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East Ferry Street State Superfund Site

Site Number 915175

Fact Sheet - January 2008
Environmental Cleanup Activities Completed at 858 East Ferry Street Site

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is pleased to announce the recent completion of environmental cleanup activities at the inactive hazardous waste disposal site located at 858 East Ferry Street in Buffalo, Erie County. Cleanup efforts at the site were completed by DEC through New York State's Superfund Program, which funds the investigation and cleanup of inactive hazardous waste disposal sites throughout the state. Cleanup costs exceeded $9.5 million.

Site Background

The East Ferry Site is a triangular shaped 21 acre area situated on the north side of East Ferry Street and zoned as industrial. The site is bordered on the north by an elevated railroad embankment, on the other side of which sit other industrial properties. Grider Street and a small store lie to the east, while True Bethel Baptist Church lies to the south.

Under the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP), the City of Buffalo completed an investigation in 1997-1998. Historic property maps showed that the Michael Heyman Company operated a zinc and lead smelting and refining facility at the property now occupied by the TNT used auto lot. High concentrations of lead were detected in the ash and fill found on the site. Based on the results of this investigation, DEC issued a Record of Decision (ROD) in March 1999. The selected remedy included the excavation and off-site disposal of hazardous waste and contaminated soil. The ROD also stated that the remedy would be deferred until further investigation was conducted to the west of the site to define the extent of contamination.

In 2001 and 2004, DEC conducted off-site investigations, and the results indicated that the contamination extended to the west beyond the TNT auto lot and into several other industrial and commercial properties. Based on the new data, the volume of contaminated soil was significantly larger than the volume estimated in the ROD. However, tests indicated that the compounds found in groundwater did not exceed groundwater standards. This new information prompted DEC to amend the 1999 ROD and establish more extensive clean up goals to enable unrestricted industrial/commercial use of the site consistent with current zoning for off-site properties.

Details of the Site Cleanup

The cleanup design for the site was completed in 2006 and the contract for cleanup activities was awarded in August 2006 to National Environmental Services of Bloomington, Indiana. Environmental cleanup work at the site began in September 2006 and was completed in November 2007. All construction work was performed under full-time oversight by URS Corporation, the engineering consultant hired by DEC. In addition, the NYS Department of Health Community Air Monitoring Plan, the DEC Health and Safety Specifications and the contractor's Health and Safety plan for the work were followed to ensure that onsite workers and the nearby community were protected during site cleanup activities. As part of the Community Air Monitoring Plan, dust levels were continuously monitored at four locations surrounding the site during excavation activities.

The cleanup activities included:

  • Excavating, treating, stabilizing and transporting 136, 234 tons of lead-contaminated soil to an offsite facility;
  • Testing over 313 soil samples for lead and confirming achievement of cleanup goals within the excavation;
  • Replacing the excavations with 104,156 cubic yards of clean fill;
  • Excavating and disposing 77 cubic yards of PCB soils at an offsite facility;
  • Removing 51 tons of old tires and disposing them at an offsite facility;
  • Excavating and crushing 2,231 tons of concrete and disposing it at an offsite facility;
  • Removing 28 tons of construction and demolition (C&D) debris and disposing it at an offsite facility;
  • Securing the site by replacing old fence and installing over 4050 feet of new fence;
  • Applying over 20,000 square yards of topsoil, mulch and seed to restore grass at the site;
  • Restoring roadways, driveways and parking areas affected by remedial work;
  • Reinstalling 4 of the 6 groundwater monitoring wells decommissioned during the remedial work; and
  • Removing and cleaning 2 underground storage tanks (USTs) containing fuel oil and disposing offsite.

During cleanup activities, all truck traffic associated with excavation and off-site disposal activities was limited to the East Ferry Street truck route. The contractor kept the transportation route clean of all site-related soils and fill material.

DEC awarded a Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) for the amount of $50,000 to True Bethel Baptist Church. The grant helped the recipient understand existing environmental data on the site, comment on remedial proposals and activities, and share information with the public.

What Happens Next

DEC will prepare and finalize the engineering certification report in preparation for reclassification of the site on the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites. Groundwater will continue to be monitored, and the City of Buffalo will ensure that offsite properties remain zoned for commercial/industrial use.

Locations to View Project Documents

Detailed project documents are available at the locations listed below. Once finalized, a copy of the cleanup certification report will also be placed at these locations. The engineering certification report should be available by late winter 2008.

East Delevan Branch Library
1187 East Delevan
Buffalo, New York 14215
(716) 896-4433
(See Reference Desk)

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 851-7220
(Please call Mr. David Locey for an appointment)

For More Information

Your comments and questions regarding this project are welcome. Should you have any questions or concerns, you may
contact the following representatives:

Cleanup Related Concerns:
Mr. Jeffrey Trad, P.E.
Project Manager
DEC Albany Office
625 Broadway, 12th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-7017
(518) 402-9814

Mr. David Locey
Local Project Manager
DEC Buffalo Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203