Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Lackawanna Incinerator

Site Number 915206

Digital Files

Below is an abbreviated version of work plans in PDF form for download. To view the complete document, please contact DEC or visit the document repositories listed under Where to Find Information.


The Lackawanna Incinerator Site is situated on a 1.57 acre city-owned parcel of land at 2960 South Park Avenue in an urban area of the City of Lackawanna, Erie County, NY.

Site Features:
The site's main structural features are two red-brick, multi-story buildings and associated chimneys that housed municipal solid waste incinerators. The southern incinerator building was constructed in 1927 and the northern incinerator building was constructed circa 1950. In the center of the site is a large ramp-like mound of fill (approximately 20 feet in elevation at its highest) that provides access to the northern incinerator's third floor. There is a primarily unpaved area on the southern portion of the property with a framed shed currently used to house equipment for the City DPW.

The site is enclosed and secured by a 6-foot chain link fence that extends to the DPW garage property to the south where a gate provides access to both properties. To the north of the site lies Smokes Creek; to the east is a grassy field that is part of the Baker Hall School property; and to the west is a sports athletic field and stadium with a 70+ space asphalt parking area along South Park Avenue that serves the athletic field.

A storm sewer system exists onsite with two (2) catch basins on the east and west of the northern incinerator building. Two reinforced concrete conduits (one 12-inch, one 24-inch) carry storm water flow from the site to Smokes Creek.

A few commercial parcels are located immediately adjacent to the site with numerous single-family residential properties located just beyond the site to the west and south. To the north are Smokes Creek (flows west to Lake Erie) and then the Holy Cross Cemetery. To the east is the Baker Hall School. Immediately to the west is a recreational athletic field and stadium, currently known as Lackawanna's Veterans Stadium (formerly as the Ron Jaworski Stadium and the South Park Stadium).

Current Use:
The primary use of the site is as a materials staging and an equipment/vehicles storage area for the City Department of Public Works. The Office of Sanitation is housed across Reddon St. to the south. The basement of the northern incinerator is currently being used by the City animal control officer for the temporary caging of animals. The site is immediately surrounded by mixed-commercial-residential space.

Historical Uses:
Operations at the site began in 1927 with the first fire of the municipal incinerator (southern). The southern incinerator operated until about 1950 when the second incinerator (northern) went into operation. Operation of the northern incinerator ceased in 1980. The northern incinerator was constructed and then a mound of fill was placed as a ramp for dump truck traffic to access the third floor of the incinerator.

During the 1950's construction and site regrading, material spilled into the lower floor of the southern incinerator, limiting access to the second floor. Initially the northern access ramp was constructed from a mix of soil and steel foundry slag and was over time widened to the east and west through the addition of street sweepings and discarded refractory brick from the incinerator chimneys during routine repair and maintenance activities. In 2005 the City conducted an environmental investigation of the site with field activities taking place from April 4th to 29th. Results indicate that elevated concentrations of lead and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are present in the incinerator ash in the fill mound. The maximum lead concentrations were 23,000 ppm; however most of the lead concentrations were 1,000 ppm or less.

Site Geology and Hydrogeology:
Elevations of the Site range from approximately 585 feet to 615 feet above mean sea level (AMSL) with the native soil/fill interface consistently around 591-593 AMSL. The local water table exists from 586-589 feet AMSL, 6 to 10 feet below ground surface (excluding the area of the fill mound). Surface water drainage flows radially from the elevated fill ramp to drainage ditches and storm water catch basins which eventually drain northward into Smokes Creek.

The Soil Survey of Erie County, New York, produced and distributed by the United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service (USDA-SCS), identified soils at the Site as Dumps (Dp) a miscellaneous area filled with rubbish and debris (USDA-SCS, 1986). Based on the 2005 environmental investigation, the fill material, which varies in thickness from 2 to 22 feet, is underlain by lacustrine silt and clay deposits.

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

State Superfund Program

New York's State Superfund Program (SSF) identifies and characterizes suspected inactive hazardous waste disposal sites. Sites that pose a significant threat to public health and/or the environment go through a process of investigation, evaluation, cleanup and monitoring. DEC attempts to identify parties responsible for site contamination and require cleanup before committing State funds.

Where to Find Information

Public interest in this project is valued and appreciated. Project documents are available at the following location to help the public stay informed. You may also view electronic versions of project documents in the Digital Files section above (if available). Large documents may be abbreviated to meet DEC's file size requirements for posting to the website. Hard copies of full project documents are available at the listed locations.

Lackawanna Public Library
560 Ridge Road
Lackawanna, NY 14218

NYS DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14203

Who to Contact

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

Project Related Questions:
David Gardner
DEC, Division of Environmental Remediation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233

Site-Related Health Questions:
Jacquelyn Nealon
NYS DOH, Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
ESP Corning Tower Room #1787
Albany, NY 12237

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.

*Receive Site Fact Sheets by Email

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. It's quick, it's free, and it will help keep you better informed.

As a listserv member, you will periodically receive site-related information/announcements for all contaminated sites in the county(ies) you select. You may continue also to receive paper copies of site information for a time after you sign up with a county listserv, until the transition to electronic distribution is complete.

  • Important Links
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 716-851-7220.
  • Contact for this Page
    Region 9 Headquarters
    270 Michigan Avenue
    Buffalo NY 14203
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Region 9