February 2014 Fact Sheet
Buffalo Forge Update: Draft Investigation Work Plan for Brownfield Site Available for Public Comment
The public is invited to comment on a draft work plan being reviewed by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to investigate the Former Buffalo Forge Property site ("site") located at 490 Broadway, 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 identified below under Where to Find Information.
Draft Investigation Work Plan
The draft investigation work plan, called a "Remedial Investigation Work Plan," was submitted to DEC under New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program. The investigation will be performed by Howden North America ("applicant") with oversight by DEC and New York State Department of Health (DOH).
How to Comment
DEC is accepting written comments about the draft investigation work plan for 30 days, from February 28, 2014 through March 29, 2014. The proposed plan is available for review at the location identified below under Where to Find Information. Please submit comments to DEC project manager listed under Project Related Questions in the Who to Contact area below.
Highlights of the Proposed Site Investigation
The investigation will define the nature and extent of contamination in soil, groundwater and any other parts of the environment that may be affected.
A 2008 Investigation determined that soil was impacted from previous industrial operations. The primary contaminants of concern included metals (e.g. chromium, lead) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are a group of over 100 different chemicals that are formed during the incomplete burning of coal, oil and gas. The contamination correlated to the site wide distribution of black foundry sand at approximately 0.5 to 3.0 feet below ground surface (fbgs).
A 2012 investigation found limited groundwater contamination. There is no evidence of off-Site migration of any contaminants. No sampling data for soil vapor & indoor air is available.
DEC will consider public comments, revise the plan as necessary, and approve the work plan. The approved work plan will be made available to the public (see Where to Find Information below). After the work plan is approved, the activities detailed in the work plan will be implemented.
When the investigation is completed, a report will be prepared and submitted to DEC that summarizes the results. DEC will review the report, make any necessary revisions and, if appropriate, approve the report.
After the investigation, a cleanup plan, called a "Remedial Work Plan" will be developed and a Decision Document will be proposed. The cleanup plan will include an evaluation of the proposed site remedy, or recommend a no action or no further action alternative. The goal of the cleanup plan is to ensure the protection of public health and the environment. DEC will present the proposed cleanup plan to the public for its review and comment during a 45-day comment period. DEC will keep the public informed throughout the investigation and cleanup of the site.
Location: The site is in the City of Buffalo and is comprised of seven parcels each having a separate address, though the site is often identified as being located at 490 Broadway. The site is bound by Broadway to the South, Spring Streets to the West, and Sycamore Street to the North. The eastern portion of the site borders Mortimer Street to the West, Matthews Street to the North, with George Street, Rey Street and Broadway to the South.
Site Features: The site is currently vacant land. Grass vegetation is present in the central and western portions of the property over the footprints of former buildings and asphalt former parking areas are present in the eastern portion of the property.
Current Zoning/Use: The site is currently vacant and is zoned Residential, Commercial, and Industrial.
Historic Uses: The main site was occupied by the Buffalo Forge Co. from the late 1880s through the early 1990s, which included a machine shop, blacksmith/ foundry, and E.N. Cook's Distillery. The northern portion of the site includes a former filling station, an apparent residential gasoline tank, a furniture repair structure, several dwellings and a garage. In the 1980s, the entire site appears to be utilized by Buffalo Forge Co., primarily as a foundry, machine shop, and storage/warehousing facility. Most recent operations included manufacturing heavy duty industrial air moving equipment, such as fans, blowers and cabinets. The site buildings were demolished in 2006 and 2007.
Geology & Hydrogeology: The site is overlain by approximately 1 foot of topsoil, grading to 1.7 foot of fill/foundry sand, 3 feet fill (silt, sand, gravel, brick, and wood), 4.5 feet of native clay/silt, to limestone bedrock. The depth of groundwater is approximately 6-9 feet below ground surface and flows towards the southeast.
Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on DEC's website.
Brownfield Cleanup Program
New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) encourages the voluntary cleanup of contaminated properties known as "brownfields" so that they can be reused and redeveloped. These uses 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. You may also view electronic versions of project documents by visiting the Digital Files section of this webpage (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, New York 14203
(Call for appointment)
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
Attn: Carol Ann Batt
1 Lafayette Square
Buffalo, NY 14203
Who to Contact
Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:
Project Related Questions:
Anthony Lopes, PE
NYS DEC, Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203
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 Buffalo Forge brownfield site