Doritex voluntarily pays $491,000 to start cleanup of Cheektowaga dry cleaners site

Doritex Corp of Alden is remediating their family's old dry cleaning site at 3460 Genesee Street. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Doritex Corp of Alden is remediating their family's old dry cleaning site at 3460 Genesee Street. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – A family-owned Alden based industrial uniform company is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to pay for the remediation of the family’s former dry cleaners site in Cheektowaga.

Doritex Corp. voluntarily delivered a check for $491,000 to the NYSDEC on August 1st to cover past cleanup costs.  The President of Doritex, James J. Doro tells Cheektowaga Chronicle that his father, Alfred Doro, opened the dry cleaning business at 3460 Genesee Street in 1955 and that paying for the remediation of the site is the moral thing to do.

“We live here, we want to stay here, I have grandchildren that live here.  Customers and employees are all looking at us to do the right thing and that’s what we’re doing,” said Mr. Doro.

Doritex was born at the site in 1978 and moved its operations to Alden in 1986.  The dry cleaning business operated until Mr. Doro’s father passed away in 1998.  

Mr. Doro says when DEC officials contacted him in the summer of 2015 about the issue, he initiated negotiations to remediate the site.  Benchmark Environmental Engineering & Science PLLC, of Hamburg, was hired to do an initial evaluation of the cleanup of the site.

The DEC tested the soil at the site and found tetrachloroethene and its breakdown products trichloroethylene, dichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride.  As a result, one house in the area had a sub-slab depressurization system installed.

Doritex Corp of Alden is remediating their family's old dry cleaning site at 3460 Genesee Street. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Doritex Corp of Alden is remediating their family’s old dry cleaning site at 3460 Genesee Street. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

“The way the waste was handled then is not the way it’s handled now, and it’s important that we cleanup the environment,” said Mr. Doro.

The plan is to neutralize the site and make it safe for the public’s long term health.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says long term exposure to Tetrachloroethylene may harm the nervous system, liver, kidneys, and reproductive system, and may be harmful to unborn children.  There is also a higher risk of getting cancer.

Initial work to remediate the site began in June 2016.  The check from Doritex covers the costs to date.

The next phase of work calls for using soil vapor extraction.  Equipment will siphon contaminants from the soil and water using vacuum wells while treating the air and water as it comes to the surface.  Doritex will incur an estimated $1 million over the next 30 years to remediate the site.

Negotiations between DEC officials and Doro’s representatives, Thomas F. Walsh and Herbert J. Glose of Barclay Damon in Buffalo, continue for the next work phases.