Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Tecumseh Phase II Brownfield Cleanup Program Site

Site Number C915198

Fact Sheet - April 2010

Environmental Investigation and Interim Cleanup Activities to Begin at Phase II Business Park Site in Lackawanna


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has approved a work plan, called the Remedial Investigation Alternatives Analysis (RI/AA) Work Plan, to investigate a portion of the former Bethlehem Steel property known as the Phase II Business Park Area. Investigation activities will begin in April 2010 and will help determine environmental impacts from historic steel-making operations on the property.

The RI/AA Work Plan identifies the scope of the planned investigation activities and the means by which it will be completed. In addition, the plan details a cleanup action called an Interim Remedial Measure (IRM) for a portion of the Phase II Business Park Area known as the South Linde Area. An IRM is an action that can be taken quickly without extensive investigation to address an environmental concern that may be impacting the environment. The RI/AA Work Plan is available at the locations identified in this fact sheet.

The activities at the Site will be performed by Tecumseh, Inc. (Tecumseh) under New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP). The BCP provides existing or potential property owners financial incentives to promote the cleanup and redevelopment of Brownfield sites. Tecumseh plans to clean up the Site so it may be used for future commercial or industrial redevelopment.

What Will the Upcoming Investigation and Cleanup Activities Involve?

The upcoming IRM work will address immediate environmental concerns presented by petroleum contamination at the South Linde Area, which is adjacent to the north bank of Smokes Creek. Under the oversight of DEC, upcoming IRM activities will include:

  • Removing high concentrations of petroleum product from the groundwater using a technology called High Vacuum Extraction. High Vacuum Extraction involves the use of a specially-equipped vacuum truck that removes contamination from monitoring wells.
  • Disposing petroleum product collected during the High Vacuum Extraction. The contamination will be disposed at a licensed oil recovery/recycling facility.

The High Vacuum Extraction will be performed on a quarterly basis (i.e., every 3-4 months). Each event will take approximately 1 day to perform.

The remedial investigation (RI) activities on the Phase II Business Park Area will identify and delineate, if present, soil/fill and groundwater impacts on the site. The remedial investigation activities will include:

  • Excavating test pits and analyzing representative soil/fill samples;
  • Characterizing subsurface soil/fill to identify and quantify areas of impact;
  • Installing on-site groundwater monitoring wells; and
  • Collecting on-site groundwater samples and analyzing groundwater data from existing and newly-installed monitoring wells on and off the Site.

Next Steps

An RI/AAR/IRM Report summarizing the Remedial Investigation and IRM activities will be prepared and made available for public review at the end of 2010. Fact sheets similar to this one will be sent to keep you updated on important project milestones.

In addition to improving environmental conditions at the site, upcoming IRM activities will help to further the completion of the brownfield cleanup project and make future redevelopment of the site possible. Once all necessary environmental cleanup activities are completed, the property will be available for reuse.

Site Background

Tecumseh Inc is the owner of a large, approximately 1,100-acre property located south of Buffalo, New York, west of Route 5, in the City of Lackawanna and the Town of Hamburg. The property once was home to the Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Lackawanna Works, and was formerly used for the production of steel, coke and related products.

The subject Phase II Business Park Area is an approximately 173-acre portion of the BSC site that is situated on the southeast end of the property along Route 5. The entire BSC property has been the subject of previous and ongoing environmental investigations that have identified several environmental conditions of concern.

Tecumseh has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Erie County and the City of Lackawanna to promote and implement redevelopment of the former BSC property following cleanup. A portion of the Redevelopment Master Plan incorporates a Business Park area along NYS Route 5.

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

Project Questions
Mr. Thomas Forbes P.E.
Project Manager
TurnKey Env. Restoration, LLC
726 Exchange Street, Suite 624
Buffalo, NY 14210
(716) 856-0635

Environmental Questions
Mr. Maurice Moore
Project Manager
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 851-7220

Health Questions
Mr. Cameron O'Connor
Public Health Specialist
NYS Department of Health
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 847-4385

Locations to View Project Documents

To keep you informed, the City of Buffalo and DEC have set up two locations at which you may view site-related project documents. These locations include:

Lackawanna Public Library
560 Ridge Road
Lackawanna, NY 14218
(716) 851-7220
Attn: Jennifer Hoffman, Librarian

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 823-0630
(Please call for an appointment)

Electronic versions of project documents are also available in the right column.