Spaulding Composites Operable Unit 7
Fact Sheet - February 2009
Public Meeting on Proposal to Take No Environmental Cleanup Action at Operable Unit 7 of the Spaulding Composites Site
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the City of Tonawanda invite you to attend a public meeting about Operable Unit 7 (OU7) of the Spaulding Composites Site located at 310 Wheeler Street in the City of Tonawanda. Operable Units are portions of a site that for technical reasons can be cleaned up or addressed separately. OU7 is the western portion of the Spaulding Site and bordered by Hinds Street. It has been documented that industrial production and waste disposal did not occur there, and therefore no contamination has been found in the OU7 area.
At the meeting, representatives from NYSDEC and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) will discuss a proposal to take no action at Operable Unit 7 and be available to answer questions from the public. The proposal is identified in a document called the "Proposed Remedial Action Plan" (PRAP), which is available for your review at the locations listed at the end of this fact sheet and DEC's public website.
Public comments on the PRAP will be accepted from February 2 through March 18, 2009. Comments may be submitted in writing to the DEC project manager listed below.
Assessment of the site is being performed under New York State's Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) authorized by the 1996 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act. The ERP provides financial assistance to local governments for the cleanup of brownfield sites. A brownfield is currently unused or under-used property that may have been used for industrial purposes in the past and no longer contributes to the tax base of a municipality. Brownfields may be, but are not necessarily, environmentally contaminated.
The 46 acre Spaulding Site is bound by Dodge and Enterprise avenues and residential property to the north, Wheeler Street and a mix of commercial and residential properties to the east, Hackett Drive and commercial properties to the south, and Hinds Street and a mix of commercial and residential properties to the west. The topography of the site and the surrounding area is relatively flat, with most surface water runoff toward on-site drainage ditches and storm sewers. The Niagara River is located approximately one mile to the north, while Two Mile Creek is located approximately one mile to the west.
Spaulding began operations as a manufacturer of vulcanized fiber, an early "plastic" made by treating paper with a zinc chloride solution. The paper used to produce vulcanized fiber was also manufactured at the site. During the late 1940s to early 1950s, the plant began production of composite laminates (fused layers of materials that are manufactured to provide a wide range of engineering properties - such as stiffness - not present in the original materials. They are used in a broad variety of everyday household and industrial products, such as counter tops, pergo flooring, or even components of automobile or airplane doors and bodies.) The resins used to make these laminates were also produced at the facility. In the fall of 1992 Spaulding ceased manufacturing operations at the site and began decommissioning the plant. Most decommissioning activities were completed from September 1992 to February 1993 with the remaining decommissioning activities completed by mid 1995.
Contamination of site soils and groundwater (in isolated areas) has resulted largely from bulk chemical and waste handling practices at the facility. These practices included: (1) historical leaks and spills (at least 17 incidents were reported between 1958 and 1994), (2) on-site waste disposal in pits excavated into native soils (the Resin Drum and Laminant Dust Landfills), and (3) the use of settling ponds (four settling lagoons were located throughout the site) for removing fine-particle contaminants. In addition, a number of disposal pits were located inside plant buildings. These pits were cleaned during decommissioning activities following facility closure in 1992. Fill material consisting of slag, cinders and ash, have been disposed throughout the property, excluding Operable Unit 7.
Extensive environmental investigations at Operable Unit 7 included surveys, soil testing, and groundwater analysis. Results of the investigations indicated that contaminant levels do not exceed New York State standards for protection of health and the environment. Therefore, environmental and public health risks from Operable Unit 7 do not exist.
Description of Proposed Remedial Action Plan
The PRAP identifies the cleanup alternative preferred by the NYSDEC and NYSDOH for Operable Unit 7 of the Spaulding Composites Site. The Site Investigation completed at the site revealed that historical plant operations did not result in the disposal of hazardous wastes or substances at Operable Unit 7. Because a significant threat to human health or the environment does not exist at this operable unit, no action is proposed as the remedy.
What Comes Next
A public meeting will be held on February 26, 2009 at 7 PM at Tonawanda City Hall (200 Niagara Street, Tonawanda) to discuss the PRAP. Written comments received during the comment period will be considered as the plan for Operable Unit 7 of the Spaulding Composites Site is finalized. Public input will be factored into the record of decision (ROD) which will describe the plan selected and why it was chosen. NYSDEC will respond to comments in a responsiveness summary included in the ROD. Fact sheets similar to this one will be distributed periodically to keep the public informed as the site cleanup continues.
Who Should I Call If I Have Questions About the Site?
Should you have any question about this project, please feel welcome to contact these representatives:
Meeting/Comment Period/Technical Information:
Glenn M. May
NYSDEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, N.Y., 14203
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
Locations to View Project Documents
Public interest and input in this project is valued and appreciated. To keep you informed, NYSDEC has set up locations at which you may view site-related project documents. These locations include:
DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(Please call for appointment)
City of Tonawanda Public Library
333 Main Street
Tonawanda, NY 14150
Hours: 10:30 AM - 8:30 PM (M, Tu, Th)
10:00 AM - 5:30 PM (W, F)