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NL Industries Brownfield Cleanup Program Site

Site Number C915200

Fact Sheet - December 2009

Cleanup Activities Completed at Former NL Industries Site; Final Engineering Report Available for Review


Track hoes were used to construct a containment cell
Track excavators were used to construct a
containment cell

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is pleased to announce that remediation of the Former N.L.Industries Site in Cheektowaga/Depew has been completed. Remediation refers to actions taken to eliminate, abate, or contain contamination that may be harmful to public health, welfare, or the environment. The remediation addressed elevated levels of soil contaminants, particularly lead.

Details about the remediation are provided in a document called the Final Engineering Report. The report is available for public review at the locations listed in this fact sheet and as a PDF document in the right column.

Cleanup work at this site was performed under New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program, a program that identifies, investigates, and ensures the cleanup of sites where significant amounts of hazardous waste may exist. NYSDEC is providing this fact sheet to explain why cleanup actions were taken, what the remedial activities involved, and how to obtain more information.

Description of Completed Remedial Activities

Workers removed contaminated cylinders
Workers removed contaminated cylinders

Remedial work began in October 2007 and was completed in September 2008. Contaminated soil from the western portion of the property was excavated and placed in a 1.5 acre cell at the center of the site. Post excavation samples were taken to confirm that contaminant levels were at or below cleanup standards.

Additional remedial actions performed at this site include:

  • Capping the cell with a geosynthetic clay liner, followed by a vegetative or asphalt cover;
  • Removing sediments from the storm sewer that extends from the site to the outfall at Scajaquada Creek;
  • Backfilling the excavation at the western portion of the site with clean fill;
  • Placing an asphalt cover along the railroad;
  • Constructing a storm water retention pond;
  • Fencing the site;
  • Planting vegetation along the railroad and along Walden Avenue; and
  • Installing groundwater monitoring wells for long term groundwater monitoring.

The top and the eastern side of the cell were covered with asphalt to utilize the area as a parking lot for trucks.

Special equipment monitored the air to ensure the safety
Special equipment monitored the air to ensure the
safety of workers and community members

Details of the Final Engineering Report

The Final Engineering Report has been submitted to the NYSDEC. The report:

  • Acknowledges that the cleanup of the western portion of the property has successfully been completed;
  • Contains a summary of remedial cleanup and construction activities completed at the site;
  • Recommends that site management be continued in accordance with a plan developed specifically for the site; and
  • Requires that future use of the site be limited to industrial / commercial purposes through an environmental easement.

Site Background

Excavated areas were backfilled with clean material
Excavated areas were backfilled with clean
material and covered with soil

The subject property is approximately 7.5 acres and is located in a mixed commercial, industrial and residential area. The south side of the property is bordered by railroad tracks on a berm. Metro Waste Paper Recovery Inc. (Metro Waste) is currently operating paper fiber recycling activities at the eastern portion of the property.

Past activities (starting in 1892 until 1972) have included brass foundry operations, smelting operations, and the processing of Babbitt (alloy of tin, copper, and antimony). National Lead Company (NL Industries) operated at this site from 1936 to 1972. These historical activities contaminated the site.

Investigations at the site included an inspection by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) in 1987, followed by site assessments conducted by the responsible party in 1999 and 2004. The investigations showed the presence of elevated levels of metals (such as copper, zinc, and especially lead) in soils. Results of groundwater sampling indicated that contaminants in the soil/fill material did not significantly impact groundwater quality.

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

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

Project Related Questions
Jaspal S. Walia, P.E.
Project Manager
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 851-7220

Health Related Questions
Mathew Forcucci
Public Health Specialist
New York State Department of Health
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 847-4385

The USEPA is in the process of addressing off-site contamination from the Former NL Industries site. Comments and questions regarding the off-site activities should be directed as follows:

Michelle Tabayoyong, On-Scene Coordinator, (732) 906-6934, or e-mail

Locations to View Project Documents

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

The Final Engineering Report is also available in PDF format in the right column. Appendices to the report have been removed because of their size. They can be viewed at the NYSDEC Region 9 office.