Tecumseh Phase III
Fact Sheet November 2013
Tecumseh Update: Cleanup Action Completed at Brownfield Site
Action has been completed to address the contamination related to the Site III-7 Tecumseh Phase III Business Park site ("site") located at 2537 Hamburg Turnpike, Lackawanna, Erie County under New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program. Please see the map for the Site Location.
The cleanup activities were performed by Welded Tube USA Realty, LLC ("applicant(s)") with oversight provided by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The applicant has submitted a draft Final Engineering Report for DEC review which states that cleanup requirements have been or will be achieved to fully protect public health and the environment for the proposed site use.
Highlights of the Site Cleanup
The remedy for the Tecumseh Phase III-7 site included removal of soils determined to be sources for potential human contact and further degradation to the environment, and the installation of a cover system over remaining exposed soils. The source soils have been removed and construction of a manufacturing facility is complete. Remaining exposed soils were covered with a one foot of cover over a demarcation layer. An institutional control (environmental easement) will be placed on the property which will; restrict the use of the site to commercial or industrial uses, prohibit groundwater use, require adherence to a Site Management Plan, continue maintenance of the cover and, require periodic certification that all required items or restrictions remain in place.
When DEC approves the Final Engineering Report, it will be made available to the public (see Where to Find Information below). DEC then will issue a Certificate of Completion which will be announced in a fact sheet that is sent to the site contact list.
The applicant would be able to redevelop the site after receiving a Certificate of Completion. 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 Certificate of Completion may be modified or revoked if, for example, an applicant does not comply with the terms of its Brownfield Cleanup Agreement with DEC.
Digital Files of the Proposed Decision Documents
- III-7: Proposed Decision Document (12 page PDF, 1.77 MB)
- III-8: Proposed Decision Document (12 page PDF, 1.77 MB)
Prior to Remediation: Widespread exceedances of unrestricted use site cleanup objectives (SCOs) are common in the soil and fill. Based upon investigations conducted to date, the primary contaminants of concern for soils at the Tecumseh Phase III-7 and III-8 site are metals, including arsenic and lead. The nature and extent of metals contamination is consistent with the former site use as a steel manufacturing facility. Contaminants of concern to a lesser extent are semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs are usually associated with those activities that include burning of fossil fuels and heavy rail use, both of which were ubiquitous at the former steel mill.
Groundwater was sampled and low levels of PAHs exceeding the groundwater quality standards (GwQS) including naphthalene and benzo(a)anthracene were present in one of the on-site monitoring wells. Test pit data surrounding the monitoring well did not indicate a source area(s) near this well.
Groundwater is not used at the site and deed restricted from use for either potable or non-potable purposes without treatment. The site does not pose a significant threat to the closest surface water.
Location: The Tecumseh Phase III-7 is one of 10 sub-parcels comprising the Tecumseh Phase III Business Park (Phase III). Phase III is located at 1958 Hamburg Turnpike in the City of Lackawanna, New York. Situated in an industrial area, Phase III is part of a larger property that once included the Bethlehem Steel Company (BSC) and is identified on the Erie County Tax maps as SBL 141.11-1.111. Phase III is located west of Route 5 and the Tecumseh Phase II Business Park, south of Gateway Metroport and east of the remaining former Bethlehem Steel property and Lake Erie.
Tecumseh Phase III-8 is one of 10 sub-parcels comprising the Tecumseh Phase III Business Park (Phase III) located at 1958 Hamburg Turnpike in the City of Lackawanna, New York. Situated in a former industrial area, Phase III is part of a larger property that once included the BSC identified on the Erie County Tax maps as SBL 141.11-1.111. Phase III is located to the west of Route 5 and the Tecumseh Phase II Business Park, to the south of Gateway Metroport and east of the remaining Former Bethlehem Steel Property.
Site Features: Centrally located within Phase III is Phase III-7, a 39.23 acre, non-descript, sub-parcel with no remarkable or unique features. The mostly rectangular Phase III is approximately 5,500 feet long, averages 1,500 feet wide and is 148.83 acres in size. Bisected by Smokes Creek, Phase III is flat, covered with slag fill and remnants of former steel manufacturing buildings and foundations. Most of the business park is vegetated with natural grasses, shrubs and poplar trees typical of a primary shrub-young forest ecosystem. The entire BSC site is fenced with vehicle access limited to one automatic gate.
Phase III-8 is a smaller 5.92 acre, rectangular, sub-parcel centrally located within Phase III. Along the northern and eastern side of the Site is sub-parcel III-9 and to the south is sub-parcel III-7.
Zoning/Use: Phase III and the Site are zoned medium industrial. Surrounding uses near the site include: adjacent, to the west, a rail corridor within Parcel III-10; further west, a portion of the BSC that is a class 2 inactive hazardous waste disposal site being addressed by the responsible party; adjacent along the eastern side is a drainage feature, named the South Water Return Trench; beyond which is the Tecumseh Phase II Business Park Site, Site #C915198; and, to the south are sub-parcels III-5 and III-6. Future use anticipates industrial re-use.
Historic Use: Formerly Phase III was a portion of BSC's steel making operations. Specific processes and steel making facilities performed on or proximate to the Site included:
- Open Hearth Furnaces
- Basic Oxygen Furnace
- Mold Warming and Preparation
- Electrical Substations
- Wastewater Treatment
Geology/Hydrology: The entire Phase III is filled with between two to eight feet of steel and iron-making slag as well as other fill material being used for backfill. Underlying fill material are lacustrine silts and clays. Native materials are encountered from about 12 to 14 feet below ground surface.
Bedrock is Middle Devonian age, Skaneateles Formation, consisting of Levanna shale and Stafford limestone of the Hamilton Group. Bedrock varies from about 24 feet deep in the southeastern corner of the site to 45 feet deep with the near the northern border of Phase III.
Due to the porous nature of the slag/soil fill there is very little storm water retention, or surface runoff, as most of the precipitation seeps into the highly permeable slag/soil fill. Any surface waters flow into the South Water Return Trench which parallels the eastern border of the property and flows southerly where it empties into Smokes Creek which discharges to the west into Lake Erie.
Groundwater, when encountered, is about 7 feet deep trending westerly and northerly toward Lake Erie.
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 for review at the following locations to help the public stay informed.
Lackawanna Public Library
560 Ridge Road
Lackawanna NY 14218
NYS DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo NY 14203
(Call for appointment)
Who to Contact
Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:
NYS DEC, Region 9
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
(Call for appointment)
Site-Related Health Questions
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202
Thomas Forbes, P.E.
Turnkey Environmental Restoration, LLC
2558 Hamburg Turnpike, Suite #300
Buffalo, NY 14218
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Aerial view of site location