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Niagara Motors Environmental Restoration Program Site

Project Number E907025

Fact Sheet, February 2010
DEC Announces Public Meeting on Proposal to Clean Up Former Niagara Motors Site


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the New York State Department of Health (DOH), and the City of Dunkirk invite you to attend a public meeting about cleanup plans for the Former Niagara Motors Site located at Lamphere Street (Route 62) and Ice Cream Drive in the City of Dunkirk. The site sits in a suburban area surrounded by commercial, industrial, and residential properties. Industrial production and waste disposal occurred at the site, and contamination has been found in the soil.

The public meeting will be held on Wednesday March 3, 2010 at 7 PM at Dunkirk City Hall (342 Central Avenue, Dunkirk, NY 14048). At the meeting, representatives from DEC will discuss a proposal to clean up the site and be available to answer questions from the public. The cleanup proposal is described in a document called the "Proposed Remedial Action Plan" (PRAP), which is available for your review at the locations listed in this fact and in the right column under the Important Links section (PDF copy). Public comments on the PRAP will be accepted for 45 days, from February 8 - March 24, 2010. You may address written comments to the DEC project manager listed below.

Currently, the site is being addressed under New York State's Environmental Restoration Program (ERP). The ERP provides financial assistance to local governments for cleaning up brownfields. Brownfields typically are former industrial properties where the real or perceived presence of contamination complicates reuse and redevelopment.

What Does the Proposed Cleanup Plan Involve?

DEC has evaluated the possibilities for cleaning up the site and recommends a particular course of action. The alternatives were evaluated using criteria such as short term impacts and protection of public health and the environment. The actions proposed to address the contamination include:

  • Excavating hazardous and lead-contaminated soils and disposing them offsite;
  • Excavating soils impacted from leaking underground storage tanks and disposing them offsite; and
  • Placing a cover system over areas where residual contamination exceeds standards for commercial redevelopment.

What Comes Next?

A public meeting will be held on March 3, 2010 to discuss the PRAP. Written comments received during the comment period will be considered as the plan for the Former Niagara Motors Site is finalized. The final plan will be issued in a document called the Record of Decision (ROD). The ROD will describe the plan selected and why it was chosen. NYSDEC will respond to the comments it received about the PRAP in a responsiveness summary included in the ROD. Fact sheets similar to this one will be distributed periodically to keep the public informed as the site cleanup continues.

Site Background

The Former Niagara Motors Site consists of approximately 4.3 acres. The site has been used for various industrial purposes, including the manufacturing of marine engines from at least 1919 through the 1970s. Operations ceased in the 1970s. The industrial building was abandoned approximately 10 years later and ultimately demolished. Inspections of the site found evidence of improper petroleum disposal.

Between 2005 and 2007, DEC performed environmental investigations at the site, and in September 2006 it began a cleanup action called an interim remedial measure (IRM). An IRM can be conducted without extensive investigation of a site to address an obvious environmental hazard that may threaten public health and the environment. The IRM involved excavating two underground storage tanks and disposing them offsite. The investigation revealed that surface and subsurface soils were contaminated with lead, arsenic, and petroleum. Groundwater, however, was not affected. Results of the investigation and IRM, along with alternatives for cleaning up the site, were published in an April 2008 report called the "Remedial Investigation, Alternative Analysis, and Interim Remedial Measures" (RI/AA/IRM) report. The report is available in the right column or at the locations listed below.

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

Should you have any question about this project, please feel welcome to contact these representatives:

Environmental Questions
Anthony Lopes, P.E.
NYSDEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: (716) 851-7220

Health-Related Questions
Cameron O'Connor
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: (716) 847-4385

Locations to View Project Documents

Public interest and input in this project is valued and appreciated. To keep you informed, DEC has set up locations at which you may view project documents. These locations include:

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

Dunkirk Free Library
536 Central Avenue
Dunkirk, NY 14048
(716) 366-2511

You may also access project documents in electronic format by clicking the links in the right column, under the Important Links section.