AlTech Specialty Steel State Superfund Site
Fact Sheet September 2012
AlTech Update: Remedy Proposed for State Superfund Site;
Public Comment Period, September 12 through October 18 and Public Meeting 10/4 at 6:30 p.m.
Lucas Avenue Plant (LAP) building at AlTech site
DEC invites you to a public meeting to discuss the remedy proposed for the site: Thursday, 10/4/12 at 6:30 p.m.; Dunkirk High School - Auditorium. You are encouraged to provide comments at the meeting, and during the 30-day comment period described in this fact sheet.
The public is invited to comment on a remedy proposed by DEC related to AlTech Specialty Steel Corporation ("site") located at Lucas Avenue, Dunkirk, Chautauqua County. Please see Site Location for the map. Documents related to the cleanup of this site can be found at the location identified below under Where to Find Information.
How to Comment
DEC is accepting written comments about the proposed plan for 30 days, from September 12, 2012 through October 18, 2012. The proposed plan is available for review at the location identified below under Where to Find Information. Please submit comments to the project manager listed under Project Related Questions in the Who to Contact area below.
The site is listed as a Class "2" site in the State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites (list of State Superfund sites). A Class 2 site represents a significant threat to public health or the environment; action is required.
By the Numbers:
Waste inside the LAP building at AlTech site
1.65 acres - Willowbrook Pond's size, man-made cooling pond
12 years - length building has remained vacant
30 days - length of public comment period
90 acres - size of AlTech site
4,689 yards3 - amount of contaminated soil removed during 2007 IRM
178,000 sq. ft. - area of former manufacturing facility of the LAP building
1907 Atlas Crucible Steel Company, site used to manufacture iron and steel
1976 A management group buyout obtains Bar Products Division from Allegheny Ludlum and forms AlTech Specialty Steel
1997 - 1999 AlTech bankruptcy
1998 Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites listing - Class 2
1999 Formation of Dunkirk Specialty Steel (a.k.a Empire Specialty Steel), RealCo retains environmental responsibility for Lucas Avenue Plant (LAP), Willowbrook Pond and portion of Brigham Road Plant
2003 Phase II (RFI) and ICM Study
2008 Soil Vapor Intrusion Study
2007 IRM removed contaminated soils containing, excavation required partial demolition of existing building
Proposed Remedial Action Plan
Degrading building integrity at the LAP building at AlTech site
The remedy proposed for the site includes:
- Remedial program introducing 'green principles' for a sustainable redevelopment;
- Removal and proper disposal of all underground storage tanks (USTs) and electrical transformers;
- Demolition of the remaining building;
- Excavation of contaminated soils and hazardous waste metals including cadmium, chromium and lead;
- Soil treatment;
- Site cover for future commercial use;
- Place an environmental easement on the property, restricting future use of the property to industrial use, requiring evaluation of soil vapor intrusion and installation of a mitigation system, if warranted and prohibiting use of groundwater;
- Requiring future use to adhere to a Site Management Plan (SMP).
A remedial design program would be implemented to provide the details necessary for the construction, operation, maintenance, and monitoring of the remedial program. Green remediation principles and techniques will be implemented to the extent feasible in the design. Site-specific soil cleanup objectives (SCOs) relevant to the planned use of the site will be used to guide excavation of contaminated soils.
Institutional Controls would be required in the form of an environmental easement for the controlled property that:
- Requires the remedial party or site owner to submit a periodic certification of institutional and engineering controls;
- Allows the use and development of the controlled property for commercial and industrial use;
- Restricts the use of groundwater as a source of potable or process water;
- Requires evaluation of soil vapor intrusion and if necessary install a sub-slab vapor mitigation system before any new buildings could be built and;
- Requires compliance with the Department approved SMP.
The SMP would identify all use restrictions and engineering controls for the site, and detail the steps and requirements necessary to ensure the remedy remains in-place and effective. At the LAP a soil cover where building structures and pavement do not exist would be required. Details of the steps necessary to monitor and maintain this cover is in the SMP. The SMP also would include an Excavation Plan detailing how future excavations and resulting soils would be managed as well as including a Monitoring Plan to assess and report the performance and effectiveness of the remedy.
Waste inside the LAP building at AlTech site
DEC will consider public comments as it finalizes the remedy for the site. The selected remedy will be described in a document called a "Record of Decision" that will explain why the remedy was selected and respond to public comments. The project then moves to designing and performing the cleanup action to address the site contamination.
DEC will keep the public informed throughout the design and cleanup of the site.
The former AlTech Specialty Steel Corp. (AlTech) is an approximately 90 acre industrial site in the City of Dunkirk, Chautauqua County. Located north of Willowbrook Avenue, south of Lucas Avenue, east of Brigham Road the site is surrounded by mixed residential/commercial parcels including, single family residential, a lumber supply center, a municipal garage and the Dunkirk High School athletic fields.
The main facilities contain a mixture of active and inactive buildings and open land. The active facilities are partially fenced and consist mainly of the Brigham Road Plant and the Bar Finish and Storage Facility. There are inactive buildings, such as, the Howard Avenue Plant which are used for various purposes.
An approximately 1.65 acre man-made cooling pond known as Willowbrook Pond is located in the southwest corner of the main facilities. A tributary to Crooked Brook flows southeast to northwest toward Lake Erie through the southwest corner of the site. Open land on and around the main facilities includes maintained lawn areas and unmaintained former fill and disposal areas that have vegetated with native opportunistic grass, brush and tree species.
North of the main facilities is the former LAP. The LAP is a one-story, approximately 178,000-square-foot former manufacturing facility located on the south side of the west end of Lucas Avenue. Situated on a rectangular parcel of land 2025' by 200' the LAP was formerly a part of the larger adjoining AlTech site. The original LAP facility was constructed in 1909, with additions constructed in 1920, 1936, 1940, and 1968. The site is bordered by a rail line to the south, Brigham Road to the west, a City of Dunkirk Department of Public Works (DPW) building to the east and Lucas Avenue to the north. A residential neighborhood and public school are located on the north side of Lucas Avenue.
The AlTech site is divided into three operable units:
An operable unit (OU) represents a portion of a site remedy that for technical or administrative reasons can be addressed separately to eliminate or mitigate a release, threat of release or exposure pathway resulting from site contamination.
- OU-1 Lucas Avenue Plant - OU-1 includes the building and the property owned by RealCo identified as SBL 96.01-3-1 situated north of the railway parallel to Lucas Avenue.
- OU-2 Willowbrook Pond - This includes that area identified by SBL 96.10-1-1 owned by RealCo, the property known as the Brigham Road Plant, identified by SBL 96.06-3-79, owned by Dunkirk Acquisition LLC and the off-site extent of the impacted Tributary of Crooked Brook to the west of the site, identified by various SBLs and owners.
- OU-3 The AlTech Plant - This includes all the property in the main facility area identified by SBL 96.06-3-78 and SBL 96.06-3-77 both owned by Dunkirk Acquisition LLC.
LAP building at AlTech site
Current zoning is industrial. Since 2002, Dunkirk Acquisition, LLC d.b.a. Dunkirk Specialty Steel, has operated a large portion of the site as a steel and stainless steel processing facility.
Industrial use of the site has included the manufacture of iron and steel dating back to 1908. Foundry operations gave way to forging and finishing of stainless steel rod and wire from supplied billets.
Past operations at the facility leading to site contamination have included; pickling operations using molten sodium or barium salts, trichloroethylene pickle baths, metal plating operations, solid waste disposal, spillages, precipitation runoff and discharges into the cooling pond.
Investigations at the AlTech Site began as early as 1985 as part of a RCRA permit application. Site-wide investigations from 1992 to 2008 studied solid waste management units and areas of concern. The studies investigated all media including; surface soil, subsurface soil, groundwater, sediments and soil vapor/sub-slab vapor. Also included were studies focusing on sediments and ecological impacts to the tributary of Crooked Brook.
In 1998 the Department listed the site as a Class 2 site in the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites in New York State. A Class 2 site is a site where hazardous waste presents a significant threat to the public health or the environment and action is required.
Experiencing financial difficulties through the late 1990's AlTech Specialty Steel ceased operations in 2001. An asset holding corporation, named RealCo emerged from these difficulties to address environmental issues at the idled facility, including, but not limited to the LAP and Willowbrook Pond. In 2002 Dunkirk Acquisition, LLC d.b.a. Dunkirk Specialty Steel acquired out of bankruptcy, the assets of the AlTech Site except for the LAP, the Brigham Road Pickle Room and the Willowbrook Pond.
The site is located on broad glacio-lacustrine sedimentary deposits. Soils are tight silty, clayey soils consisting of urban fill over silt loams of the Niagara Silt loam complex. Groundwater is about 10 feet below the ground surface and is limited due to the tight nature of the bedrock and soils; however localized ponding can occur. Any groundwater present flows generally to the north toward Lake Erie but is strongly influenced by topographic features and man-made pathways. Bedrock is the Upper Devonian Shales of the Canadaway Group.
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. Visit DEC's website for more information about the State Superfund Program.
Dunkirk Free Library
536 Central Avenue
Dunkirk, NY 14048
Who to Contact
Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:
Project Related Questions:
NYS DEC, Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203-2915
Site-Related Health Questions:
584 Delaware Ave
Buffalo, NY 14202-1295
For More Information
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Aerial view of AlTech Specialty Steel Superfund Site