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Tract I Highland Avenue BCP Site

Site Number C932157

Fact Sheet - August 2013

Tract I Update: Status of Cleanup Actions at the Tract I Brownfield Site

Aerial view of the Tract 1 site
Aerial view of Tract I site

Clean-up Action is continuing at the site to address the contamination related to the Tract I Highland Avenue site ("site") located at 3123 Highland Avenue, Niagara Falls, Niagara County under New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP). 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.

The cleanup activities are being performed by the Brightfields Corporation with oversight provided by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Cleanup Activity Highlights

The goal of the cleanup action for the site is to achieve cleanup levels that protect public health and the environment.

Work Completed to Date Includes:

  • Installation of security fencing around the perimeter of the site,
  • Delivery and set-up of personnel trailer and equipment,
  • Removal of the hazardous substances and site debris,
  • Asbestos abatement within building structures; and
  • Demolition of the former Power City Warehouse Building to grade including the removal of concrete floors and foundations, including filling in the basement area with clean backfill.

On-Going Work/Yet to Be Completed:

  • Excavation and staging of the remaining contaminated soils in preparations for off-site disposal;
  • Removal of Underground Storage tanks discovered on the site; and
  • Final site grading.

Cleanup activities began in the Fall of 2012 and are expected to be completed this Fall.

Next Steps

After Brightfields completes the cleanup activities, they will prepare a Final Engineering Report (FER) and submit it to DEC. The FER will describe the cleanup activities completed and certify that cleanup requirements have been achieved or will be achieved.

When DEC is satisfied that cleanup requirements have been achieved or will be achieved for the site, it will approve the FER. DEC will then issue a Certificate of Completion (COC) to the applicant.

The applicant would be able to redevelop the site after receiving a COC. In addition, 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.

A fact sheet that describes the content of the FER will be sent to the site contact list. The fact sheet will identify any institutional controls (for example, deed restrictions) or engineering controls (for example, a site cap) necessary at the site in relation to the issuance of the COC.

Background

Location: The Tract I site is located in a mixed light industrial, commercial and residential area at 3123 Highland Ave in the City of Niagara Falls in Niagara County. It is approximately 5.90 acres and is bounded by Highland Ave to the west, the Tulip Corporation, a plastic recycling company to the north, a 60 foot wide National Grid Corp. utility right-of-way to the east and the Tract II Highland Avenue State Superfund Site (DEC Site Number 932136) to the south and east. Several commercial establishments and the Niagara Falls Alternative School are located to the west of the Property. Residential areas are located approximately 400 feet south and 700 feet east of the site.

Site Features: The site was mostly covered (approximately 3.3 acres) by the former Power City Warehouse Building, a three-story masonry building, which was in various levels of disrepair (the building has been demolished, as noted above). A small one-story building (approximately 462 square feet) is located in the northeast corner of the site. Roughly 30 percent of the site was grass and concrete surface, 15 percent wooded and undergrowth, and approximately 55 percent building structures. The western portion of the site consisted of a grassy area and a gravel drive to the loading dock area.

Historical Uses: The Power City Warehouse was formerly a battery manufacturing facility. Sometime around 1910, U.S. Light and Hest Co., and later Autolite Co., began automobile, truck, and tractor battery manufacturing. Prestolite Co. acquired the facility in the 1960s and retooled operations for manufacturing of hard rubber battery cases, filling of batteries with sulfuric acid, and battery charging. Operations at the facility ceased in the mid-1970s and relocated to 3001 Highland Avenue. After battery manufacturing ended in the mid-1970s, the site was used as an automotive body shop and a warehouse. The site has been vacant since the late 1980s. In 1990, the city of Niagara Falls retained ownership of the site due to tax foreclosure. Due to historical operations at the site, there were environmental concerns about potential residual impacts associated with the battery manufacturing processes.

Brownfield Cleanup Program: In December 2011, Brightfields Corporation submitted a BCP application to further evaluate the contamination at the site, and to evaluate remedial alternatives to address this contamination. This site was accepted into the BCP in March 2012. A Brownfield Cleanup Agreement between the applicant and DEC was executed in April 2012. The applicant submitted an IRM work plan for building demolition, a Data summary report and a RI WP which have been approved by DEC.

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

Air Monitoring Data

Six real-time air monitoring stations continually monitor dust and weather during demolition and cleanup activities. These monitors contain alarms to indicate if dust is exceeding limits set by governmental regulatory agencies. In the event any limit is exceeded, work will immediately cease, a thorough evaluation will be performed, and corrective measures will be taken prior to work resuming. All air monitoring results are available for public review by clicking on the air monitoring link in the right hand margin.

All air monitoring results are available for public review at the project document depository located in the Doris Jones Family Resource Center.

Brownfield Cleanup Program

New York's 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.

Doris W. Jones Family Resource Center
3001 9th Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14305
716-285-5374

DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
716-851-7220

Who to Contact

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

Project Related Questions
Timothy Dieffenbach
Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203
716-851-7220

Site-Related Health Questions
Matthew Forcucci
New York State Department of Health
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
716-847-4501
beei@health.state.ny.us

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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Site Location

Location of Tract I Brownfield site in relation to the Tract II Superfund Site
Tract I Brownfield site (in red) in relation to the Tract II Superfund site