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Trinidad Park Site

Cleanup Activities Upcoming at Trinidad Park Site

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is providing you this update to inform you of upcoming environmental cleanup activities that will take place during the next few weeks at the City of Buffalo's Trinidad Park, located at 237 Kensington Avenue and Trinidad Place. Cleanup activities are expected to be completed this fall.

Why are Cleanup Activities Occurring?

In the summer of 2010, tar was observed seeping from cracks in the surface of one of the park's two basketball courts. After investigating the nature of the problem, the City of Buffalo requested assistance from NYSDEC. NYSDEC's contractor will excavate the soils from beneath the basketball court for transport and proper disposal. Preparations for this work are expected to begin in early September 2011.

The seeping tar has been identified as asphalt. Until the late 1960s, the park was the location of an asphalt plant. Abandoned and leaking underground storage tanks of diesel fuel were removed from the park by the NYSDEC in the mid 1990s. Between 2001 and 2002, an environmental investigation of the park by the City of Buffalo and NYSDEC discovered another buried tank, containing asphalt tar, which was also removed.

The 2001-02 investigation found no other tanks, and testing of the groundwater and soils, including the soils beneath the basketball courts, found no evidence of significant contamination. The cleanup work that is planned will determine the source of the tar now seeping to the surface and remove it for off-site disposal.

What Will the Upcoming Cleanup Work Involve?

After the tar seep was discovered, the City of Buffalo completed test holes through the surface of the basketball court to estimate the underground extent of the tar. The tar appears to be confined to a small area directly beneath the eastern most basketball court, nearest to the railroad track.

Before excavation begins, underground utilities (e.g. electric, gas, water and sewer lines) will be located and marked. The surrounding fence and vegetation will be removed as necessary to access the basketball courts. Heavy equipment will be used to break through the basketball court pavement and the excavated soil and asphalt will be loaded directly into dump trucks for transport and disposal. The completed excavation will be backfilled with clean gravel and the basketball courts restored in coordination with the City of Buffalo.

Throughout the excavation work, the air in the work area will be monitored for dust and contaminants. The work area will be kept secured during the excavation, using the existing fence and added barricades as needed. Excavated soil will be loaded directly into trucks; if soils have to be stockpiled overnight, the piles will be kept covered. Measures will be taken to minimize damage to the park's surrounding grass surface from the heavy equipment and prevent any mud from being tracked onto the surrounding streets. Disruption to the local traffic will be minimized as much as possible.

The work is expected to be completed by September 2011.

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

Site Related Environmental Questions
Mr. David Locey
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(716) 851-7220

Site Related Health Questions
Mr. Matt Forcucci
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
(716) 847-4501

Park Related Questions
Andrew Rabb
City of Buffalo
Dept. of Public Works, Parks & Streets
65 Niagara Square
505 City Hall
Buffalo, NY 14202-3373
(716) 851-9672

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