Former Photech Environmental Cleanup

1000 Driving Park Ave


The former Photech Imaging Site, located at 1000 Driving Park Avenue, is a remediated brownfield site that is ready for future redevelopment, and is an attractive location for any prospective businesses looking to build new facilities with good access to local expressways.  Development at the Site will result in new private sector investment, job creation, and new economic development opportunities in the City. The City looks forward to the Site's future redevelopment and reuse which is well-suited for manufacturing, offices, warehouses, and other related uses. The Site was remediated and cleaned up under the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) Cleanup Site from 2009-2014. In September 2014 the City Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ) obtained a Certificate of Completion (COC) from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) for the environmental cleanup. An Environmental Easement has been filed for former Photech Site that includes land use Institutional and Engineering Controls including a requirement to evaluate and mitigate as warranted soil vapor intrusion for new buildings. A Soil Management Plan that includes an Excavation Work Plan has been developed that ensures the continual and proper operation, maintenance, and monitoring required at the Property during future development and use. A link to this document can be found at the end of this page in the Further Information section.

 Former Photech 2018


The property was originally developed in 1948 for manufacturing of photographic film and photographic paper.  The property formerly contained 17 buildings totaling approximately 120,000 sq. ft. and underground utility and pedestrian tunnels connecting the buildings. There were also underground and aboveground storages tanks, as well as several underground vault systems designed to recover silver associated with the facility’s wastewater discharge.  The last property owner, Photech Imaging Systems, Inc., ceased operations and abandoned the facility in mid-production without a proper decommissioning in 1991, leaving large amounts of chemicals, raw materials, and wastes on-site and within the facility buildings.

 In 1994, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) performed a bulk waste and chemical removal actions on the property and the facility; however, residual chemicals remained. The property remained unoccupied for decades during which time extensive vandalism took place which resulted in releases of asbestos and other regulated building material debris throughout the buildings.  The City of Rochester acquired the property in 1998 via tax foreclosure.  In The City applied for and secured a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) Cleanup Grant totally approximately $3.4 million.  

Demolition & Cleanup

The 12.5 acre Former Photech Imaging Systems, Inc. facility was decommissioned and the property was remediated with the objective of redeveloping the property as a future industrial park.  All former on-site buildings, foundations, and associated subsurface infrastructure were removed, and impacted soil from several areas of concern was excavated and disposed of off-site.  NYSDEC Part 375 Restricted Commercial Soil Cleanup Objectives were achieved in the post-excavated soil left in place. Post-remediation groundwater monitoring is conducted periodically to evaluate the effectiveness of the remedial activities and to document the post-remedy groundwater characteristics.

Prior to this Brownfield cleanup project, the structures on the property represented a local security and human health hazard that resulted in multiple fires, vandalism and releases of asbestos within the former buildings.  The safety and overall appearance of the property and surrounding area has been improved by this project.  Adjacent businesses no longer have the security and safety issues associated with an unsecure abandoned brownfield facility being nearby. The City looks forward to the property's future redevelopment and reuse.

Further Information

For further detailed information, please refer to the following documents:

If you have any questions regarding the cleanup of the former Photech Site please contact Mr. Joseph Biondolillo, Associate Environmental Specialist, City of Rochester Division of Environmental Quality email him.