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J&L deal is approved

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CANTON — The St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators gave its stamp of approval Monday to an agreement with the state that will allow it to take title for $18,900 to the former Jones & Laughlin Steel Co. property without fear of having to pay for contamination cleanup.

“This is monumental,” said Legislator Frederick S. Morrill, D-DeKalb Junction, who represents the town of Clifton where J&L is located.

The money is likely to come from a county fund reserved for environmental cleanup.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation signed off on the deal this week.

Agreements with DEC and the state Environmental Protection and Spill Compensation Fund will give the county a release of liability for the 54-acre property. The guarantee that the county will not be sued for cleanup costs even though it is in the chain of ownership gives it the ability to subdivide 18 relatively uncontaminated acres from the parcel and pursue redevelopment.

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