Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Iroquois Gas/Westwood Pharmaceuticals Terrestrial

Site Number 915141A

December 2014 Fact Sheet

Iroquois Gas/Westwood Update: DEC Modifies Cleanup Plan for State Superfund Site

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) would like to notify you about modifications to the cleanup plan for the Iroquois Gas/Westwood PharmaceuticalsTerrestrial site ("site") located at 100 Forest Avenue, Buffalo, Erie County.

DEC modified the plan in a document called an Explanation of Significant Difference (ESD) to ensure that cleanup actions would achieve standards protective of public health and the environment. A description of the modifications made to the cleanup plan, or remedy, is summarized below in the section entitled "Explanation of Significant Difference." Documents related to the cleanup of this site can be found at the location identified below under
"Where to Find Information."

Explanation of Significant Difference

In November 2014, DEC issued an Explanation of Significant Difference to document modifications to the original remedy as specified by a Record of Decision dated March 1994. This revision is considered significant, but it is not a fundamental change to the remedy. The significant differences include:

  1. Installation of an interceptor trench to capture contaminated groundwater and coal tars that will be treated by the existing treatment system. The interceptor trench will replace the existing extraction well collection system that is not functioning as designed;
  2. Maintenance of the existing cover system to allow for commercial use of the site;
  3. Evaluation of the potential for soil vapor intrusion (SVI) to impact existing on-site buildings, and the provision for implementing remedial actions to address exposures related to soil vapor intrusion. This updates the site's SVI requirements to current State standards;
  4. Issuance of an institutional control in the form of an environmental easement that restricts land and groundwater use at the site. This updates the site's institutional control to meet current State standards;
  5. A Site Management Plan that identifies all use restrictions and engineering controls for the site, and includes a monitoring Plan to assess the performance and effectiveness of the remedy. This updates the site's monitoring program to meet current State standards.

Next Steps

Additional investigations will be completed at the site to aid in the design of the groundwater collection trench and to evaluate the potential for soil vapor intrusion (SVI) to impact existing onsite buildings. Following the design phase, installation of the collection trench will take place, and vapor intrusion will be addressed, if necessary. DEC will keep the public informed throughout the design phase and cleanup of the site.


Location: The Iroquois Gas/Westwood Pharmaceuticals Terrestrial Site (915141A) encompasses approximately 8.8 acres at 100 Forest Avenue in the City of Buffalo, Erie County. The site is bordered by a City of Buffalo impound lot to the north, Dart Street and a mix of industrial and residential properties to the east, Bradley Street and a mix of vacant industrial and residential properties to the south, and vacant land, Scajaquada Creek and industrial properties to the west. Scajaquada Creek has been impacted by site contaminants, and is listed as the NFG - Iroquois Gas/Westwood Pharmaceuticals Riparian Site (915141B).

Site Features: The topography of the site and the surrounding area is relatively flat, but slopes steeply toward Scajaquada Creek to the west. Most surface water runoff is toward on-site drainage ditches and storm sewers, although some surface water flows directly to Scajaquada Creek during precipitation events.

Current Use and Zoning: The site is zoned for industrial use and is currently leased to a trucking firm for warehousing operations. Surrounding properties include a mix of commercial, light and heavy industrial, and residential parcels.

Past Use of the Site: The site operated as a manufactured gas plant from approximately 1897 through 1955. Iroquois Gas (now National Fuel Gas) owned and operated the plant from 1925 through 1955, and continued to store gas on site until 1972. Iroquois Gas removed and/or demolished some of the on-site structures in 1968, and buried waste materials such as heavy tars, sludges, coal, coke, and demolition debris. In 1972, Westwood Pharmaceutical purchased the property and demolished the remaining on-site structures. A 100,000 square foot warehouse (Building 6) was constructed on the southern portion of the site property. In 1985, a second 100,000 square foot warehouse (Building 9) was constructed immediately north of Building 6. During the 1985 construction phase, soil and groundwater contaminated with polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs),
benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX) were encountered. Between 1986 and 1988, several monitoring wells were installed and groundwater samples were analyzed. Based upon these results, DEC listed the site in the Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal
Sites in 1989.

Remedial History: A Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study (RI/FS) was completed in 1993 by Westwood Pharmaceuticals to define the nature and extent of contamination resulting from historic site activities, and to provide potential remedial alternatives for the site. In March 1994 a Record of Decision (ROD) was issued by the Department for both the terrestrial and riparian portions of the site. The remedy for the terrestrial portion of the site consisted of (1) the installation of a clay cap to contain the source area contaminants; (2) the installation of a sheet pile wall along Scajaquada Creek; (3) the installation of groundwater/NAPL extraction wells for gradient control; (5) groundwater and NAPL treatment; and (6) long-term groundwater monitoring and maintenance of the extraction and treatment systems.

Site Remediation: In 1995 a Consent Decree was issued by Federal Court that required Westwood to implement the approved remedy for the terrestrial portion of the site. The remediation began in 1996 with the installation of the sheet pile wall and was completed in 1997. The groundwater extraction and treatment system became operational in 1997 and has operated continuously since that time.

Site Management: Long-term operation, maintenance and monitoring (Site Management) of the site remedial systems are on-going. Site Management activities include inspections, system maintenance, cap maintenance, hydraulic monitoring and groundwater quality monitoring. Periodic Review Reports are submitted to DEC, with an Institutional Control/Engineering Control certification
submitted annually.

Additional site details, including environmental and health assessment summaries, are available on DEC's website.

Where to Find Information

Project documents are available at the following location to help the public stay informed.

NYS DEC Region 9
Attn: Glenn May
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203

Project Related Questions
Glenn May
Department of Environmental Conservation
270 Michigan Ave
Buffalo, NY 14203

Site-Related Health Questions
Bridget Boyd
New York State Department of Health
Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower
Room 1787
Albany, NY 12237

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.

*Receive Site Fact Sheets by Email

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.

  • Important Links
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 716-851-7220.
  • Contact for this Page
    Region 9 Headquarters
    270 Michigan Avenue
    Buffalo NY 14203
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Region 9