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1501 College Avenue

Site Number C932134

Fact Sheet - January 2013
College Ave Update: DEC Certifies Cleanup Requirements Achieved at Brownfield Site

After remediation: west side entrance of site
After remediation: west side entrance of site

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has determined that the cleanup requirements to address contamination related to 1501 College Avenue Site ("site") located at 1501 College Avenue, Niagara Falls, Niagara County under New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) have been met. Please see Site Location for a map of the site.

The cleanup activities were performed by SANTAROSA HOLDINGS, INC. with oversight provided by DEC. DEC has issued a Certificate of Completion regarding the site. A copy of the Notice of the Certificate of Completion (COC) is available at the locations identified below under Where to Find Information.

By the Numbers

Brownfield Numbers:
12.25 acres - area of site

Cleaned Facility Numbers:
" thick - Clean soil cover
153 tons - Galbestos roofing materials removed
411 tons - PCB contaminated soil removed
1340 tons - Construction debris/soil material removed
2607 tons - Non Friable Asbestos containing materials and construction debris removed
3620 tons - Petroleum contaminated soil removed
4800 tons - recycled concrete used in cover system
7851 gallons - Waste oil removed
7896 tons - clean soil used in cover system
20,000 gallons - Contaminated excavation water removed

Site Timeline

1501 College Ave Site before remediation
Before remediation

1910 - 1986
Union Carbide operated site as a manufacturing facility
Site operated by Niagara Vest Corporation
January: RI/AAR work plan approved
April: IRM work plan submitted
June: IRM work plan approved
2009 - 2011
May: IRM/RI field work
September: RI/IRM/AA Report submitted
November 8: No Further Action Decision Document released

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

  • Environmental Easement

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

  • Cover System

Next Steps

1501 College Ave Site before remediation
1501 College Ave Site before remediation

DEC issued the COC to the applicant (or applicants, if appropriate) 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.

With its receipt of a COC, the applicant is eligible to redevelop the site. In addition, the applicant:

  • Has no liability to the State for contamination at or coming from the site, subject to certain conditions; and
  • Is eligible for tax credits to offset the costs of performing cleanup activities and for redevelopment of the site.

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.

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


This 12.25 acre BCP site is located in the north end of the City of Niagara Falls. It is situated in a generally industrialized area with nearby multi-family housing. The BCP site is bounded by College Avenue to the north, with a private access road along the western property boundary, and vacant industrial-use properties to the east and south. Industrial and commercial buildings are present to the north, south, and west of the site, with residential properties located approximately 500 feet to the southwest.

Site Features
This site consists of the majority of the former Union Carbide facility located at 1501 College Avenue, Niagara Falls, Niagara County. It once consisted of several large abandoned manufacturing buildings and had been the site of illegal vehicle stripping and dumping. The abandoned manufacturing buildings have been removed and a cover system constructed over the site through the performance of an interim remedial measure under a brownfield cleanup agreement.

1501 College Ave Site before remediation
1501 College Ave Site before remediation

Union Carbide operated the site as a manufacturing facility from 1910-1986. Products that were manufactured included specialty machined graphite, carbon liners, cathode blocks, and furnace electrodes. After 1986, the site was operated by Niagara Vest Corporation. This site is also adjacent to the Hazorb site - which had USEPA removal action performed in 2003 to dispose of asbestos building materials (PCB concentrations up to 56,000 ppm).

The project site is located within a Federal Renewal Community Zone, a New York State Empire Zone, a New York State Environmental Zone, and is in a highly distressed area as defined under New York State General Municipal Law. The intended future use of this site is for industrial purposes.

A (RI/AAR) work plan was submitted with the BCP application. The site is being managed as a single operable unit. Known and suspected contaminants are Petroleum, SVOCs, Metals, and PCBs which are impacting soils. The RI/AAR work plan was approved on January 4, 2008.

An IRM Work Plan was submitted in April 2008, and was approved in June 2008. The applicant delayed the start of the IRM and RI/AAR activities due to funding and business plan issues. In May 2009, some preliminary IRM field work began with selected demolition of some site buildings.

The RI field work began in September 2010, and was substantially complete by October 2010. The most significant IRM field work began in December 2010.

The RI/IRM/AA Report was submitted on September 17, 2012. A final site IRM inspection was performed on October 12, 2012 where the IRM work was determined to be substantially complete. The SMP and FER are expected to be submitted by November 1, 2012.

A No Further Action DD describing the work done on the site was prepared and a 45 day public comment period was begun on October 22, 2012.

Additional Details

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

Brownfield Cleanup Program

New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) encourages the voluntary cleanup of contaminated properties known as "brownfields" so that they can be reused and redeveloped. These uses may include recreation, housing, business or other uses. A brownfield is any real property that is difficult to reuse or redevelop because of the presence or potential presence of contamination. For more information about the BCP, visit DEC's website.

Where to Find Information

Public interest in this project is valued and appreciated. Project documents are available at the following locations to help the public stay informed:

NYS DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14203
(Call for appointment)

Doris Jones Family Resource Center
3001 9th Street
Niagara Falls NY 14305

Who to Contact

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

Project Related Questions:
Michael Hinton
NYS DEC, Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203-2915

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

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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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.

Site Location

Aerial view of 1501 College Ave site
Aerial view of 1501 College Ave site