HARBORcenter - Webster Block
June 2014 Fact Sheet
HARBORcenter Update: Report Recommends No Further Action at Brownfield Site; Public Comment Period Announced
Artist rendering of HARBORcenter
The public is invited to comment on a no further action remedy for the Webster Block site ("site") located at 75 Main Street, Buffalo, Erie County. Please see the map for the site location. Documents related to the cleanup of this site can be found at the location(s) identified below under "Where to Find Information."
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is reviewing a report that recommends no further action at the site. The report, called a "Remedial Investigation Report," was submitted to NYSDEC by HARBORcenter Development, LLC ("applicant"). The report describes the results of the site investigation.
Digital Files of the Work Plan:
How to Comment
NYSDEC is accepting written comments about the investigation report for 45 days, from June 20, 2014 through August 4, 2014. The investigation report is available for public review at the location(s) identified below under "Where to Find Information." Please submit comments to the NYSDEC project manager listed under Project Related Questions in the "Who to Contact" area below.
Site developed and used for warehousing and manufacturing
1980 - present
Used as a parking lot
By the Numbers
2.08 acres - size of site
30 days - length of comment period
No Further Action Remedy
To remove all disturbed soil and fill unsuitable for redevelopment construction and to remediate the site, an Interim Remedial Measure ("IRM") was implemented. All soil/fill on site above the native material, was excavated and disposed of at a landfill. The depth of the excavation was approximately 10 to 11 feet.
A total of 52,839 tons or approximately 35,000 cubic yards of soil and fill were removed from the site. In addition, 121 truckloads of concrete and asphalt (approximately 1,815 tons) were sent off-site for recycling during the excavation.
Institutional and Engineering Controls
Institutional controls and engineering controls generally are designed to reduce or eliminate exposure to contaminants of concern. An institutional control is a non-physical restriction on use of the site, such as a deed restriction, when contamination left over after the cleanup action makes the site suitable for some, but not all uses. An engineering control is a physical barrier or method to manage contamination such as a cap or vapor barrier.
No institutional controls or engineering controls have been or will be put in place on the site.
NYSDEC will complete its review, make any necessary revisions and, if appropriate, approve the investigation report and its no further action recommendation. The approved report will be made available to the public (see "Where to Find Information" below).
If the approved investigation report concludes that no further action is needed to address the site, NYSDEC will issue a "Certificate of Completion" to the applicant. Upon receiving a Certificate of Completion, 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 and conditions of its Brownfield Cleanup Agreement with NYSDEC.
This proposed BCP site is located at 75 Main Street in the City of Buffalo, Erie County, is approximately 2.08 acres in size and is also known as the "Webster Block". The property is bounded on the west by Main Street; on the east by Washington Street; on the north by Scott Street and on the south by Perry Street.
The main feature of this site is the asphalt surface parking lot that is adjacent to First Niagara Center and HSBC Center office building and NFTA Metro Rail line.
The site is currently used for commercial purposes and has been utilized as a parking lot since the 1980's.
The intended use of this site is for the construction of a multi-story, multi-use facility that will include multiple floors of above ground parking, two ice rinks, retail space, a restaurant and a hotel. The development will comprise the entire 2.08 acres of the site.
Given its proximity to the Erie Canal and Buffalo Harbor, the site was within an area of dense commercial and industrial development. The site was occupied with multiple commercial, manufacturing and industrial uses over its history. These uses included oil storage, oil refining, machine shop and brass foundry, and various supply companies.
Site Geology and Hydrogeology:
Site investigations have revealed overburden soils consist of primarily fill material at the ground surface which varies in thickness from 8 to 10 feet with some areas deeper than 15 feet. Soil beneath consists of alternating layers of silty clay, fine to sandy silt and gravel and a layer of peat. Bedrock is approximately 50 feet below grade.
Fill material is heterogeneous and consists of a mixture of sand, silt, clay, ash/cinders, organic matter and demolition debris. Layers of ash/cinders have been observed to be 3 to 4 feet thick with scattered deposits of coal, slag, coal tar and petroleum-impacted soil.
Surface elevations along the inner-harbor are approximately 580 feet. It is near the Buffalo River at its discharge point to Lake Erie and this area is in a low-lying lake plain adjacent to Lake Erie.
Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on DEC's website.
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 may 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. For more information about the BCP, visit 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.
Buffalo & Erie Public Library
ATTN: Reference Librarian
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo NY 14203
NYSDEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo NY 14203
Who to Contact
Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:
Project Related Questions:
NYS DEC, DER
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203-2915
Site-Related Health Questions:
584 Delaware Ave
Buffalo, NY 14202-1295
Redevelopment Related Questions:
HARBORcenter Development, LLC
1 Seymour Knox III Plaza
Buffalo, NY 14203
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.
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 available. 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.
Aerial view of HARBORcenter site