D E C banner
D E C banner


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Lackawanna Incinerator

Site Number 915206

Fact Sheet September 2014
Lackawanna Incinerator Site - Interim Remedial Measure

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is conducting an expedited cleanup for an off-site area adjacent to the Lackawanna Incinerator Site ("site") located at 2960 South Park Ave., Lackawanna, Erie County. The work described below is to occur on the Baker Hall property at 150 Martin Road, immediately east and southeast of the Lackawanna Incinerator Site. Field work with heavy equipment is anticipated to begin late October 2014 and continue through January 2015. Please see the site location map below.

Lackawanna Interim Remedial Measure Letter Work Plan (PDF) (1.5 MB) - letter work plan which describes the activities proposed for the Lackawanna interim remedial measure (IRM).

Additional documents related to the cleanup of this site can be found at the location(s) identified below under "Where to Find Information."

Draft Interim Remedial Measure Work Plan

The cleanup action for the site intended to achieve Restricted Residential 6 NYCRR Part 375 Soil Cleanup Objectives involves the excavation of contaminated soil, placement of backfill and restoration of the area. The backfill shall consist of clean fill finished with six (6) inches of topsoil to
grade, as necessary. Restoration of excavated areas will include placement of a geo-textile fabric (jute or burlap-like biodegradable woven fabric) for surface protection during the winter months and/or a re-vegetation of the area. During the excavation and site restoration runoff control devices
will be employed to reduce erosion potential. The cleanup activities will be performed by a remedial contractor, with oversight and field direction provided by the NYSDEC's engineering consultant for this project, EA Engineering, P.C. (EA).

Summary of the Investigation

The sampling activities on the Baker Victory Services property have included:

  • October 2012 - three (3) co-located surface soil and soil borings locations and one (1) additional soil boring for the installation of monitoring well MW-05.
  • April 2013 - six (6) surface soil and four (4) soil boring locations.
  • July 2013 - nine (9) co-located surface soil and shallow soil boring locations.
  • August 2013 - five (5) co-located surface soil and shallow soil boring locations.
  • October/November 2013 - approximately 55 supplemental soil delineation sampling locations.

Laboratory analysis of collected soil samples indicate elevated levels of lead in the northwest portion of the Baker Victory Services property, with a maximum value of 2,460 mg/kg. The 6 NYCRR Part 375 Restricted Residential Soil Cleanup Objective is set at 400 ppm for lead. Arsenic was also identified with a maximum value of 20.8 mg/kg. The 6 NYCRR Part 375 Restricted Residential Soil Cleanup Objective is set at 16 ppm for arsenic.

Delineation of the extent of contamination (primarily lead and arsenic) continued through November 1, 2013. Field staff primarily used X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) handheld analyzers, but also obtained correlation samples which were then submitted to a certified laboratory for analysis to confirm the in-field XRF measurements.

The investigation has identified approximately 2 acres of surface and shallow soil (to a depth of approximately 4 feet below ground surface) that will be removed for off-site disposal during the course of this Interim Remedial Measure (IRM).
Contaminated soils identified through investigation also exist surrounding a buried natural gas distribution pipeline extending from an area at Reddon St. through the Baker property that will be hand cleared and backfilled, as necessary.

Next Steps

NYSDEC will approve the IRM work plan in consultation with New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). The approved work plan will be made available to the public (see "Where to Find Information" below). After the work plan is approved, the activities detailed in the work plan will be implemented.

Cleanup activities at the site are anticipated to take about three (3) months to complete at a cost of approximately $950,000. All construction work will be performed under full-time oversight by EA Engineering, P.C., the engineering consultant hired by NYSDEC. In addition, the contractor's Community Air Monitoring Plan, the Stormwater Management Plan, and the site-specific Health & Safety Plan for the work will be reviewed by NYSDEC to ensure that on-site workers, the nearby community and the Smokes Creek area are protected during these activities.
During cleanup activities, heavy excavation equipment and dump trucks will be used for the removal and off site transport of soil. Truck traffic in the area of Reddon St. is anticipated to increase during excavation activities. All truck traffic to and from the site associated with excavation and off-site disposal activities is being limited to non-residential areas to the greatest extent practical. Furthermore, the contractor is responsible for keeping the transportation route clean of soil being removed from the site as well as fill material being imported to the site during cleanup and restoration activities.
After cleanup activities are completed, NYSDEC will prepare a Final Engineering Report. The Final Engineering Report will describe the cleanup activities completed and certify that the Restricted Residential Soil Cleanup Objective has been achieved or will be achieved.


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

Project documents are available at the following location to help the public stay informed. For more information about the BCP.

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 12233-7017

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.

Site Location

Aerial map of Lackawanna Incinerator site
Aerial map of Lackawanna Incinerator site