Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Transit Street Manufactured Gas Plant State Superfund Site

Site Number 932098

Fact Sheet - February 2009

Cleanup Proposed for Former Manufactured Gas Plant on Transit Street; Public Meeting Announced


Extent of coal tar contamination from the former manufactured gas plant on Transit Street

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), working cooperatively with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), has proposed a cleanup plan, or remedy, designed to address contamination identified at the New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) Transit Street Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) site in Lockport, New York. Work at the site is being conducted under the New York State Superfund Program, New York's program for identifying, investigating and cleaning up sites where consequential amounts of hazardous waste may exist. The total present worth to construct and implement the proposed remedy is estimated at $10,995,000.

Public Meeting and Opportunities to Comment on the Proposed Remedy

Your comment and input about the proposed cleanup plan, called the Proposed Remedial Action Plan (PRAP), are important and encouraged. It is available for review at the locations listed on Page 2 of this fact sheet and on the DEC Region 9 Environmental Remediation Project Information website (see link at bottom of page). Oral and written comments about the PRAP are welcome at a public meeting to be held Tuesday March 10, 2009 at 7 PM at Lockport City Hall (1 Locks Plaza; Lockport, NY 14095). Written comments may also be submitted to the NYSDEC project manager listed on Page 2 during a public comment period running from February 26 - March 28, 2009.

Site History

The site is a 0.9 acre lot at the corner of Transit Street and LaGrange Avenue and is currently occupied by the NYSEG electrical substation. The site was previously the location of a manufactured gas plant. The plant made a combustible gas from coal and petroleum products that was provided to homes, businesses and industries, much the way natural gas is used today. It is believed that the gas plant at this site started operating in 1851 and was completely shut down by 1927.

Coal tar and coal tar-contaminated soils were observed in soil borings on the original MGP site. Contamination in the soil has migrated a short distance north of the site. Coal tar also appears to have moved down through soil into the underlying bedrock. The tar has moved laterally, through the bedrock toward the canal, where it can be seen on the canal wall. Groundwater in close proximity to the coal tar does contain site related contamination, but these impacts do not extend far beyond the tar. Sediment near the tar seeps also contains site related contaminants, but these impacts do not extend far beyond the area of the seeps.

Summary of the Proposed Remedial Action Plan

The Proposed Remedial Action Plan was developed following a detailed investigation of the site. The PRAP evaluates different options to clean up the site and presents the alternative preferred by the NYSDEC and NYSDOH. The elements of the proposed remedy include:

  • Relocating several components of the Substation to facilitate site clean-up;
  • Excavating and disposing contaminated soil from accessible areas on the substation property and from beneath LaGrange Avenue;
  • Installing a containment system around the substation site;
  • Installing a barrier wall and collection system next to the canal to protect it from contamination in the bedrock;
  • Removing and disposing the contaminated sediment in the canal; and
  • Extracting residual contamination from both the bedrock and under the remaining substation equipment.

The full PRAP is available for your review at the locations listed below and online at the DEC website (see link below).

Health Issues

Since the area is served by public water, exposure to impacted groundwater is considered unlikely. Contamination in the soil and bedrock is not readily accessible, and therefore does not represent an exposure concern. Soil vapor and indoor air sampling conducted in selected residential properties does not indicate indoor air impacts related to the site. The tar seeps in the canal may present a potential human health exposure, but since this is a vertical rock face which is submerged during the boating season, exposure is not considered likely. The measures provided in this remedy will prevent any future exposures.

What Happens Next

All comments received during the public comment period will be considered as the remedy for the NYSEG Lockport Transit Street MGP site is finalized. Public input will be factored into the record of decision (ROD) which will describe the remedy selected and why it was chosen. NYSDEC will respond to comments in a responsiveness summary included in the ROD. The ROD will be available at the locations listed below. NYSDEC will keep you informed about project developments through fact sheets similar to this one.

Who Should I Call If I Have Questions About the Site?

Call or write the following staff for more information about:

Technical Information:
William Ottaway
625 Broadway
Albany, New York 12233-7014
Phone: 518-402-9686

Health-Related Information:
Matt Forcucci
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 847-4385

Citizen Participation:
Mark Baetzhold
NYSDEC Region 9
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 851-7220

Locations to View Project Documents

To review the complete PRAP and other site information, you may visit the following locations:

Lockport Public Library
23 East Avenue
Lockport, NY 14095-0475
(716) 433-5935
Mon. - Thu., 10 AM - 9 PM;
Fri. & Sat., 10 AM - 5 PM

NYSDEC Central Office
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-7014
(518) 402-9564
Attn: William Ottaway, P.E.

NYSDEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, New York
(716) 851-7220
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
(by appointment only)

You may also view documents at the DEC Region 9 Environmental Remediation Project Information page. Look for the Transit Street MGP entry under the Niagara County heading.