Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
Since 1987

As of January 1, 2024, the Rensselaer Land Trust has merged with the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. For all questions regarding donations, events, land, or other matters, please visit or call 518-712-9211. For questions about the merger, use extension 101 to speak with Jim Bonesteel. You can expect a new name and logo for our merged organization by Spring / Summer 2024 and a new website by the end of the year!

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Thompson Mill (Valley Falls)

Projects thompson hill

The Village of Valley Falls, with the assistance of the Rensselaer Land Trust and the Hoosic Watershed Association, applied to the Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfield Assessment Program for a grant to test the old Thompson Mill property for hazardous substances and to conduct site planning for possible reuse of the property, including possible development into a park. The vision for the property is a 23-acre park with a mile of Hoosic River waterfront that will be used for walking, fishing, nature observation, and other passive recreation. The grant is the first step towards clean up. Awards were announced in May 2016. This application was not funded.

The Village asked for and received an extensive debriefing on why the grant was not funded and The Village reapplied in 2017, again with the assistance of RLT and HOOWRA. This time, the application was fully funded, and a contract awarded to the Village in October of 2017 with a three-year term.

The narrative for the grant proposal can be found here.

Rensselaer County began foreclosure proceedings against the tax delinquent owner of the property in November 2017, and completed this process on August 21, 2018.

The Village of Valley Falls conducted a competitive procurement for professional services to complete the Brownfield Assessment project. The contract for these services was awarded to Weston and Sampson of Colonie in April of 2018.

Work has begun on Phase 1 Environmental Documentation. The project will include full site testing, the formation of a remediation program, public outreach, and site planning. For more information, you may e-mail the Village's project manager by clicking HERE.

The Village of Valley Falls invited Village residents and other interested parties to a Public Information Meeting on June 20, 2019 at the Village Hall. The Village’s consultants, Weston & Sampson, have completed, and the Environmental Protection Agency has approved, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and are preparing to conduct testing and analysis as part of Phase II investigations over the summer and fall of 2019. This will determine the presence of any hazardous materials that may have been left behind from operations of the old Thompson textile mill, which sits on the Hoosic River near the Route 67 bridge. Representatives from Weston and Sampson and the Village will be available at the meeting to present the findings to date and discuss upcoming investigations.

A Brownfields Site Specific Fact Sheet can be found by clicking HERE.

During 2020, Phase II Environmental documents were prepared and accepted by the EPA. The Phase II included an archeological assessment, a Hazardous Building Material (HBM) assessment to identify the presence of Asbestos Containing Material (ACMs), Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) containing material and lead based paint in building materials, as well as a limited subsurface investigation and analysis of soil from areas where RECs were identified.

Phase II Findings :
■ ACMs, lead-based paint, and PCB-containing caulk were identified in the Site building material and building rubble.
■ Shallow soil (0-2 ft) within three limited areas are impacted with contaminants of concern above applicable NYSDEC standards and likely related to illegal dumping, historic operations and/or the building fire.
■ Two previously undocumented archaeological areas have been identified at the Site, and the potential exists for archaeologically significant artifacts to be uncovered in at least three (3) other areas onsite.

Phase II Recommendations:
■ Site access be restricted and post warning signs about structural integrity of the building and the presence of asbestos and PCB material. -  This has been accomplished
■ Demolish the remainder of the building and properly dispose of debris to eliminate safety hazards.
■ Handle all HBM in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
■ Complete a Contamination Assessment (CA) of the HBM and develop a site-specific variance for ACMs.
■ Complete additional subsurface investigations within the footprint of the building to further characterize soils and groundwater.
■ Shallow soils with contaminants in excess of NYSDEC standards should be excavated and properly disposed as part of redevelopment activities.
■ Complete additional archeological monitoring during any future subsurface investigations or redevelopment and submit findings to SHPO to determine eligibility to list as Registered Historical Place.

If you would like to read the full document you may e-mail the Village's project manager to obtaine the large document elctronically.
In addition, a Conceptual Reuse Plan has been updated based on previous public input, comments of stakeholders and investigation results.  A Powerpoint presentation of this plan can be found HERE.  A public meeting was held on October 15, 2020 at the Village Hall to present these findings and plans.

The Village has successfully applied for a HBM Contamination Assessment and Variance  to provide more accurate remedial cost estimates.  The best estimates available are that it will cost approximately $2M to demolish and dispose of the contaminated mill remains.  The Village has retained legal counsel to ascertain if any of the previous landowners can be held liable for any of these costs.
The Village has applied for additional EPA Brownfields funding to continue to assess the site.