125 Main Street Site
Fact Sheet - July 2013
125 Main Street Update: Remedy Proposed for Brownfield Site Contamination; Public Comment Period Announced
The public is invited to comment on a proposed remedy being reviewed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to address contamination related to the 125 Main Street Site ("site") located at 125 Main 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 location identified below under Where to Find Information.
Based on the findings of the investigation, DEC in consultation with New York State Department of Health (DOH) has determined the site poses no significant threat.
- Proposed Decision Document (12 page PDF, 1.12 MB)
- Remedial Investigation - Text (Document 1 of 3) (33 page PDF, 1.92 MB)
- Remedial Investigation - Tables (Document 2 of 3) (13 page PDF, 1.96 MB)
- Remedial Investigation - Figures (Document 3 of 3) (8 page PDF, 3.61 MB)
How to Comment
DEC is accepting written comments about the proposed plan for 45 days, from July 26, 2013 through September 9, 2013. The proposed plan is available for public review at the location 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.
Draft Remedial Work Plan and Proposed Decision Document
The cleanup plan is described in DEC's Proposed Decision Document, which is based on a more detailed "Alternatives Analysis Report." The proposed remedy consists of: The site will be covered with pavement, stone or clean soil to allow for restricted-residential use of the property. An environmental easement will be imposed that will restrict the property to restricted-residential uses. Use of the groundwater as a source of potable or process water will be restricted.
A Site Management Plan will be required that: details the management of future excavations in areas of remaining contamination; assesses the performance and effectiveness of the site cover; and details the steps necessary for the periodic review and certification of these controls.
The proposed remedy was developed by Harbor District Associates, LLC ("applicant(s)") after performing a detailed investigation of the site under New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP).
Summary of the Investigation
Fill material, consisting of ash, cinders, slag, broken concrete and brick, lies beneath the entire site in a layer up to 20 feet thick. The fill material is contaminated with metals and a group of compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are frequently found in the waste products of fossil fuel combustion, such as cinders and ash. Groundwater beneath the site is also contaminated with many of the same metals as the fill.
In the construction of an underground parking lot, 18,000 tons of contaminated fill was recently removed. Ingestion or direct contact with the remaining contaminated fill or groundwater poses a health risk and will need to be addressed.
DEC will consider public comments, revise the plan as necessary, and issue a final Decision Document. DOH must concur with the proposed remedy. After approval, the proposed remedy becomes the selected remedy. The draft Remedial Work Plan and Proposed Decision Document are revised as needed to describe the selected remedy, and will be made available to the public.
DEC will keep the public informed throughout the investigation and cleanup of the site.
Location: The site is located in the historic canal district of the City of Buffalo, Erie County, New York. The site is bound by an active, depressed railroad track and elevated section of Interstate 190 to the north; Scott Street to the south; Washington Street to the east; and Main Street to the west. The site is located in a predominantly commercial area of the City of Buffalo. The nearest residential development is located approximately 0.15-miles to the west of the site.
The site is comprised of two separate parcels, identified as parcels D1 and D2. Parcel D1 is the main development parcel and is approximately 1.61 acres. Parcel D2 is approximately 0.32 acres and is located south of D1 along Scott Street.
Site Features: The property was previously owned and operated by the New York State Office of General Services (OGS) and consists of an eight story office building. Asphalt parking areas cover most of the remaining site. The site is generally flat but drops several feet in elevation from north to south. The Hamburg Canal once transected the southern half of the site; the Hamburg Drain, a large combined sewer, is located within the backfilled canal.
Current Zoning Use: Currently the site is occupied by a vacant structure that is being re-developed into an office and retail building. The property is zoned for commercial uses.
Past Use of the Site: The site was once occupied by commercial storefronts, a restaurant, a junk yard, a contractor's yard, the American Bit Brace Factory, a machine shop, the Cooper and Sibley Paper Box factory, a boot and shoe manufacturer, a tin shop, a paint shop, a patent medicine manufacturer, and a wire works. Quay Street once ran east and west through the central area of the site, parallel to the Hamburg Canal. The Lehigh Valley Railroad passenger terminal was once located in the southern end of the site, atop the Hamburg Canal which had been backfilled between 1899 and 1925. The office building was constructed in 1960, with three underground storage tanks (USTs) installed beneath the paved parking areas for gasoline, diesel and fuel oil. The three USTs were removed and successfully remediated in 2008. Prior uses that appear to have led to site contamination include machining and painting operations that occurred on site and the storage and use of petroleum and other fossil fuels.
Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on DEC's website.
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
Public interest in this project is valued and appreciated. Project documents are available for review at the following locations to help the public stay informed:
Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY 14203
Attn: Mary Jean Jakubowski
NYSDEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14203
Attn: Mr. David Locey
(Please call for an appointment)
Who to Contact
Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:
Environmental Related Questions
Mr. David Locey
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14203
(Please call for an appointment)
Health Related Questions
Ms. Scarlett Messier-McLaughlin
Public Health Specialist
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
Flanigan Square, Room 300
547 River Street
Troy, NY 12180
Project Development Questions
Mr. Mike DePriest
Harbor District Associates, LLC
570 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
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 the 125 Main Street brownfield site