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Roblin Steel Environmental Restoration Program Site

After remediation: ready for development
After remediation: ready for development

Project Number B00173

Fact Sheet - November 2012
Roblin Steel Update: Cleanup Requirements Achieved!

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has determined that the cleanup requirements to address contamination related to Former Roblin Steel Site (Dunkirk) ("site") located at 320 South Roberts Road, Dunkirk, Chautauqua County under New York State's Environmental Restoration Program have been or will be met. Please see Site Location for the map.

DEC has issued a Certificate of Completion (COC) regarding the site. A copy of the COC is available at the locations identified below under Where to Find Information.

The cleanup activities were performed with oversight provided by DEC.

Institutional and Engineering Controls

Institutional controls and engineering controls generally are designed to reduce or eliminate exposure to contaminants of concern. An institutional control is a non-physical restriction on use of the site, such as a deed restriction, when contamination left over after the cleanup action makes the site suitable for some, but not all uses. An engineering control is a physical barrier or method to manage contamination such as a cap or vapor barrier.

The former Roblin Steel facility has been vacant over twenty years
The former Roblin Steel facility has been vacant
over twenty years

The following institutional controls have been put in place on the site:

  • Environmental Easement
  • Soil Management Plan
  • Local Groundwater Restriction
  • IC/EC Plan
  • Site Management Plan
  • Monitoring Plan
  • Land use Restriction

The following engineering controls have been put in place on the site:

  • Cover System with demarcation layer

By the Numbers

During remediation: Concrete crushing during Phase II remedial activities
During remediation: Concrete crushing during
Phase II remedial activities

Brownfield Numbers:
12 acres - area of inactive industrial park
20 - # of years site was abandoned
583.26 tons - non-hazardous contaminated subsurface soil/fill excavated from site
5,772.76 tons - surface soil/fill, debris/fill piles and wood block flooring excavated from site
19,000 cubic yards - soil cover imported into site
88,500 SF - area of vacant building demolished on site
126,000 pounds - granular iron deposited into subsurface to address groundwater contamination

Cleaned Facility Numbers:
tons - of PCB contaminated equipment
20 cubic yards - of K061 debris
55 gallons - of pesticide
55 gallons - of Carbon Disulfide
110 gallons - of acids
165 gallons - of flammable liquid
275 gallons - of asbestos (solid)
330 gallons - of PCB oil
688 empty drums
1,865 gallons - of K061 oils
3,544 gallons - of K061 liquids

Site Timeline

Historic Uses: Artist rendering of inside of Roblin Steel building when operated by ALCO
Historic Uses: Artist rendering of inside of Roblin Steel
building when operated by ALCO

Site developed, original contamination
Site abandoned
August: Site Investigation/Remedial Alternatives Report (SI/RAR) Work Plan
March: Record of Decision (ROD)
February: Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP)
November: Phase I Remedial Activities
March: Phase II Remedial Activities

Next Steps

During remediation: Southwest corner after building demolition
During remediation: Southwest corner after building demolition

DEC issued the COC based on review and approval of a Final Engineering Report (FER). The FER includes:

  1. A description of the cleanup activities completed;
  2. Certification that cleanup requirements have been or will be achieved for the site;
  3. A description of any institutional/engineering controls to be used; and
  4. A certification that a site management plan for any engineering controls used at the site has been approved by DEC.

A COC may be modified or revoked if, for example, there is a failure to comply with the terms of the order or agreement with DEC.


Site Location
The site's address is 320 South Roberts Road (County Road 136) in the City of Dunkirk. The site is actually located approximately 500 feet northeast of the road. The 12-acre site is roughly triangular in shape and bounded to north and east by an active rail yard and railroad tracks respectively. The site is also bounded by two other brownfield sites; the former Alumax Extrusions facility (site #V00589) to the south and to the west the Edgewood Warehouse site (#E907032). Lake Erie is located approximately 4,000 feet to the northwest.

Historic Uses
The site was initially developed as part of a larger industrial complex operated by the American Locomotive Company in the early 1900s for the manufacture of locomotives. Operations were later converted to the manufacture of process equipment (e.g. heat exchangers, pressure vessels, steel pipe, fittings and conduits). Roblin Steel acquired the property and operated a steel reclamation business until the 1980's; scrap steel was forged in electric arc furnaces into steel rods. The facility included dust collection baghouses, mills, a compressor house, an electrical substation and a variety of other process equipment. Prior site uses and operations that appear to have led to the site contamination include metal plating, machining, the use of metal cleaning solvents and the storage of fuel oil.

Previous investigations identified soil and groundwater contamination (including chlorinated solvents, heavy metals petroleum and PCBs) and asbestos containing materials in the building. USEPA removal action was completed in 1994 to remove over 700 drums of hazardous waste, piles of hazardous emission control dust, and other hazardous materials. A second USEPA removal action was completed in 2004 that included the delineation, excavation and off-site disposal of PCB-impacted concrete and surface soils. In 2001, Chautauqua County took ownership of the property and applied to New York State for funding to further investigate and remediate the site under the Environmental Restoration Program.

Site Features
As part of the completed site remediation, all of the buildings on site were demolished and the entire site covered with a one foot layer of clean soil; the site remains vacant. Vegetation on site is limited to grass. Hyde Creek passes within approximately one hundred feet of the site's northeastern corner.

Current Zoning
The site is located in an area zoned for industrial use. Land use in the site vicinity is characterized by a mixture of commercial, industrial and residential uses. Residential properties are situated to the northwest and south of the site, beyond the adjoining properties; the nearest home lies approximately 200 feet from the site's southern corner. Mixed commercial and light industrial properties are located further to the north and west of the site, while an undeveloped wooded area to the east.

Additional Details

Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on DEC's website.

Where to Find Information

Project documents are available at the following location to help the public stay informed.

City of Dunkirk
Attn: Dunkirk City Hall
342 Central Avenue
Dunkirk, NY 14048
(716) 366-0452

Who to Contact

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

Project Related Questions:
David Locey
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203-2915

Site-Related Health Questions:
Matthew Forcucci
584 Delaware Ave
Buffalo, NY 14202-1295

Site-Development Questions:
James Manzella
TVGA Consultants
620 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14202

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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Site Location

Aerial view of Roblin Steel site in 2008.
Aerial view of Roblin Steel site in 2008.
Aerial view of Roblin Steel site in 2011.
Aerial view of Roblin Steel site in 2011.