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For Release: Thursday, April 1, 2021

DEC Commissioner Seggos and Erie County Legislator Baskin Announce 'Community Working Group' to Support Cleanup of Former American Axle Site

Delavan-Grider Community Residents Encouraged to Participate in New Working Group

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and Erie County District 2 Legislator and Chairwoman of the Legislature April N.M. Baskin today announced the establishment of a Community Working Group to support the remediation and revitalization of the former American Axle site at 1001 East Delavan Ave., Buffalo. The working group's creation was one of the outcomes from a recent public meeting hosted by Legislator Baskin about the site's cleanup and continues DEC's ongoing outreach to residents of the Delavan-Grider neighborhood.

"Community engagement and transparency are the hallmarks of DEC's cleanup programs and we are pleased to partner with Legislative Chairwoman Baskin to announce the American Axle Community Working Group," DEC Commissioner Seggos said. "DEC is committed to cleaning up contamination in the Delavan-Grider community and environmental justice communities across the state. The Community Working Group will provide meaningful opportunities for local residents to actively participate in the comprehensive cleanup of the former American Axle site with robust engagement and transparency at every step of the remediation process."

"The former American Axle property is one of the most important environmental clean-up sites on the East Side of Buffalo," Erie County Legislative Chair Baskin said. "The success of this site is intrinsically tied to its interaction with the community. I commend Commissioner Seggos, the DEC, East Delavan Properties, and the residents of Delavan-Grider for coming together to ensure this property will continue to be an asset to the community and not an environmental hazard. I am encouraged by all of the stakeholders' commitment to a process that will have an impact on the community and allow the community to impact the project."

"DEC is proud of the progress we've made at the American Axle site and we look forward to working toward a final sitewide cleanup plan with the continued help of the local community," said Chad Staniszewski, DEC Region 9 Acting Regional Director. "While DEC has maintained open lines of communication with the Delavan-Grider community, the addition of this Community Working Group will enhance vital community engagement on the site's continuing path to a comprehensive cleanup."

The American Axle Community Working Group will provide a forum for Delavan-Grider community residents and other stakeholders to provide input and discuss the remediation of the former American Axle site at 1001 East Delavan Avenue in the city of Buffalo. The new group will be facilitated by Legislative Chairwoman Baskin with support from DEC's Region 9 office.

The majority of the 35.6-acre site is being remediated through New York State's Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) by East Delavan Properties. Information and documents about the cleanup (PDF) can be found at DEC's website. The site also includes a 2.65-acre parcel that is part of the State Superfund Program. Information and documents can be found at DEC's website.

The American Axle Community Working Group is intended to:

  • Fully involve the Delavan-Grider community in the site's remediation process to help ensure stakeholders are engaged;
  • Enhance public dialogue, foster understanding, and encourage discussion about the site's investigation and cleanup;
  • Inform the community about project progress during a regular and structured forum;
  • Solicit feedback from the community;
  • Make recommendations and provide relevant community input regarding local residents' concerns and perceptions as the remedial projects are being performed; and
  • Provide opportunities for the community to share recommendations and input regarding appropriate and effective strategies for communication about the technical aspects of the cleanup activities.

For information about how to register and participate in the Community Working Group, please contact Legislative Chairwoman Baskin's office at (716) 895-1849 or DEC's Region 9 office at (716) 851-7000. DEC encourages residents to sign up with one or more DEC contaminated sites county email listservs. As a listserv member, subscribers will periodically receive site-related information and announcements for all contaminated sites in the counties selected.

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