Covanta Niagara Rail-to-Truck Intermodal Facility
Fact Sheet May 2013
Covanta Update: Cleanup Action to Begin
Action is about to begin that will address the contamination related to the Covanta Niagara Rail-to-Truck Intermodal Facility site ("site") located at 137 47th Street, Niagara Falls, Niagara County under New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP). Please see the map for the Site Location. Documents related to the cleanup of this site can be found at the locations identified below under Where to Find Information.
The cleanup activities will be performed by the BCP applicant with oversight provided by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
Digital Files of the Work Plan
- Decision Document (22 page PDF, 3.66 MB)
- Remedial Alternatives Analysis Report & Remedial Action Work Plan - Text (Document 1 of 2) (41 page PDF, 1.50 MB)
- Remedial Alternatives Analysis Report & Remedial Action Work Plan - Figures (Document 2 of 2) (3 page PDF, 4.52 MB)
- Remedial Investigation (RI) Report - Text and Appendices (Document 1 of 2) (63 page PDF, 3.74 MB)
- Remedial Investigation (RI) Report - Text and Appendices (Document 2 of 2) (106 page PDF, 2.96 MB)
Highlights of the Upcoming Cleanup Activities
The goal of the cleanup action for the site is to achieve cleanup levels that protect public health and the environment. The cleanup action for the site includes:
- Removal and disposal of fill material excavated to facilitate site redevelopment,
- Cover entire site with clean fill, asphalt, concrete or railroad ballast,
- Remove contaminated water from sumps and pits and closure in place,
- Remove and properly dispose regulated building material,
- Place an environmental easement on the property,
- Implement OM&M Plan for the engineering controls,
- Perform annual certification of the engineering and institutional controls, and
- Implement a Site Management Plan to control future site activity.
After the applicant completes the cleanup activities, they will prepare a Final Engineering Report (FER) and submit it to DEC. The FER will describe the cleanup activities completed and certify that cleanup requirements have been achieved or will be achieved.
When DEC is satisfied that cleanup requirements have been achieved or will be achieved for the site, it will approve the FER. DEC will then issue a Certificate of Completion (COC) to the applicant(s).
The applicant(s) would be able to redevelop the site after receiving a COC. In addition, the applicant(s):
- 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 fact sheet that describes the content of the FER will be sent to the site contact list. The fact sheet will identify any institutional controls (for example, deed restrictions) or engineering controls (for example, a site cap) necessary at the site in relation to the issuance of the COC.
Location: The project site encompasses approximately 15-acres along the railroad tracks on the eastern edge of a larger, former industrial complex that is located at 137 47th Street in the City of Niagara Falls.
Site Features: The project site is occupied by one approximately 13,700 sq ft building formerly utilized for the maintenance and repair of locomotives; an inactive rail yard; and concrete floor slabs representing remnants of the former industrial complex. The on-site structure is not currently utilized and is in a deteriorated state. The remaining portions of the project site generally consist of aged asphalt, concrete and gravel surfaces with some successional vegetation occurring along the eastern site boundary.
Current Zoning/Use: The site is currently vacant and zoned for industrial use.
Historic Uses: The project site was owned and operated by the Union Carbide Corporation Metals Division, which first developed the complex in the early 1900's. The plant produced special alloys, tungsten, ferroalloys, calcium carbide and ferrovanadium ferrotungsten. Union Carbide's Linde Division also operated a welding flux manufacturing facility on the plant property. Praxair, Inc., the current owner of the property containing the project site, is a corporate successor to Union Carbide's Linde Division. Other industrial operators on the Praxair property have included ESAB, L-Tech, Stratcor, Inc., US Vanadium and UMETCO. From the time of the initial development of the Union Carbide plant, the 15-acre project site was primarily utilized for rail facilities that serviced the plant and other adjacent industries including the former Electromet facility which is the suspected source of the Technically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM) that has been identified on site.
3/6/13 - DEC signed the Brownfield Cleanup Program Acceptance Letter for this site
4/10/13 - DEC signed the Brownfield Cleanup Agreement for this site
5/01/13 - DEC signed Decision Document
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
Project documents are available at the following locations to help the public stay informed. Project documents are available at the locations listed below:
By Appointment at:
NYS DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203-2915
Niagara Falls Public Library
8728 Buffalo Ave
Niagara Falls NY 14304
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 Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203-2915
Site-Related Health Questions:
584 Delaware Ave
Buffalo, NY 14202-1295
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.
Aerial view of Covanta brownfield site