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90 Hopkins Street

Digital Files


Location: The 90 Hopkins Street site is located off Hopkins Avenue in the City of Buffalo, Erie County, approximately 1/4 mile south of the Tifft Street intersection. The site is situated in an urban industrial area.

Site Features: The 90 Hopkins Street site is a triangular shaped parcel approximately 8 acres in size and is currently vacant. Foundations and floor pads from several industrial buildings still exist at the site. The site is bordered by a steel fabricating plant to the northeast; a machine shop and auto junk yard to the east; an active railroad line and remediated LTV Steel disposal site (Site No. 915047) to the south/southwest; and a rail spur and the remediated Alltift Landfill/Ramco Steel disposal sites (Site No's 915054 and 915046B) to the north/northwest. The site contains two piles of carbide lime approximately 15 feet above adjoining grades that extend approximately 10 feet below grade. The lime piles cover approximately two thirds of the site. Investigations and evaluations have estimated the volume of carbide lime to be approximately 123,000 cubic yards; however, approximately 10,000 cubic yards of lime has been mined from the above grade portion of the south lime pile and used as an agricultural soil amendment at several local farms in Western NY. The lime was intermittently removed during the period between 2011 and 2013. The current estimated volume of carbide lime is approximately 113,000 cubic yards. The western half of the northern site perimeter contains a stormwater detention pond to intercept lime sediment in stormwater runoff and normalize the pH of the water before exiting the site.

Current Zoning/Use: This site is zoned for industrial use and is currently vacant. The site is located within a Brownfield Opportunity Area.

Past Use of the Site: Previous use of the site included acetylene gas manufacturing from approximately 1930 to 1964. The acetylene manufacturing process utilized at the site resulted in the formation of a carbide lime slurry as a byproduct. The carbide lime slurry was dewatered in bermed piles which resulted in the formation of the carbide lime piles present at the site. Site use from 1964 to 1987 was undisclosed industrial or commercial use. The City of Buffalo took title to the property through tax foreclosure in 1987. From 2002 to 2006, the City leased the property to a commercial entity (demolition and trucking) which used the site for crushing demolition concrete and selling the crushed concrete as a recycled product. Several former structures from the previous acetylene manufacturing operations were demolished in 2002 by the lessee. The site has been vacant from 2006 to present.

The site was subject to a US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) removal action in 1998 to address drums of waste and removal of PCB contaminated soil.

Site Geology and Hydrogeology: The area in the vicinity of the site is generally flat with the exception of the carbide lime pile mounds on the site, local railroad grades and other remediated offsite landfills. The site generally contains several feet of fill in the non-lime pile areas and up to 25 feet in thickness of carbide lime in the lime pile areas (up to 15 feet above grade and 10 feet below grade). Native soil below the fill and lime piles consists of silty/clayey soil deposits ranging 15 to 20 feet in thickness. Below the native soil is bedrock consisting of limestone.

Groundwater is shallow at the site, and is approximately 1.5 to 4 feet below ground surface in areas of the site that do not contain the lime piles. The groundwater gradient is to the northwest toward the Buffalo River/Lake Erie.

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.

Buffalo and Erie Co. Public Library
Dudley Branch
Attn: Head Librarian
201 South Park Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14220

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Avenue, 3rd Floor
Buffalo, New York 14203
By Appointment Only

Who to Contact

Comments and questions are always welcome and should be directed as follows:

Project Related Questions
Eugene Melnyk, PE
Department of Environmental Conservation
Division of Environmental Remediation
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203

Site-Related Health Questions
Scarlett McLaughlin
New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Environmental Exposure Investigation
Empire State Plaza
Corning Tower, Room 1787
Albany, NY 12237

For More Information

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Environmental Restoration Program

New York's Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) reimburses municipalities for their costs to investigate and clean up municipality owned contaminated properties. Once cleaned up, the properties may be redeveloped for commercial, industrial, residential or public use. A brownfield is any real property that is difficult to reuse or redevelop because of the presence or potential presence of contamination.