November 2013 Fact Sheet
AVM Gowanda Update: Work On-Going at Superfund Site
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is cleaning up the AVM Gowanda site ("site") located at One Industrial Place, Gowanda, NY in Cattaraugus County. 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 site is listed as a Class "2" site in the State Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites (list of State Superfund sites). A Class 2 site represents a significant threat to public health or the environment - action is required.
The site has been extensively investigated since 1995. The site contaminants of concern are trichloroethene (TCE), 1,1 - dichloroethene (1,1-DCE), 1,2 - dichloroethene (1,1-DCE), trichloroethane (1,1,1 -TCA), and 1,1 - dichloroethane (1,1-DCA). A pilot test was performed in 2013 to determine if using an in-situ chemical oxidant would clean the site faster than the groundwater extraction and treatment system selected in the 2001 Record of Decision. Ground water extraction and treatment would take approximately 20 to 30 years. Injection of the chemical oxidant, sodium permanganate, was conducted from March 2012 to July 2012. This process proved highly successful and the DEC elected to extend the pilot test to clean the remainder of the contamination.
At this Superfund site, there are two main contaminated areas:
- On-site, the area east of the former Gowanda Electronics main building
- Off-site, the contaminated groundwater plume extending north from the former Gowanda Electronics main building
The cleanup activities include injecting sodium permanganate into contaminated soil and groundwater in both areas to break down the contamination. Once the injections are finished and the sodium permanganate has been given sufficient time to react with the contamination, DEC will take samples to determine if the contamination has been reduced. Based on the sampling results, additional sodium permanganate may be added, as necessary, to further reduce contamination. The cleanup started on September 3, 2013 and is expected to be completed by end of the year. The initial round of sampling is expected in the spring of 2014.
DEC will keep the public informed throughout the cleanup of the site.
Location: The AVM - Gowanda site, One Industrial Place, Gowanda, is located in an urban portion of Cattaraugus County, NY.
Site features: The main site features include two large buildings and two small storage sheds surrounded by paved parking areas. A small portion of the site area is wooded while the remaining area is open field. The area is bound by Thatcher Creek, a tributary of Cattaraugus Creek, to the east, and Cattaraugus Creek to the west.
Current Zoning/Use: The site is currently used by the Village of Gowanda Department of Public Works and is zoned for industrial/commercial use. The surrounding parcels are currently used for a combination of light industrial and residential purposes. The nearest residents border the site to the north. There are no schools or recreational facilities in the immediate vicinity.
History: Until 1979, the site was used for metal machining and stamping. These historic operations along with improper waste disposal practices appear to have led to contamination of soil and groundwater at the site.
Site Geology and Hydrology: The site, and resulting area of impacted groundwater, is underlain by moderately to highly permeable alluvium (material deposited by running water) comprised of a varying mix of sand and gravel. Within this alluvium are buried stream channels filled with coarser sand and gravel that serve as preferential flow paths and, in part, control groundwater flow. The thickness of the alluvium ranges from 4 to 15 feet. Groundwater occurs within the alluvium under unconfined (water table) conditions. Below the alluvium, is a dense glacial till that may serve as a barrier to further downward migration of contaminants. The surface of this till was eroded during post glacial stream flow, resulting in an uneven surface with the deepest area beneath Torrance Place. The water bearing alluvium is covered with up to 8 feet of flood plain silt and clay that serves to retard upward migration of contaminant vapors from the water table. Groundwater flow within the alluvium is to the north-northwest under a moderate gradient, at an estimated rate of 2 to 4 feet per day.
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
Public interest in this project is valued and appreciated. Project documents are available at the following location to help the public stay informed. For more information about the SSF, visit DEC's website.
NYS DEC Region 9 Office
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14203
(Call for appointment)
Who to Contact
Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:
Project Related Questions:
Albany, NY 12233
Site-Related Health Questions:
584 Delaware Ave
Buffalo, NY 14202
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 AVM Gowanda site with cleanup areas highlighted