Spaulding Composites Operable Units 5, 6 and 7
October 2013 Fact Sheet
Spaulding Update: DEC Certifies Cleanup Requirements Achieved; Final Engineering Report Approved
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has determined the cleanup requirements to address contamination related to the Spaulding Fibre site ("site") located at 310 Wheeler Street, Tonawanda, Erie County under New York State's Environmental Restoration Program have been met. Please see the map for the Site Location.
DEC has issued a Certificate of Completion regarding the site. A copy of the Certificate of Completion is available at the locations identified below under Where to Find Information.
The cleanup activities were performed by Erie County, Erie County Industrial Development Agency, and City of Tonawanda with oversight provided by DEC.
Completion of Project
Summary of the Remedy for OU 05: Remediation complete. No further action required.
Summary of the Remedy for OU 06:
- Maintenance of a site cover as a component of site redevelopment. The cover will consist of buildings, pavement, sidewalks, and/or clean soil.
- An environmental easement has been placed on Operable Unit 06 that limits the use and development of the controlled property for restricted residential, commercial or industrial uses; restricts the use of groundwater as a source of potable or process water; prohibits agriculture or vegetable gardens on the controlled property; and requires compliance with DEC approved Site Management Plan.
Summary of the Remedy for OU 07: No action required because contamination was not detected above cleanup goals.
Final Engineering Report Approved
DEC has approved the Final Engineering Report, which:
- Describes the cleanup activities completed.
- Certifies that cleanup requirements have been achieved for the site.
- Describes 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 contamination is left over after the cleanup action 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.
- Certifies that a site management plan for any engineering controls used at the site has been approved by DEC.
The following institutional controls have been or will be put in place on the site:
- Environmental Easement
The following engineering controls have been or will be put in place on the site:
- Cover System - maintenance of a site cover as a component of site redevelopment. The cover will consist of buildings, pavement, sidewalks, and/or clean soil
Location: The Spaulding Fibre Site is located at 310 Wheeler Street in the City of Tonawanda, Erie County. The Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) portion of the site occupies approximately 39.4 acres of the 45.9 acre property. The site is bounded by Dodge and Enterprise Avenues and residential properties to the north, 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.
Site Features: 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.
Current Zoning/Use: The site is zoned for use as a Commerce Park, and is currently vacant.
Operable Units: The Spaulding Fibre Site has been subdivided into seven operable units (OUs). An operable unit represents a portion of a remedial program for a site that for technical or administrative reasons can be addressed separately to investigate, eliminate or mitigate a release, threat of release or exposure pathway resulting from the site contamination. The seven operable units are defined as follows:
OU1: Regulated Landfill Wastes;
OU2: PCB-Contaminated Wastes;
OU3: Petroleum Contaminated Wastes;
OU4: Multiple Contaminant Wastes;
OU5: Wheeler Street Parking Lot;
OU6: Main Plant Area; and
OU7: Hinds Street Area.
OUs 1 through 4 are associated with the former State Superfund (SSF) portion of the site, and consist of multiple Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) and Areas of Concern (AOCs). OUs 1 through 4 are wholly surrounded by OU6, but are not considered part of OU6. These operable units were delisted from DEC Registry in August 2013. The SSF portion of the site is approximately 6.5 acres in size.
OUs 5 through 7 are addressed under the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP). The ERP portion of the site is approximately 39.4 acres in size. OU5 was used as a parking area for the former plant and is separated from the remaining OUs by Wheeler Street. OU6 is the largest OU in area and includes the former manufacturing area. OU7 is a vacant parcel of land forming the western boundary of the site that was generally unaffected by plant operations.
Historic Uses: 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 (Spauldite) that were made by impregnating natural fibers with phenolic resins (and later, melamine and epoxy resins and synthetic fibers). Many of the phenolic resins used in the production of Spauldite were manufactured on-site. In the fall of 1992 Spaulding ceased manufacturing operations at the site, but maintained a limited manpower staff until January 2004 to operate an on-site water treatment system and maintain the facility (e.g., lawn mowing and security).
Spaulding initiated decommissioning activities at the site in August 1992. The majority of these activities were completed between September 1992 and February 1993 with the remaining decommissioning activities completed by mid 1995.
Remedial History: To evaluate the contamination at the State Superfund portion of the Spaulding Fibre Site and to evaluate remedial alternatives to address the significant threat to human health and the environment posed by the presence of hazardous waste, Spaulding completed both a Remedial Investigation/RCRA Facility Investigation (RI/RFI) and a Feasibility Study/Corrective Measures Study (FS/CMS) at the site. The RI/RFI was completed in 4 phases between April 1995 and August 1999, with the FS/CMS completed in December 2000.
In March 2003, a Record of Decision/Statement of Basis was issued by DEC for OUs 1 through 4 (the SSF portion of the site).
In January 2004, DEC began the remediation of OU2 by excavating PCB contaminated soils. The remediation of OU2, except for the Spauldite Sheet Basement, was completed in February 2007.
In July 2006 the City of Tonawanda, Erie County and Erie County Industrial Development Agency submitted an ERP Application to evaluate contamination at OUs 5 through 7, and to evaluate remedial alternatives to address any contamination detected. The RI was completed between June and October 2007, with a Supplemental RI completed during June 2008. A Remedial Alternatives Report for OU7 was completed in January 2009.
In March 2009 a No Action Record of Decision was issued by DEC for OU7 because surface and subsurface soils met the Part 375 residential soil cleanup objectives.
In October 2009 DEC began the remediation of OUs 1, 3 and 4 by excavating contaminated soils. The remediation of these OUs was completed in May 2010.
In December 2009 DEC began the remediation of the Spauldite Sheet Basement (remaining portion of OU2) by excavating PCB contaminated soils. The remediation of the Spauldite Sheet Basement was completed in March 2010.
In February 2010 the City of Tonawanda, Erie County and the ECIDA began the remediation of OU5 by excavating contaminated soils. The remediation of this OU was conducted as an IRM and was completed in March 2010.
In March 2011 a Record of Decision was issued by DEC for OUs 5 and 6. No Further Action was the selected remedy for OU5 because surface and subsurface soils after the IRM met the Part 375 residential soil cleanup objectives. No Further Action with Site Management was the selected remedy for OU6 because surface and subsurface soils after the IRM generally met the Part 375 restricted residential soil cleanup objectives.
In September 2013 a Certificate of Completion was issued by DEC for OUs 5, 6 and 7.
Geology & Hydrogeology: The geology of the Spaulding Fibre Site has prevented the off-site migration of contaminants via shallow groundwater and has prevented the regional bedrock aquifer from becoming impacted by site related contaminants. Native soils at the site include a glaciolacustrine deposit consisting primarily of reddish brown silty clay and a dense glacial till consisting of dark reddish brown to gray, silty clay with abundant rock fragments and gravel. The glaciolacustrine deposit has a very low permeability (meaning that groundwater cannot easily move through it), and ranges in thickness at the site from 36.4 to 45.8 feet. The glacial till deposit is less than 5 feet thick. The bedrock underlying the site is the Camillus Shale Formation, which was encountered at depths ranging from 38.5 to 54.9 feet.
Shallow groundwater is sporadically encountered within fill material at the site, and generally flows to the northeast. This water is perched (located) on top of the glaciolacustrine deposit because of this unit's low permeability. Groundwater from the Camillus Shale Formation is not utilized as a source of drinking water in the Tonawanda area because of naturally occurring high mineral content and the close proximity of the Niagara River, an important source of municipal drinking water throughout the Western New York area. Groundwater flow in the upper bedrock aquifer is to the north toward the Niagara River.
Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on DEC's website.
Environmental Restoration Program
New York's Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) reimburses municipalities for their costs to investigate and clean up municipality owned contaminated properties. Once cleaned up, the properties may be redeveloped for commercial, industrial, residential or public use. A brownfield is any real property that is difficult to reuse or redevelop because of the presence or potential presence of contamination. For more information about the ERP, visit DEC's website.
Who to Contact
Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:
NYSDEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
NYSDOH, Buffalo Office
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
Where to Find Information
Public interest in this project is valued and appreciated. Project documents are available at the following location to help the public stay informed.
DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
City of Tonawanda Public Library
333 Main Street
Tonawanda, NY 14150
For More Information
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Aerial view of Spaulding Fiber site