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1318 Niagara Street Site

Site Number E915213

February 2014 Fact Sheet
1318 Niagara Street Update: Remedy Proposed; Public Comment Period and Public Meeting Announced

Public Meeting: Wednesday, 2/12/14 at 6:15 p.m.
Niagara Branch Library - meeting room
280 Porter Ave, Buffalo, NY 14201
Covered storage drums sit behind a chain linked fence at the 1318 Niagara Street Site.
Covered storage drums sit behind a chain linked fence at
the 1318 Niagara Street Site.

DEC invites you to a public meeting to discuss the remedy proposed for the site. You are encouraged to provide comments at the meeting, and during the 45-day comment period described in this fact sheet.

The public is invited to comment on a remedy proposed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) related to the 1318 Niagara Street site ("site") located at 1318 Niagara Street, Buffalo, Erie County. Please see the map for the Site Location.

Documents related to the cleanup of this site can be found at the locations identified below under Where to Find Information.

Digital Files

How to Comment

DEC is accepting written comments about the proposed remedial action plan for 45 days, from February 4, 2014 through March 20, 2014. The proposed plan is available for review at the locations identified below under Where to Find Information. Please submit comments to the DEC project manager listed under Project Related Questions in the Who to Contact area below.

Fenced-in contaminated soils next to the building
Contaminated soils at the site will be excavated and disposed.

Proposed Remedial Action Plan

The remedy proposed for the site includes:

  • Excavation and disposal of approximately 2,562 cubic yards of contaminated soil;
  • Disposal of contaminated water;
  • Site restoration; and
  • Groundwater use restriction.

Additional Project Details

Two Interim Remedial Measures (IRMs) were conducted at the site between 2010 and 2013. An IRM is a cleanup effort that can be conducted relatively quickly to address obvious environmental problems without extensive site investigations in order to minimize environmental or health risks.

The objectives of IRM-1 was to clean and dispose of highly contaminated polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) wastes including the former USTs and contents, 55 gallon drums and contents, the remaining metallic furnace structure, and PCB-contaminated soil from the UST and furnace pit excavations.

IRM-2 included limited excavations of five discrete areas where PCB concentrations were identified exceeding 10 ppm. Confirmatory sampling conducted after IRM-2 found areas of remaining PCB contamination above 10 ppm located over the western portion of the site. Data also indicates that PCB contaminated soil greater than 1 ppm remains over a majority of the site.

Summary of the Investigation

The 2009 preliminary investigation included soil sampling, surface water sampling, sludge sampling from each of the former USTs, and composite sampling of oil and of sludge from the 55-gallon drums staged on-site. Soil samples were collected at 14 locations including, but not limited to, the furnace pit, UST excavations, and the area near the staged USTs.

A 2011 Site Investigation was initiated to fully characterize the remaining site chemical and physical conditions in order to support an evaluation of remedial alternatives, and select a preferred alternative for site remediation. Site Investigation activities included soil borings, monitoring well installation, and sampling and analysis of soil and groundwater.

DEC developed the proposed remedy after reviewing the detailed investigation of the site and evaluating the remedial options in the "analysis of alternatives" submitted under New York's Environmental Restoration Program by City of Buffalo, Office of Strategic Planning.

Next Steps

DEC will consider public comments as it finalizes the remedy for the site. The selected remedy will be described in a document called a "Record of Decision" that will explain why the remedy was selected and respond to public comments.

DEC will keep the public informed throughout the investigation and cleanup of the site.

Background

Location: The 1318 Niagara Street Site is located in an urban area in the City of Buffalo, Erie County. The site is across from the intersection of Niagara Street and Lafayette Avenue.

Site Features: The site is an empty relatively flat lot and slopes to the west. The site is bordered to the west by Penn Central Railroad and beyond that by NYS I-90 and the Black Rock Canal.

Current Zoning/Use: The site is currently inactive, and is zoned for commercial use. The surrounding parcels are a rail corridor to the west, and commercial residential properties along Niagara Street to the north, south, and east. The nearest residential area is 150 feet east of the site.

Historical Use: From 1909 to 1987 the site was used as a brewery, and from 1987 to 2004 utilized by private owners for unknown purpose. Prior uses that appear to have led to site contamination include two 20,000 gallon underground storage tanks (USTs), a furnace pit, and nineteen 55 gallon drums containing PCBs and waste oil. In 2004 the City of Buffalo obtained the property through tax foreclosure and during demolition in 2006 found the USTs and furnace pit. An interim remedial measure (IRM) to remove surface soils impacted by PCBs as well as drums of waste and two 20,000 gallon tanks was completed in 2010. An additional Site Investigation was performed in the fall of 2011 to investigate any remaining contamination. A Site Investigation and Alternatives Analysis Report is expected in late 2012. The site remedial program is being performed by the City of Buffalo under the State's Environmental Restoration Program.

Site Geology and Hydrogeology: The site is overlain by 8-10 feet of fill underlain by 8-12 feet of silty clay to limestone bedrock. Shallow groundwater is at 20-25 feet, and generally flows to the west southwest.

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.

Who to Contact

Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:

Project Related Questions:
Mr. Anthony Lopes, P.E.
DEC Region 9 Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 851-7220
region9@dec.ny.gov

Site Related Health Questions:
Scarlett E. Messier
NYS DOH
547 River Street
Troy NY 12180
(518) 402-7860
sem10@health.state.ny.us

Site Related Questions:
Mr. Dennis Sutton, C.P.G.
Office of Strategic Planning
920 City Hall
Buffalo NY 14202
(716) 851-6587
DSutton@City-Buffalo.com

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. You may also view electronic versions of project documents by visiting the above Digital Files section (if available). Large documents may be abbreviated to meet DEC's file size requirements for posting to the website. Hard copies of full project documents are available at the listed locations to help the public stay informed.

Buffalo & Erie County Public Library Central Branch
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: (716) 858-8900

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

Electronic versions of project documents are available under "Important Links" in the right column.

For More Information

We encourage you to share this fact sheet with neighbors and tenants, and/or post this fact sheet in a prominent area of your building for others to see.

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Have site information such as this fact sheet sent right to your email inbox. DEC invites you to sign up with one or more contaminated sites county email listservs available. It's quick, it's free, and it will help keep you better informed.

Site Location

Aerial view of 1318 Niagara Street brownfield site
Aerial view of 1318 Niagara Street brownfield site