News Releases from Region 02
EPA Finalizes Nearly $7 Million Plan to Clean Up Lead-Contaminated Soil at Residential Properties at the Eighteen Mile Creek Superfund Site in Lockport, New York
(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized its plan to clean up lead-contaminated soil at approximately 28 residences that are impacted by the former Flintkote Plant property at the Eighteen Mile Creek Superfund Site, in Lockport, N.Y. As part of a multi-phased, comprehensive cleanup of the Eighteen Mile Creek Site, EPA will remove and transport approximately 14,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil for off-site disposal at facilities licensed to handle the waste. The excavated areas will be restored with clean soil.
“Our decision to move forward with the removal of lead from the properties of more than two dozen residences is a major milestone in the long-term cleanup of the Eighteen Mile Creek Superfund site cleanup,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “We are committed to continuing our work with our state and local partners, the community, and individual property owners to ensure that the children and families of Lockport are protected from the legacy of pollution from the Flintkote Plant.”
EPA held a public meeting in August 2018 to explain its cleanup proposal, discuss the other cleanup options that were considered, and to solicit public comments. To read the EPA’s selected cleanup plan, outlined in a Record of Decision, and to view EPA’s responses to public comments in the Responsiveness Summary, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/eighteenmile-creek or for a direct link to the Record of Decision, visit: (https://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/02/550180)
Eighteen Mile Creek has a long history of industrial use dating back to the 1800’s. The headwaters of the Creek consist of an east and west branch beginning immediately north of the New York State Barge Canal in Lockport. Eighteen Mile Creek flows north approximately 15 miles and discharges into Lake Ontario in Olcott, N.Y. Investigations at the site show that sediment and soil in and around Eighteen Mile Creek and nearby properties are contaminated with a variety of pollutants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead.
The former Flintkote Plant property located at 198 and 300 Mill Street operated between 1928 and 1971 and manufactured felt products.
Before and after photos of the former Flintkote Plant location. (Photo credit: courtesy of EPA)
EPA has taken a multi-phased approach to cleaning up the Eighteen Mile Creek Site. In the first phase, EPA demolished the buildings at the former Flintkote Plant property and bought out and relocated five families from their Water Street residences in Lockport, N.Y. due to the impact of recurring flooding of PCB-contaminated water and sediment from the Creek. Those homes, and the former industrial buildings, were demolished and all demolition debris was removed from the properties.
In the second phase, which is ongoing, EPA is addressing soil and sediment contamination in the Creek Corridor. This encompasses an approximately 4,000-foot segment of Eighteen Mile Creek that extends from the New York State Barge Canal to Harwood Street in the City of Lockport.
The third phase of cleanup – also currently ongoing – is an investigation of groundwater and contaminated sediment in the Creek from Lockport to Lake Ontario.
Today’s announcement involves the fourth phase, which is the cleanup and restoration of lead-contaminated soil at residential properties near the former Flintkote Plant property.
The Superfund program has been providing important health benefits to communities across the country for more than 35 years. Superfund cleanups also strengthen local economies. Data collected through 2017 shows that at 487 Superfund sites in reuse, approximately 6,600 businesses are generating $43.6 billion in sales and employ 156,000 people who earned a combined income of $11.2 billion.
Under the Trump Administration, the Superfund program has reemerged as a priority to fulfill and strengthen EPA’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment.
On the one-year anniversary of the EPA’s Superfund Task Force Report, EPA announced significant progress in carrying out the report’s recommendations. These achievements will provide certainty to communities, state partners, and developers that the nation’s most hazardous sites will be cleaned up as quickly and safely as possible.
EPA’s “Superfund Task Force Recommendations 2018 Update” is available at: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force-recommendations-2018-update.