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Tract II - Highland Avenue State Superfund Site

Site Number 932136

Fact Sheet August 2013

Tract II Update: Status of Cleanup Actions at the Tract II Superfund Site

See also Tract I - Highland Avenue Brownfield site (Site Number C932157)

Clean-up Action is continuing at the site to address the contamination related to the Tract II site ("site") located at 3001 Highland Avenue, Niagara Falls, Niagara County under New York State's State Superfund Program (SSF). Please see the map below for the Site Location.

The site is listed as a Class "2" site in the State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites (list of State Superfund sites). A Class 2 site represents a significant threat to public health or the environment; action is required.

Documents related to the cleanup of this site can be found at the locations identified below under Where to Find Information.

The cleanup activities are being performed by the Honeywell Corporation and Brightfields Corporation with oversight provided by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Cleanup Activity Highlights

The goal of the cleanup action for the site is to achieve cleanup levels that protect public health and the environment.

Work Completed to Date Includes:

  • Installation of security fencing around the perimeter of the site,
  • Delivery and set-up of personnel trailer and equipment,
  • Removal of trees and other vegetation,
  • Removal of the hazardous substances and site debris from the site,
  • Asbestos abatement of the former Moore Business Forms basement structure, and
  • Asbestos abatement and demolition of the 17th Street Warehouse building.

On-Going Work/Yet to be Completed:

  • Demolition of the former Moore Business Forms basement structure,
  • Excavation and staging of the radioactive contaminated soils in preparations for off-site disposal,
  • Mobilization of the contaminated soil treatment equipment,
  • Excavation and treatment of contaminated site soils,
  • Construction of the disposal cell, and
  • Final site grading.

Cleanup activities began in the fall of 2012 and are expected to continue through the beginning of 2014.

By the Numbers

Superfund Numbers:
18.06 acres - size of site
6,000 cubic yards - building materials (concrete & brick) generated during demolition of structures
68,000 cubic yards - contaminated dirt material to be treated
$6 million - cost of remedial work

Site Timeline:

1903 to 1911
Carter Crume Co. and Motor Battery Corp.
1911 to 1928
American Sales Book Co. and Motor Battery Corp
1928 to 1942
American Sales Book Co. and US Light & Heat Corp.
1942 to 1944
American Sales Book Co. and Autolite Corp.
1944 to 1953
Moore Corporation and Autolite Corp.
1953 to 1966
Moore Corporation and Electric Autolite Corp. (Later Prestolite Corp.)
1966 to 1967
Orchard Properties
1967 to 1972
Niagara Falls Industrial Center
1972 to 1982
City of Niagara Falls
1982 to 1984
Power City Distribution
1984 to 2012
City of Niagara Falls
2012
Brightfields Corporation
Fall/Winter: Warehouse demolished
2012 - 2013
October: demolition of warehouse and underground garage begins
2013
Summer: Soil treatment and site remediation begins

Next Steps

After Honeywell completes the cleanup activities, they will prepare a Final Engineering Report (FER) and submit it to DEC. The FER will describe the cleanup activities completed and certify that cleanup requirements have been achieved or will be achieved.

When DEC is satisfied that cleanup requirements have been achieved or will be achieved for the site, it will approve the FER. DEC will then issue a Certificate of Completion to the applicant.

DEC will keep the public informed throughout the cleanup of the site.

A fact sheet that describes the content of the FER will be sent to the site contact list. The fact sheet will identify any institutional controls (for example, deed restrictions) or engineering controls (for example, a site cap) necessary at the site in relation to the issuance of the Certificate of Completion.

Background

Location: The Tract II Site is an 18.06 acre parcel located on the northeast corner of Highland and Beech Avenues in the City of Niagara Falls.

Site Features: The site was bordered on the north by a large dilapidated building formerly used as a battery manufacturing facility (the Tract I Highland Ave Site #C932157, the building has been demolished). Highland Avenue, which has a mix of commercial and residential properties, runs along the west side of the site. Beech Avenue, with mostly residential properties (and a park), runs along the south side of the site. Residential properties and a church border the site to the east. A 60 foot wide strip of land owned by the National Grid Corporation bisects the Tract II site into the eastern and western portions.

Current Zoning/Uses: Current zoning is for industrial use; however, zoning may be changed with the remediation and redevelopment of the site to commercial use to be in conformance with the City's Master Plan.

Historic Uses: The western portion of the Tract II site was once home to a series of business form manufacturing companies (from 1903-1971). The eastern portion of the Tract II site is believed to have been either directly or indirectly associated with the former manufacturing activities at the adjacent Power City Warehouse.

The eastern portions of the site have up to 9 feet of waste and fill materials over the native soils. These waste and fill materials include building demolition debris such as brick, concrete, sand, wood, etc. However, also present on the eastern portion of the Tract II site are wastes that were likely associated with the manufacturing activities at the adjacent Power City Warehouse site. These wastes include plastic battery casings and other granular fill materials. In addition, there has been significant illegal dumping of household items along the north-east portion of the site. These wastes include numerous TVs and other items which may have contributed to the contaminants detected in surface soils in this part of the site.

A site investigation was completed by the City under the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP site #B00022) in 2000, and a Record of Decision (ROD) was issued by DEC in March 2003. The primary site contaminants identified in the ROD were metals and PAHs in site soils. Upon issuance of the 2003 ROD, the City elected not to proceed under the ERP and implement the ROD remedial requirements.

The site was determined to pose a significant threat due to the potential for direct human contact with site contaminants, especially metals contaminated surface soils by trespassing youths. The site was therefore listed on the Registry as Site No. 932136 and classified as a Class 2 site in 2008.

A Supplemental Remedial Investigation was completed in October 2009 by DEC. In November 2009, U.S. EPA fenced the site buildings (the remainder of the site is not fenced) to help reduce trespassing. U.S. EPA also removed and cleaned PCB sludge and water from a sump within the underground parking garage as part of an Emergency Removal action that was conducted in 2009 on the adjacent Power City Warehouse property.

As a result of DEC search for responsible parties, Honeywell Corp. entered into a Consent Order with DEC dated October 18, 2011 to perform the necessary remediation of the site. On March 28, 2012 DEC issued a ROD Amendment which modified the chosen remedial method from off-site disposal to on-site stabilization and disposal.

Air Monitoring

Six real-time air monitoring stations will continually monitor dust and weather during demolition and cleanup activities. These monitors will contain alarms to indicate if dust is exceeding limits set by governmental regulatory agencies. In the event any limit is exceeded, work will immediately cease, a thorough evaluation will be performed, and corrective measures will be taken prior to work resuming.

All air monitoring results are available for public review and at the project document depository located in the Doris Jones Family Resource Center.

Additional Details

Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on DEC's website.

State Superfund Program

New York's SSF identifies and characterizes suspected inactive hazardous waste disposal sites. Sites that pose a significant threat to public health and/or the environment go through a process of investigation, evaluation, cleanup and monitoring.

DEC attempts to identify parties responsible for site contamination and require cleanup before committing State funds. GE, the responsible party for this site, bore all costs for the investigation and remediation of the site.

Where to Find Information

Public interest in this project is valued and appreciated. Project documents are available at the following locations to help the public stay informed:

NYS DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14203
716-851-7220
(Call for appointment)

Doris Jones Family Resource Center
3001 9th Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14305
716-285-5374

Who to Contact

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

Project Related Questions:
Timothy Dieffenbach
NYS DEC, Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203-2915
716-851-7220
tedieffe@gw.dec.state.ny.us

Project Related Questions:
Ronald Chapin
Brightfields Corporation
333 Ganson Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
716-856-3333
rchapin@oscinc.com

Project Related Questions:
Avery T. Bates
Bates Consulting Firm
333 Ganson Street
Buffalo, NY 14203
716-903-0842
batesavery@hotmail.com

Site-Related Health Questions:
Matthew Forcucci
NYS DOH
584 Delaware Ave
Buffalo, NY 14202-1295
716-847-4501
beei@health.state.ny.us

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.

*Receive Site Fact Sheets by Email

Have site information such as this fact sheet sent right to your email inbox. DEC invites you to sign up with one or more contaminated sites county email listservs available. It's quick, it's free, and it will help keep you better informed.

As a listserv member, you will periodically receive site-related information/announcements for all contaminated sites in the county(ies) you select. You may continue also to receive paper copies of site information for a time after you sign up with a county listserv, until the transition to electronic distribution is complete.

Site Location

Tract II site map
Tract II site map