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Tecumseh Railroad Realignment

Fact Sheet - December 2010

Interim Remedial Measure Work Plan for Railroad Realignment at Tecumseh Phase I, II and III Business Park Areas Available for Review

Introduction

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has prepared this Fact Sheet to notify interested parties and nearby property owners of a plan to implement focused environmental cleanup activities at the Tecumseh Phase I, II and III Business Park Area sites, which are located at 1951 Hamburg Turnpike in Lackawanna. The plan proposes an environmental cleanup action, called an interim remedial measure (IRM), which will prepare a portion of these planned Business Park Areas for a new rail corridor. The IRM Work Plan is available for public viewing at the locations listed below. The new corridor will replace the tracks currently running adjacent to NYS Route 5.

The IRM is being performed on behalf of Tecumseh Redevelopment Inc. (Tecumseh) through the NYSDEC Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP). The BCP provides existing or potential property owners financial incentives to promote the voluntary cleanup, redevelopment, and revival of brownfield sites. Tecumseh Redevelopment, Inc. volunteered to clean up the Phase I-III Business Park Areas in anticipation of redevelopment of these parcels for commercial and industrial purposes.

The proposed rail corridor realignment project, which is being managed by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), will relocate tracks currently running along the eastern boundary of the Phase I and II Business Park Areas (parallel to Route 5) to an alternate alignment along the western portion of the Phase I and II Business Park Areas and along the eastern perimeter of the Phase III Business Park Area. The proposed corridor measures approximately 12,500 feet, with approximately 10,000 feet located on the Tecumseh property through Business Park Areas I, II, and III. Relocation of the tracks will help foster redevelopment by improving site access. However, it will be necessary to first clean up the area where the new tracks will be placed.

Are People Exposed to Contamination?

Currently, access to the site is limited to individuals having business on the site. There are no immediate health impacts from the site to the surrounding area, but anyone illegally accessing the site could be exposed to site related contamination identified in certain areas of the site. The proposed IRM will address the areas of contamination along the new rail alignment.

What Will the Upcoming Cleanup Work Involve?

The proposed railroad relocation is slated to begin in December 2010. Accordingly, Tecumseh is proposing an IRM to remediate the portion of the railroad realignment that falls within the Business Parks. Under the oversight of DEC, upcoming IRM cleanup activities will include:

  • Excavating impacted soil/fill material prior to rail corridor construction and disposing the material offsite;
  • Backfilling and compacting the excavations with approved backfill material;
  • Regrading and leveling the area where the new tracks will be placed; and
  • Importing and placing a minimum one foot thick layer of stone ballast and rail ties to serve as a cover system beneath the newly constructed tracks.

Next Steps

The approved plan will be available for public review at the locations listed below. The IRM is expected to begin in December 2010. Following the IRM, further environmental investigation will continue to determine the extent of contamination. A report detailing the findings and evaluating additional cleanup options will be compiled and made available to the public. The report, called the Remedial Investigation / Alternatives Analysis Report, is expected to be available in Spring 2011. NYSDEC will continue to keep the public informed about project milestones.

Site Background

Tecumseh owns approximately 1,100-acres of land located on the west side of New York State Route 5 (Hamburg Turnpike) in the City of Lackawanna. A portion of the property extends into the Town of Hamburg. Tecumseh's property is bordered by NY State Route 5 on the east; Lake Erie to the west and northwest; and other industrial properties to the south and the northeast.

The property was formerly used for the production of steel, coke, and related products by Bethlehem Steel Corporation (BSC). Steel production on the property was discontinued in 1983 and the coke ovens ceased activity in 2000. Tecumseh acquired its Lackawanna property from BSC's bankruptcy estate in 2003.

The rail corridor relocation will maximize the redevelopment potential in the Business Park Areas along NYS Route 5 and improve the currently limited access to and from the Tecumseh property. The relocated rail line will also better serve the medium and heavy industrial transportation needs further toward the western and interior portions of the Tecumseh property as well as the intermodal (e.g., ship to truck, rail to ship, etc.) transportation needs in the vicinity of the Gateway Metroport operation to the north.

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

Questions and comments are welcome and can be addressed to the following agency representatives:

Project Questions
Mr. Thomas Forbes
TurnKey Environmental Restoration
2558 Hamburg Turnpike, Suite 300
Buffalo, NY 14218
(716) 856-0599
TForbes@benchmarkturnkey.com

Environmental Questions
Mr. Maurice Moore
NYSDEC
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 851-7220
region9@dec.ny.gov

Health Questions
Mr. Matt Forcucci
NYS Department Of Health
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 847-4501
mjf13@health.ny.state.us

Locations to View Project Documents

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

Lackawanna Public Library
560 Ridge Road
Lackawanna, NY 14218
Phone: (716) 823-0630

NYSDEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: (716) 851-7220

PDF versions of project documents are available under "Important Links" in the right column.