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Commerce Square Site

Site Number E932141

Fact Sheet - February 2010

Site Characterization Work to Be Conducted at Commerce Square Site in Lockport


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) would like to inform you about environmental investigation work that will be conducted at the Former Harrison Radiator facility during the winter/spring of 2010. The Former Harrison Radiator Facility is located at Walnut and Washburn Streets. It is currently referred to as Harrison Place or Commerce Square.

In 2007, the City of Lockport applied to NYSDEC's Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) to fund an environmental investigation of the site. The ERP provides funding to municipalities to investigate and cleanup brownfield sites (industrial sites where the presence or potential presence of contamination impedes use of the site). That investigation was never performed due to lack of State funding for the ERP. The NYSDEC will now conduct a Site Characterization using funding from a U. S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfield Grant.

What Types of Activities Will Be Included in the Site Characterization?

The site characterization activities that will be conducted in February/March 2010 include:

  • Drilling holes through concrete floors of former manufacturing buildings, installing soil borings, and collecting samples from potentially impacted areas to evaluate environmental conditions beneath buildings;
  • Analyzing soil samples to determine potential impacts to the environment, if any;
  • Installing and sampling groundwater monitoring wells; and
  • Analyzing ground water samples to determine potential impacts to the environment, if any.

The majority of the site characterization activities will be performed within the site buildings. The soil boring work is expected to take approximately one week to complete. The groundwater monitoring wells will be installed at exterior locations surrounding the site buildings. The installation of those wells will also likely be completed within a one week period.

Next Steps

The Site Characterization work will be completed in Spring 2010. A report detailing the results of the site characterization work is expected to be released by September 2010. The report will include recommendations as to whether any additional actions are necessary at the site. A summary containing the results of the characterization work will be released to the public in a fact sheet similar to this one.

Site History and Previous Environmental Assessments

The site was used from 1914 to 1987 by the Harrison Radiator Division of General Motors. Copper and brass automobile parts were manufactured at the site, including thermostats, vacuum and electrical switches, modulators, and heat exchangers. At the time of plant closure, most of the equipment, materials, and other items were removed and either sold or transferred to another Harrison Radiator facility. The facility closure documentation from 1987-1988 indicated that although the complex was cleaned when operations ended, several underground storage tanks (USTs) remained. Some of these USTs were reportedly removed, but the majority of the USTs were reportedly closed in place in 1986.

In 2006, Niagara County completed an environmental assessment of the site. The assessment consisted of a review of all available site documents and an evaluation of facility materials and wastes that may have been released during previous operations. It concluded that there was the potential for past chemical releases to the environment from the use of degreasing solvents, glycol, acidic compounds, various types of oils, and from leaks from the USTs.

In 2009, Niagara County completed a second environmental assessment of the site. It involved the installation and sampling of soils collected from soil borings near suspected USTs. During the soil sampling, petroleum and solvent odors were noted in soil samples collected from several site locations. Analysis of the soils indicated that some of the site soils in the vicinity of the USTs contained low concentrations of petroleum constituents. However, all contaminants were at levels deemed safe by NYSDEC.

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

Questions and comments about the project are welcome. Please contact the following representatives:

Site-Related Environmental Questions
Mr. Jeff Konsella, Project Manager
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 851-7220

Site-Related Health Questions
Mr. Matthew J. Forcucci, Public Health Specialist III
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 847-4385

Locations to View Project Documents

To keep you informed, NYSDEC has set up two locations at which you may view project documents. These locations include:

Lockport City Hall
1 Locks Plaza
Lockport, NY 14094
Phone: (716) 439-6750
Contact: Mr. Norm Allen, City Engineer
(Please call for appointment)

NYSDEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: (716) 851-7220
Contact: Mr. Jeff Konsella, Project Manager
(Please call for appointment)

You may also view project documents in the right column. Links to PDF versions may be found under the Important Links section.