Old Upper Mountain Road
Fact Sheet - February 2013
Upper Mountain Road Update: Remedy Proposed for State Superfund Site; Public Comment Period and Public Meeting Announced
Council Chambers; Lockport Municipal Building
One Locks Plaza; City of Lockport
Gulf Creek below the site. Sediment throughout this
area is heavily contaminated.
The public is invited to comment on a remedy proposed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) related to the Old Upper Mountain Road Site ("site") located at Old Upper Mountain Road, Lockport, Niagara 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.
How to Comment
DEC is accepting written comments about the proposed plan for 30 days, from February 28, 2013 through March 28, 2013. 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.
The site is listed as a Class "2" site in the State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites (list of State Superfund sites). A Class 2 site represents a significant threat to public health or the environment; action is required.
Proposed Remedial Action Plan
- Final Feasability Study Report for Operable Units (OU) 1 and 2 - Document 1 of 2 (76 page PDF, 4.41 MB)
- Final Feasability Study Report for OUs 1 and 2, Figures, Tables and Appendicies - Document 2 of 2 (43 page PDF, 2.62 MB)
Record of Decision
By the Numbers
Typical ash fill found throughout the site
3 - number of OU at the brownfield site
6 acres - area of OU 01
7 acres - total area of site
80 - height of ravine running through site
18,100 cubic yards - estimated sediment contaminated at OU 02
200,000 cubic yards - estimated volume of waste material at OU 01
DEC collected contaminated samples from site
DOH collected contaminated samples
Site Characterization conducted
Site listed as a Class 2 Site
August 2009 - October 2011
Remedial Investigation (RI) began
Proposed Remedial Action Plan
Summary of the Remedy for OU 01:
- A remedial design program to provide the details necessary for the construction, operation, maintenance, and monitoring of the remedial program.
- Relocation and contouring of the ash waste will be necessary to achieve the 3:1 slopes required for cap stability. This material will be placed into the open ravine at the base of OU 01 to extend the current footprint of the landfill farther into the ravine.
- Prior to extending the landfill into the open ravine, a groundwater drainage and diversion system will be installed to convey groundwater that naturally flows down the filled portion of the ravine to Gulf Creek at a fixed point(s) along the toe of the extended landfill. Discharge from the storm sewer culvert will flow down an armored diversion swale constructed across the top of the extended landfill.
- Following remediation, an Environmental Easement will be placed on the effected properties.
- Long-term monitoring and maintenance to ensure that the remedy remains effective.
Summary of the Remedy for OU 02:
- A remedial design program to provide the details necessary for the construction, operation, maintenance, and monitoring of the remedial program. A floodplain and hydraulic study will be completed to help with a design for a creek restoration plan that optimizes aquatic and riparian habitat.
- The complete excavation of all contaminated sediment in Gulf Creek between the site and Niagara Street that exceeds the sediment SCGs (approximately 18,100 cubic yards). All excavated sediment will be dewatered at a facility constructed at the site before being placed in OU 01 prior to the construction of the multi-layer cap (Part 360 cap) proposed for OU 01 (Landfill Capping with a Part 360 Cap - Extended Landfill Footprint).
- Following removal of all contaminated sediments, the creek will be restored.
- The proposed project involves unavoidable impacts to federally regulated wetlands, and as a result wetlands mitigation is proposed. A mitigation plan will be developed during design for on-site wetlands creation in a manner that would meet or exceed the functions and values of the existing wetlands.
- Long-term monitoring to ensure that the remedy remains effective.
Summary of the Investigation for OU 01:
A State Superfund RI began in August 2009 and was completed in October 2011. The RI determined that waste at the site consists primarily of white to gray ash containing metal, glass, rock, ceramic, coal, brick and concrete fragments with occasional layers of black foundry sand. This waste ranges in thickness from 0.5 to 78 feet. The thickest fill was encountered at OU 01 where the former ravine was filled with ash. The estimated volume of waste material at OU 01 is 200,000 cubic yards.
The incinerator ash was found throughout the site, with thirteen samples of this ash failing the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) Regulatory Limit for lead, indicating that characteristic hazardous waste (D008) is present at the site. This ash also contains elevated concentrations of semivolatile organic compounds and metals.
Summary of the Investigation for OU 02:
The RI determined that sediment in Gulf Creek between the site and Niagara Street is contaminated with semivolatile organic compounds and metals. It is estimated that approximately 18,100 cubic yards of sediment is contaminated.
DEC developed the proposed remedy after reviewing the detailed investigation of the site and evaluating the remedial options in the "feasibility study" submitted under New York's State Superfund Program.
A more detailed description of cleanup activities proposed is available in the full plan at the locations listed below in Where to Find Information.
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. A detailed design of the selected remedy will then be prepared, and the cleanup will be performed.
DEC will keep the public informed throughout the investigation and cleanup of the site.
The Old Upper Mountain Road Site is located near the intersection of NY State Routes 31 and 93 in both the City and Town of Lockport, Niagara County, New York in a mixed residential, commercial and industrial neighborhood. The site is bounded on the west by Old Upper Mountain Road, on the south by the active CSX and Somerset railroads, on the east by the active Somerset Railroad and an abandoned rail spur, and on the north by residential property and a steep ravine known as The Gulf.
The Old Upper Mountain Road Site is approximately 7 acres in size and located on a relatively flat-lying plateau separated by the Somerset Railroad, which is approximately 10 feet higher than the surrounding topography. The topography slopes steeply to the north into The Gulf; there is an approximate 80-foot difference in elevation between the site and the base of the ravine. A portion of this ravine underlies the site and has been filled in with waste material. A narrow stream, Gulf Creek, emerges from a storm sewer culvert at the west side of the site and flows along the bottom of the ravine, eventually discharging into Eighteenmile Creek approximately one mile to the northeast.
The Old Upper Mountain Road Site consists of fifteen parcels owned by eight individuals, municipalities and corporations. Different parcels of the site are zoned for residential, commercial, industrial and public utility use. Eight parcels contain active rail lines, one parcel contains a single family dwelling, and six parcels are vacant.
The Old Upper Mountain Road Site has been subdivided into three Operable Units (OUs) defined as follows: OU 01: Landfill - Old Upper Mountain Road Parcel, OU 02: Gulf Creek (including the associated riparian area), and OU 03: Landfill - Otto Park Place Parcel. OUs 01 and 03 are the former landfill that is divided into two operable units by the Somerset Railroad. OU 01 is located north of the Somerset Railroad, and is approximately 6 acres in size. OU 03 is located between the active Somerset and CSX railroads, and the abandoned rail spur. This operable unit is approximately 1 acre in size. OU 02 consists of approximately 4,400 linear feet of contaminated Gulf Creek sediment between the site and Niagara Street to the north.
Past Use of the Site
The Old Upper Mountain Road Site was reportedly operated as a municipal landfill by the City of Lockport from 1921 through the 1950's. Access to the landfill was from a viaduct under the CSX Railroad just north of Old Upper Mountain Road (now known as Otto Park Place). In later years, a gate was placed at the viaduct in an attempt to control unauthorized dumping. This gate is no longer present. Incinerator ash from garbage and other wastes was apparently dumped at the landfill and then pushed into the ravine. It has also been reported that local companies dumped their wastes directly into the landfill. In November 1997 the DEC collected thirteen soil/waste samples from OU 01. All samples contained elevated concentrations of semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs) and metals. In October 1998 the DOH collected five surface soil samples from OU 01. These samples contained elevated concentrations of metals. In 2007 the DEC conducted a Site Characterization at OUs 01 and 03. In August 2008, based upon the results from the Site Characterization, the Old Upper Mountain Road Site was listed as a Class 2 Site in the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites in New York State.
Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on DEC's website.
State Superfund Program
New York's State Superfund Program (SSF) identifies and characterizes suspected inactive hazardous waste disposal sites. Sites that pose a significant threat to public health and/or the environment go through a process of investigation, evaluation, cleanup and monitoring. DEC attempts to identify parties responsible for site contamination and require cleanup before committing State funds. For more information about the SSF, visit: DEC's website.
Who to Contact
Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:
Project Related Questions
Mr. Glenn May, Project Manager
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
Site-Related Health Questions
Mr. Matthew J. Forcucci
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
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.
Lockport Public Library
23 East Avenue
Lockport, NY 14094
Phone: (716) 433-5935
NYSDEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: (716) 851-7220
(Please call for appointment)
You may also view electronic copies of project documents, which are available in the right column under the Important Links section.
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.
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.
As a listserv member, you will periodically receive site-related information/announcements for all contaminated sites in the county(ies) you select. You may continue also to receive paper copies of site information for a time after you sign up with a county listserv, until the transition to electronic distribution is complete.
Aerial view of the Old Upper Mountain Road site