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Spaulding Composites Superfund Site, Operable Units 1, 3, and 4

Site Number 915050

Fact Sheet - March 2011
Cleanup Action Completed at State Superfund Site; Final Construction Completion Report Approved


Cleanup action has been completed to address contamination related to the Spaulding Composites State Superfund site ("site") located at 310 Wheeler Street in the City of Tonawanda under New York's State Superfund Program. See map on page 5 of this fact sheet for site location. The cleanup activities were performed by Op-Tech Environmental of Syracuse, New York with oversight provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

NYSDEC has developed a Final Construction Completion Report. The report states that cleanup requirements have been achieved to fully protect public health and the environment. The report is available at the locations identified below under "Where to Find Information". The document also is available in the right column, under the "Important Links" section.

Highlights of the Final Construction Completion Report

The report has several goals:

  • describe the cleanup activities completed;
  • certify that cleanup requirements have been achieved or will be achieved for the site;
  • describe any institutional/engineering controls to be used. An institutional control is a non-physical restriction on use of the site, such as a deed restriction, when the cleanup action leaves residual contamination that makes the site suitable for some, but not all uses. An engineering control is a physical barrier or method to manage contamination such as a cap or vapor barrier;
  • certify that a site management plan for any engineering controls used at the site has been approved by NYSDEC.

The Superfund cleanup work began in October 2009 and was completed on schedule in May 2010. The following major cleanup activities were completed at the site:

  • Removing approximately 21,700 tons of semi-volatile organic compounds and asbestos contaminated soils and disposing them off-site at a state-permitted facility;
  • Removing approximately 700 tons of soils contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and disposing them off-site at a state-permitted facility;
  • Backfilling and re-grading excavated areas with off-site, clean soil to promote proper site drainage; and
  • Placing a non-toxic chemical into the bottom of one of the excavated areas to treat in place any residual contamination.

The cleanup has made the Superfund portions of the property suitable for industrial, commercial, and restricted-residential reuse (restricted residential means that multi-unit housing could be developed at the site, but not private homes and vegetable gardens). Because the cleanup actions left traces of contamination that prevent future development of private residences on site, a site management plan (SMP) will be developed and implemented to ensure that public health and the environment remain protected.

Next Steps

The NYSDEC has currently requested public review and comment on a proposal to take no further action for the remaining portions of the Spaulding property that were investigated and cleaned-up by the City of Tonawanda (City) and Erie County under New York State's Environmental Restoration Grant Program (ERP). The comment period for this review extends until March 25, 2011. Upon completion of the public comment period, it is expected that a Record of Decision will be issued by the NYSDEC in late March 2011.

Once the City acquires title to the property, it is the NYSDEC's intent to issue a Certificate of Completion to the City for both the ERP and Superfund projects in the Summer of 2011. After receiving a Certificate of Completion, the City would be eligible to redevelop the site. In addition, the City would have no liability to NYS for contamination at or coming from the site, subject to certain conditions.

A fact sheet will be sent to the site contact list when NYSDEC issues the Certificate of Completion to the City.


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 Niagara River is located approximately one mile to the north, while Two Mile Creek is located approximately one mile to the west.

To facilitate cleanup, the Spaulding property was previously divided into seven operable units. Operable Units ("OUs") are portions of a site that for technical reasons can be cleaned up or addressed separately. OUs 1,3, and 4 were remediated under the Superfund Program. Operable Unit 2 was addressed separately by the NYSDEC in a previous cleanup action. OUs 5, 6, and 7 were addressed under the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP).

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). 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. In addition, fill material consisting of slag, cinders, and ash were disposed throughout the property.

Remedial investigations at the site were completed in 1999. The engineering design for the remedy was completed by the NYSDEC in March 2009. Bids for the cleanup contract were opened in July 2009 and Op-Tech Environmental of Syracuse, New York was awarded the contract and given formal notice to proceed with the project on October 5, 2009.

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

Public interest and input in this project is valued and appreciated. Please feel welcome to contact these representatives:

Technical Information:
David Chiusano, Project Manager
NYSDEC Central Office
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-7017
518-402-9814 or 888-459-8667

Local Contact:
Glenn May
NYSDEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203

Health-Related Information:
Matthew Forcucci
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202

Locations to View Project Documents

To keep you informed, NYSDEC has set up locations at which you may view project documents. They include:

DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(Please call 716-851-7220 to schedule an appointment)

City of Tonawanda Public Library
333 Main Street
Tonawanda, NY 14150

You may also view electronic versions of project documents by clicking the links in the right column, under "Important Links".