Durez North Tonawanda Facility
September 2012 Fact Sheet
Durez Update: Drainage Improvement and Wildlife Revitalization
A drainage improvement and wildlife revitalization project is planned for the former Durez Plastics Site located at 700 Walck Road in the City of North Tonawanda, Niagara County, New York. The site is currently operated by Glenn Springs Holdings, Inc., an affiliate of Occidental Chemical Corporation (OCC). This work is being performed as part of the site's Operation, Maintenance, and Monitoring (OM&M) requirements and will improve area surface drainage, reduce/eliminate potential surface runoff from the site to off site locations, remove trees and vegetation that could impact the perimeter interceptor trench, which provides groundwater containment for the site, and provide a response to neighborhood concerns regarding surface runoff from the site.
By the Numbers:
2 - # of brownfields in site, 'Durez' and 'PCF Inlet'
5.5 acres - area of PCF Inlet
4.9 acres - replanting area with native vegetation
6 to 8 weeks - length of project
15 years - length site has remained vacant
67.8 acres - total area of site
2,500 feet - length of tree line clearing along CSX line
90,000 sq. ft. - area of proposed new wetland
1921 - 1926
General Plastics founded, name changed to Durez
1950 - 1960
Site becomes Hooker Chemical then OCC
OCC begins shutting down operations at site
1995 - 1996
Operations ceased at site
1997 - 2012
Vacant site currently groundwater collection and treatment system year round
September: construction activities starting
Fall: native wetland vegetation and prairie grass mixtures planted
Spring: native tree and shrub planting to be completed
Highlights of the Scope of Work
The scope of work to be completed at the site is comprised of the following primary tasks:
- Clearing of standing trees and underbrush along the northern and eastern property lines
- Excavation and stone lining of the drainage ditch along the eastern property line
- Excavation and installation of a subsurface flow engineered wetland along the northern property line
- Regrading of ground surface areas along the perimeter of the site to prevent potential for surface runoff from the site to off site areas
- Regrading of interior locations to prevent on site ponding of surface runoff
- Replanting of approximately 4.9 acres of cleared area with native wetland vegetation, native prairie grass mixtures, native hardwood trees, shrubbery, and evergreens
- Installation of Eastern Bluebird boxes and bat boxes
Scope of Work Details
The project work will include grubbing and clearing activities along the northern and eastern borders of the site. The grubbing and clearing activities will result in the removal of all trees and underbrush from the drainage ditch along the eastern property line adjacent to the former CSX rail line (approximately 2,500 feet in length). It will also result in the removal of all trees and underbrush along the northern property line to facilitate the installation of a 90,000 square foot subsurface flow (SSF) engineered wetland. Flow through an SSF wetland is designed to occur below the surface and results in little to no standing water visibly present. These clearing activities are necessary to prepare the areas for improvement and to create a more level surface within the site and along the borders of the property in order to discourage ponding of surface water and storm water. The SSF wetland will be installed in the northern portion of the property. This feature will provide a subsurface pathway for storm and surface water that enters the Site from the north to move across the property and into the eastern drainage ditch. The wetland will include plants that will consume large volumes of water and are native to the Western New York area. The use of a SSF wetland will further prevent the ponding of water along the northern property boundary as well as reduce the presence of nuisance insects. The drainage ditch along the eastern property line, once cleared, will be regraded to have the proper slope and relined with construction fabric and stone to prevent surface erosion and the regrowth of woody vegetation in the ditch.
Within the northern area of the property adjacent to the newly installed wetland, a variety of tree and shrub plantings will be installed over a 4.9 acre area. The plantings that are planned for this area include tree and shrub species that are commonly found in northeastern United States forestland and provide wildlife value and cover. In the fall of 2012, native wetland vegetation and native prairie grass mixtures will be planted. The tree and shrub plantings will be completed in the spring of 2013 and will include hardwood trees such as Yellow Birch, Red Oak, Sugar Maple, Walnut, Shagbark Hickory, native eastern shrubbery such as Nannybark, Dogwood, Common Lilac, American Black Elderberry, Arrowwood Viburnum, and evergreens such as Colorado Blue Spruce and Black Hills Spruce.
A series of Eastern Bluebird boxes will be installed within this area to encourage the establishment of this valuable bird species, which is also the State Bird of New York. Additionally, bat boxes will be installed to promote the reduction of nuisance insects.
This work is being performed as a sustainable, cooperative effort among Conestoga Rovers & Associates, Glenn Springs Holdings, Inc., and DEC. All materials grubbed and cleared from the work will be chipped and reused on site. All soils that are excavated during the project will be reused at the Site for regrading low lying areas and to prevent surface runoff to off site areas. Trees that will be cut down during the regrading activities will be replaced with native Western New York plantings on the site.
The containment and treatment system that is currently operating at the facility is fully functional and will not be affected by this work. Construction activities will be commencing in September 2012 and will occur from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, so that a disturbance to the surrounding community does not occur. Work activities are expected to take approximately 6 to 8 weeks to complete.
Founded in 1921 by Harry M. Dent as General Plastics, Inc., the site changed its name to Durez Plastics and Chemical Co. in 1926. In the mid 1950s, the company joined Hooker Chemical until Hooker Chemical was purchased by OCC in the mid 1960s. OCC operated the facility until it began slowly shutting down operations in the mid to late 1980s and ceased operations in 1995/1996. The Site manufactured various chemicals and plastics for use by industry. The primary chemicals used at the Site were phenol and formaldehyde. These chemicals were used largely for the production of phenolic resins and molding compound products.
During the period that the plant was operating, there were several areas where waste material was buried or where spills from operations had occurred that resulted in impacted surface and subsurface soils, as well as groundwater beneath the facility.
Demolition of all plant structures was completed in December 1997. The site is currently a vacant field with a groundwater collection and treatment system in operation 365 days a year. All approved remedial activities have been completed, and the site is in the OM&M phase of the Remedial Action.
In 1977, OCC and the DEC entered into negotiations regarding concerns over impacted surface sediment, site soils, and groundwater. To address the DEC's concerns, OCC entered into several agreements with the DEC, including a Partial Consent Judgment (PCJ). The PCJ defined the Site as those properties located at 700 Walck Road (approximately 67.8 acres), the City storm sewer system known as the Pettit Creek Flume (PCF), and the discharge point of the PCF known as the PCF Inlet or Cove (approximately 5.5 acres in area). Following the execution of the PCJ, OCC engaged in multiple environmental investigations culminating in the Remedial Action for the site in 1989/1990 with the installation of the Site's Interceptor Trench (IT) and an activated carbon water treatment system. Since 1989/1990, the site has operated in accordance with the PCJ and the Site's OM&M requirements.
Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on DEC's website.
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. Visit State Superfund Program, for more information.
NYS DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14203
(Call for appointment)
For More Information
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Who to Contact
Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:
Project Related Questions:
NYS DEC, Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203-2915
Site-Related Health Questions:
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202-1295
Aerial view of Durez site