Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Friday, March 31, 2023

DEC and Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper to Hold Virtual Outreach Event for the Buffalo River Area of Concern (AOC) on April 17

Organizations will Provide a Progress Update and Invite Public Comments on the Continuing Restoration of the Buffalo River Area of Concern

What: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper (BNW) will hold a virtual outreach event to update the public about ongoing efforts to restore natural resources in the Buffalo River Area of Concern (AOC), and the proposed removal of the 'Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat Beneficial Use Impairment' (BUI). Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, in partnership with DEC and Erie County, coordinates these restoration efforts under the Buffalo River AOC Remedial Action Plan (RAP).

The Buffalo River AOC is located in the City of Buffalo, Erie County, New York and includes the historically industrialized portion of the river beginning at its mouth (where it outlets to Lake Erie), and continuing upstream approximately six miles to the Bailey Avenue bridge. The Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat BUI was originally designated as impaired in the 1980s due to chemical contamination and the channelization of the river for industrial purposes. Extensive remediation of contaminated river sediments and habitat restoration along the river shoreline demonstrates that the criteria established to remove the Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat BUI has been achieved.

A draft report, which details the completed actions and assessments supporting the BUI removal, is available for public review at Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper's website (leaves DEC website). Public comments on the draft report and proposed BUI removal may be made at the April 17 virtual event and through BNW's website until April 30, 2023.

When: Monday, April 17, 2023, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: To participate in the virtual event online, go to Zoom (leaves DEC website).

Meeting ID: 844 1168 2391

Passcode: 712439

To join by telephone dial 1-646-558-8656 and enter the Meeting ID and Passcode.

For more information about the Buffalo River Area of Concern:

Buffalo Niagara Water Keeper - The Buffalo River Renewed (leaves DEC website)

U.S. EPA - Buffalo River AOC (leaves DEC website)

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