285-295 Niagara Street
Fact Sheet July 2013
285-295 Niagara St Update: Report Recommends No Further Action at Brownfield Site; Public Comment Period Announced
285 Niagara Street - Building demolition (looking north)
The public is invited to comment on a no further action remedy for the 285-295 Niagara Street Site ("site") located at 285-295 Niagara Street, Buffalo, Erie 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."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reviewing a report that recommends no further action at the site. The report, called a "Remedial Investigation Report," was submitted to DEC by 285 Niagara Operating Co., LLC ("applicant"). The report describes the results of the site investigation.
- Proposed Decision Document (8 page PDF, 37 KB)
- Remedial Investigation/Interim Remedial Measures/Alternatives Analysis Report (RI/IRM/AAR) (91 page PDF, 3.73 MB)
How to Comment
DEC is accepting written comments about the investigation report for 45 days, from July 17, 2013 through August 29, 2013. The investigation report is available for public 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.
No Further Action Remedy
A series of Interim Remedial Measures (IRMs) were implemented during the investigation to address known areas of concern. These IRMs included:
- Demolition and off-site disposal of two on-site buildings.
- Removal and off-site recycling of approximately 374 tons of non-impacted asphalt and concrete.
- Excavation of approximately 4,360 tons of non-hazardous petroleum-impacted soil for biotreatment at Tonawanda Terminal Biotreatment facility, located in Tonawanda, New York.
- Identification and removal of two small underground storage tanks.
Institution 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.
- No institutional or engineering controls are required because the site was remediated to unrestricted use standards. All contamination that may have presented an exposure concern was removed from the site.
DEC will complete its review, make any necessary revisions and, if appropriate, approve the investigation report and its no further action recommendation. The approved report will be made available to the public (see "Where to Find Information" below).
If the approved investigation report concludes that no further action is needed to address the site, DEC will issue a "Certificate of Completion" (COC) to the applicant. Upon receiving a COC, the applicant:
- Would have no liability to the State for contamination at or coming from the site, subject to certain conditions; and
- Would be eligible for tax credits to offset the costs of performing cleanup activities and for redevelopment of the site.
The applicant will be eligible to redevelop the site after receiving the COC from DEC. A Certificate of Completion may be modified or revoked if, for example, an applicant does not comply with the terms and conditions of its Brownfield Cleanup Agreement with DEC.
Location: This site is comprised of two adjoining parcels totaling approximately 0.68 acres and is located in a highly urbanized area of the City of Buffalo. The site is bounded by Niagara Street to the west, Fell Alley to the east, commercial properties to the north, and a large residential apartment building complex to the south.
Site Features: There is one multi-story building, an asphalt parking area, gravel parking area and driveways on the site. Two smaller on-site buildings were demolished in 2012.
Current Zoning/Use: Allowable use is commercial and Industrial; however, the site is currently unoccupied. Land use surrounding the Site includes commercial, residential, and some vacant properties.
Historic Uses: The northern portion of the Site has a history of manufacturing and commercial operation. It was utilized as a carriage manufacturing operation, including a blacksmith shop, and painting and varnishing operation since 1889. Around 1900 a bicycle manufacturer operated the southern portion of the parcel including a machine shop and metal plating operation.
The southern portion of the site was utilized as an automobile filling station and car wash since 1961. Several underground storage tanks and two dispensing islands were associated with the filling station.
Geology and Hydrogeology: The site is located in the Lake Erie-Niagara River basin. The geology at the site was investigated during the RI and is generally described as asphalt and subbase fill overlying reddish-brown sandy lean clay. Prior remedial excavation backfill included rounded cobbles and gravel. Groundwater was encountered approximately 6 feet below ground surface and generally flows to the west/southwest.
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 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.
Where to Find Information
Project documents are available at the following locations to help the public stay informed.
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
Attn: Mary Jean Jakubowski
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo NY 14203
NYS DEC Region 9 Office
Attn: Chad Stanisewski
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo NY 14203
Project documents are also available at the top of this webpage under the heading: Digital Files.
Who to Contact
Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:
Project Related Questions
Division of Environmental Remediation
NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
Site Related Health Questions
NYS Dept. of Health
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
Development Related Questions
285 Niagara Operating Co., LLC
305 Niagara Street
Buffalo, NY 14201
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.
Aerial view of Niagara Street brownfield site