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Globar Superfund Site

Site Number 932036

Fact Sheet - September 2009

Environmental Investigation Activities Continue at the Globar Facility in the Town of Niagara

Introduction

A worker with a measuring tape kneeling next to a test pit taking measurements
A worker measures a test pit near the Globar site

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), working cooperatively with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), would like to inform the public about the next phase of an environmental investigation scheduled to begin in mid-September at the Globar site, located at Hyde Park Boulevard and Rhode Island Avenue in the Town of Niagara. The first phase of the investigation began in August 2008 and was described in a previous fact sheet. The upcoming investigation activities will further determine if the natural breakdown of certain contaminants impacting site groundwater can be enhanced with bioremediation technologies. The bioremediation technique selected for the investigation uses a vegetable-oil based solution and natural microscopic organisms to treat groundwater.

Environmental investigation and cleanup work at this site is being performed by the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARC) in cooperation with NYSDEC and NYSDOH under the State Superfund Program. For more information on the Superfund Program, click the Superfund link in the right column.

DEC is providing this fact sheet to inform the public about the ongoing investigation and how to obtain more information.

Background

The Globar site was previously owned by the Carborundum Company that manufactured heating elements for use by the steel industry. The primary contaminant affecting site soil and groundwater is Trichloroethene (also called trichloroethylene or TCE) and its associated breakdown products. TCE is a manufactured, volatile organic chemical that can be used as a paint stripper, an adhesive solvent, an ingredient in paints and varnishes, a solvent to remove grease from metal, and an ingredient in the manufacturing of other organic chemicals.

The majority of the soil contamination was removed and disposed offsite during cleanup activities conducted in 1999 and 2000. Following the cleanup, NYSDEC elected to allow remaining contamination in soil and groundwater to break down over time through natural processes. To enhance the groundwater cleanup, ARC conducted in 2008 the first phase of an investigation of groundwater in the overburden (the layer of soil overlying bedrock, extending to the surface soil) to determine if bioremediation would speed up the breakdown of TCE. So far, the results of the investigation indicate that the treatment seems to be working, but further investigation is needed to make a final determination about its effectiveness.
What Will the Next Phase of the Environmental Investigation Involve?

The first phase of the investigation focused on groundwater bioremediation in the overburden. The upcoming investigation will test the effectiveness of bioremediation in the deeper bedrock layer groundwater. Specifically, it will involve:

  • Drilling new wells to treat and monitor groundwater;
  • Mixing groundwater, a vegetable oil-based solution, and natural microscopic organisms;
  • Pumping the mixture into the bedrock; and
  • Periodically sampling groundwater to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.

Is the Contaminated Groundwater a Threat to Public Health?

Exposure to the remaining contaminated groundwater is not a concern; it is deep underground at the level of bedrock. Drinking water is not affected because residential homes in the area are serviced by public water instead of private wells. In 2007, as part of a NYSDEC and NYSDOH state-wide program, ARC investigated the potential for vapor migration from impacted soil and groundwater into homes. Results of the investigation indicated no vapor impacts into nearby homes.

Next Steps

Upon completion of the second phase of testing, sampling results will be integrated into a report and made available on DEC's website and the locations listed below. If the investigation suggests that enhanced bioremediation worked effectively during the pilot test evaluation, further work will continue to treat additional areas of the site. Results are expected to be available in the fall of 2010.

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

Should you have any questions regarding cleanup activities at the Globar Facility site, please feel welcome to contact the following representatives:

Environmental Questions
Mr. Michael Hinton
NYSDEC
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 851-7220

Health Questions
Mr. Matthew Forcucci
NYSDOH
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 847-4385

Project Questions
Mr. William Barber
Atlantic Richfield Company (a BP affiliate)
4850 East 49th Street, MBC3-147
Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio 44125
(216) 271-8038

Locations to View Project Documents

Public awareness about this project is valued and appreciated. Project documents, including a report on the results of the first phase of the bioremediation investigation, are available for your review at the following locations:

Niagara Town Hall
7105 Lockport Road
Niagara Falls, NY 14305
(716) 297-2150

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

Select and/or abbreviated project documents are also available in electronic format on the DEC website. The environmental investigation report from July 2009 is available in the right column at the top of this page.