Montgomery County has assumed responsibility for removing 2,500 tons of asbestos-contaminated material from the former Beech-Nut Nutrition plant in Canajoharie.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday it had entered into a voluntary agreement with the county after both Beech-Nut and B&B Recycling refused to remove the debris as required by an EPA Superfund order.

The county will use Superfund grants to pay for the project.

After the asbestos is safely removed, the county hopes to redevelop the property so it can again contribute to the surrounding community.

“Even though the county is not legally responsible for cleaning up this site, we are so pleased that we found a willing partner to be part of the solution,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez in a statement released Thursday morning. “This unique approach reinforces EPA’s nationwide efforts to reform and streamline the Superfund process and make it work better for communities.”