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Durez North Tonawanda Facility

Site Number 932018

Digital Files

Below are fact sheets and abbreviated versions of work plans (if available) for this site 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 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. (GSH), an affiliate of Occidental Chemical Corporation (OCC). Remediation at the site is complete and the site is currently in site management. Recent actions have been conducted under site management to improve on-site stormwater drainage, remove residual contamination from surrounding sewers, and repair sewers to prevent the infiltration of groundwater. All non-routine work completed at the site by GSH is subject to a DEC approved work plan.

Site Timeline:

1921 - 1926: General Plastics founded, name changed to Durez
1950 - 1960: Site acquired by Hooker Chemical and subsequently by OCC
1980s: OCC begins shutting down operations at site
1995 - 1996:Operations ceased at site
1997: All production buildings demolished
1995 - 2016: Groundwater collection and treatment system operational. Site management plan in place.

Site History

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 shutting down operations in the mid to late 1980s. The facility finally ceased operations in 1995/1996. While operating, 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 used to make commercial plastic products.

During the period that the plant was operating, waste material was disposed of at several on-site areas and chemical spills were reported periodically. Additionally, plant wastes were directly discharged through the Pettit Creek Flume (a storm sewer) which ultimately discharges directly into a small cove in the Little Niagara River known as the Pettit Creek Cove. These releases have resulted in impacts to the on-site surface soil, subsurface soil, and groundwater; with off-site impacts to City of North Tonawanda sewers and portions of the Little Niagara River.

In 1977, OCC and the DEC entered into negotiations regarding concerns over impacted sediments, 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 beginning in 1989/1990 and ending in 1995.

Demolition of all plant structures was completed in December 1997. The plant site is currently a vacant field with a continuously operating groundwater collection and treatment system. All approved remedial activities have been completed, and the site is in the operation, maintenance, and monitoring (OM&M) phase of the remedial action.

Remedial History

The site is divided into three operable units: the Durez Plant Site (67.8 acres), the Plant and City Sewers, and the PCF Inlet (5.5 acres). Remedial construction in all operable units was completed by 1995 in accordance with the February 1989 and March 1992 Records of Decision (RODs) and the approved remedial designs.

The remedy implemented at the Durez Plant included: installation of a groundwater collection trench to contain overburden groundwater/leachate, on-site treatment of collected groundwater/leachate, and a clean soil cover and appropriate vegetation over the plant site.

The remedy implemented in the Plant and City sewers included: proper closure of all inactive Plant Sewer lines and removal of contamination from the surrounding City sewers and Pettit Creek Flume.

The remedy implemented at the PCF Inlet included: relocation of the Lockport Water Intake Line (LWL) from the Pettit Creek Cove, diversion of the PCF sewer, removal of soft sediments from the Cove, removal of contaminated bedding material from below the LWL, containment and extraction of semi-volatile organics contamination in the North Lobe subsurface soils, and restoration of the Pettit Creek Cove.

Since completion of remedial action the Durez Plant Site and PCF Inlet operable units have been monitored and maintained under a site management plan. The entire Durez Plant Site is fenced and the only remaining structures are related to the groundwater collection and treatment system.

Recent Actions

In 2013/2014 the northern 'pan handle' portion of the Durez Plant Site was regraded to improve site drainage and prevent potentially contaminated soil from eroding into the adjacent eastern drainage ditch. The project included the creation of a 'subsurface flow wetland', planting of additional trees and shrubs, and regrading of the drainage ditch.

In 2014 additional sediments were removed from the PCF and three sewer laterals (Walck Road, Wilson Avenue, and Harding Avenue) adjacent to the Durez Plant Site. A total of 209.36 tons of sediment were removed from these sewers and transported for disposal Republic Services' Niagara Falls Landfill. Concurrent to this work, three sewer laterals (Esther Street, Euclid Avenue, and Prospect Avenue) connected to the PCF were cleared and repaired due to being in poor condition. The sewers were repaired using cure-in-place piping (CIPP). All sewers were video inspected prior to demobilization to ensure that all sediment removal/repair work was complete.

As a follow-up to the 2014 sewer work the section of the Walck Road sewer adjacent to the Durez Plant Site was repaired using the CIPP process. This work was completed during the summer of 2016.

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. 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.

NYS DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
716-851-7220
(Call for appointment)

North Tonawanda Public Library
505 Meadow Drive
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
(716) 693-4132

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.

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Whom to Contact

For more information about activities at the site, or if you have questions, comments, or concerns, we encourage you to contact the representatives listed below. If you know anyone who would like to be added to the e-mailing list to receive project updates, please have them contact one of the DEC representatives listed below.

Project Related Questions:
Ben McPherson
NYS DEC, Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
716-851-7220
region9@dec.ny.gov

Site-Related Health Questions:
Matthew Forcucci
NYS DOH
584 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14202-1295
716-847-4501
beei@health.ny.gov