  2009

This site was once farm land, and was then left vacant while owned by Ithaca College. It became home to National Cash Register (which became known as NCR) from 1953-1992 and was eventually part of AT&T Global Information Systems, Axiohm IPB, and finally, TPG IPB.  The current owners are developing the site as a multi-tenant commercial operation with possible uses by light industrial firms.  The new owners have applied for assistance under the NYSDEC Brownfields Cleanup Program (BCP).


Environmental Site Assessments performed in 2003 (referenced in the documents below) found a wide variety of chemicals present in soil samples and groundwater monitoring wells. Floor drains in the facility were connected to the storm sewer and had been used for heat treat equipment wash water. The continuing presence of chemicals in and around the "NCR Sewer" leading downhill (to South Aurura Street and the lower South Hill neighborhoods) from this site is not surprising.


These first three documents are the 2081 pages of the 2005 initial Brownfields Cleanup Program Application for the South Hill Business Campus.
Volume I has the formal application and a few of the attachments:
Volume II has various environmental reports, the Source Investigation Report, and the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment:
Volume III has the Investigative Work Plan.


In May 2006, owners of the South Hill Business Campus brought a lawsuit against NCR Corporation for costs of site cleanup and damages, according to an article in the Central New York Business Journal (no longer online).


These two documents on the continuing efforts toward remediation as a Brownfields site were both released in December 2007:
The Remedial Investigation Report
The Remedial Work Plan


This Remedial Work Plan for SHBC was released in March 2008. The DEC also released this Fact Sheet on the planned remedial actions.   In-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO - injection of potassium permanganate into a matrix of points on the surface of contaminated soil) started in late June and should be completed in early August.

A Remedial Design document was released in June 2008, describing the plans for the in-situ chemical oxidation at the South Hill Business Campus. This document is available here:

Full document - (22MB PDF)
Report Text Sections
Report Tables
Figures 1-6
Figures 7-13


In April 2009, the DEC released a "Final Immediate Soil Vapor Investigation and Vapor Intrusion Summary Report" for the Axiohm cleanup project, which concentrates primarily on the offsite testing of soils and structures around the sewer lines running on South Hill. This report is descussed in the Sewers section of this website.

The report summarizes the 2008 activities on the SHBC site:

In November 2008, S&W Redevelopment of North America, LLC issued a Final Engineering Report on behalf of the South Hill Business Campus, LLC for BCP Site No. C755012.  The report documents the implementation of remedial activities conducted at the site completed through September 2008.  The objective of the remedial activities was to achieve Track 4 cleanup levels under the NYSDEC BCP (Title 14 Section 27-1415), which relies on institutional and engineering controls consistent with the proposed commercial end use.

Remedial actions implemented at the site included the excavation and removal of soil adjacent to the two former 9,000 gal underground dilution tanks, injection of 4,958 lbs of potassium permanganate, and 13,600 gal of solution into 10 injection trenches west of the southern portion of the site building.  In addition, under an IRM a sub-slab depressurization system was installed in the on-site building to mitigate potential soil vapor intrusion.

The first tests (January 2009) of air and groundwater at the former NCR/Axiohm site (now called the South Hill Business Campus) have been released. The report is 1.9MB and is here. The results show lower toxins levels at many of the test points are lower, some significantly. Results in seven wells "do not yet show a significant decrease in VOC levels." Test wells along the storm sewer adjacent to the Main Building still show high levels of TCE:
IOW-1: 2700 ug/m^3 TCE
IOW-3: 1200 ug/m^3 TCE
MW-7: 2800 ug/m^3 TCE

The second round of tests (5 MB report here) doesn't show much improvement:
IOW-1: 2800 ug/m^3 TCE
IOW-3: 7700 ug/m^3 TCE
MW-7: 7400 ug/m^3 TCE

The reports suggest that seasonal variations at this site are considerable, so we'll need to wait for the release of the July 2009 tests to see how different they are. Thanks to Karen Cahill of the NYSDEC for providing electronic copies of this information.

SHBC view from SHBC web site

(Picture from SHBC website.)

DEC South Hill Area Map

Aerial Picture from DEC "South Hill Area" Fact Sheet, November, 2007

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