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Spaulding Composites Site

Update: October 2013 Fact Sheet (5 page PDF, 964 kB) for Units 5, 6 and 7

The 46 acre Spaulding property 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.

Former manufacturing plant (now demolished)
Former manufacturing plant (now demolished)

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 and pergo flooring.) 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) resulted largely from bulk chemical and waste handling practices and incidents at the facility, including: (1) historical leaks and spills; (2) on-site waste disposal in pits excavated into native soils; 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.

The Spaulding Composites Site is a complex project since it is divided into 7 Operable Units that are being remediated under 2 separate New York State cleanup programs. Operable Units 1 - 4 are being cleaned up through the State Superfund Program, New York's program for cleaning up inactive hazardous waste disposal sites. Operable Units 5-7 are being addressed through the Environmental Restoration Program, a program that provides financial assistance to municipalities for the cleanup of brownfield sites.

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