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500 Seneca Street

Site Number C915273

DEC is accepting written comments about the proposed cleanup plan for 45 days, from July 15 through August 31, 2015.

Digital Files

Below is an abbreviated version of work plans in PDF form for download. To view the complete document, please contact DEC or visit the document repositories listed under Where to Find Information.


Location: The 500 Seneca Street Site is located in an urban, mixed-use, commercial and residential area. Located within the City of Buffalo the approximately 1.87 acre site encompasses an entire block bordered by Seneca Street to the South, Myrtle Street to the North, Hamburg Street to the East and Spring Street to the West.

Site Features: The site is comprised of a 328,000 square foot multi-story building with a small open lot on the western site of the parcel. The building was constructed beginning in 1901 with various additions and expansions. An open-air courtyard exists in the eastern portion of the building.

Current Zoning and Land Use: The site is currently vacant commercial property, and is zoned M-1, light industrial district. The building is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. The future use of the site is intended for restricted residential and commercial. The nearest residential parcel is less than 500 feet to the north.

Past Use of the Site: The site originally housed the F.N. Burt Company, which utilized the property for box manufacturing from original building construction in the early 1900's until 1959. Between approximately 1968 and 1980, Wolkind Bros, Inc., a clothing rental company, utilized the property. Between 1986 and 2004, the site was used for manufacturing, warehousing and shipping operations. The site has been largely vacant and underutilized since manufacturing operations ceased in 2004.

Two underground storage tanks were removed in December 2007 under spill number 0751217. In addition to the tanks approximately 45 tons of petroleum contaminated soil and 1,650 gallons of petroleum/water mixture was removed and disposed. Residual petroleum remained under a single story garage. The remaining impacts resulted in a closed-inactive status for the petroleum spill.

Site Geology and Hydrology: The majority of the site is characterized by 6 inches of asphalt or concrete above 6 inches of gravel, with underlying fill soils comprised mostly of sand and brick from 4 to 4.5 feet below ground surface. Native soils are encountered about 4.5 feet below ground surface and generally consist of clayey silt with intermittent layers of silty sand and gravel. Bedrock consisting of Middle Devonian, Onondaga Shale was encountered about 13 feet below ground surface

Groundwater is encountered from 5 to 9 feet below ground surface. However when excavated to bedrock little infiltration was noted, indicative of a perched condition. The site is located approximately 0.8 miles northeast of the Buffalo River and local Site groundwater flows west-northwest with the upper horizon influenced by urban infrastructure.

Brownfield Cleanup Program

New York's BCP encourages the voluntary cleanup of contaminated properties known as "brownfields" so that they can be reused and redeveloped. These uses include recreation, housing, business or other uses. A brownfield is any real property that is difficult to reuse or redevelop because of the presence or potential presence of contamination. For more information about the BCP, visit DEC's website.

Where to Find Information

Public interest in this project is valued and appreciated. Project documents are available at the following location to help the public stay informed. You may also view electronic versions of project documents in the Digital Files section above (if available). Large documents may be abbreviated to meet DEC's file size requirements for posting to the website. Hard copies of full project documents are available at the listed locations.

NYS DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(Call for appointment)

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
Attn: Ms. Mary Jean Jakubowski
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY 14203

Who to Contact

Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:

Project Related Questions
Maurice Moore
Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203

Site-Related Health Questions
Renata Ockerby
Corning Tower, Room 1787
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12237

For More Information

We encourage you to share this fact sheet with neighbors and tenants, and/or post this fact sheet in a prominent area of your building for others to see.

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