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EPA Completes Emergency Hazardous Waste Cleanup at High Street Warehouse in Buffalo

Release Date: 04/20/2000
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(#00071) Niagara Falls, N.Y. -- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is completing an emergency cleanup of hazardous waste products stored at a non-operating warehouse located at 630 High Street, Buffalo, New York. EPA stabilized and prepared over16,000 items including solvents, wood stains, acids, old military batteries, battery acid, oil and some pesticides for off-site disposal. Additional wastes removed from the site include crates of old military equipment, such as capacitors and turners, which contained polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and some radioactive material. The last two trucks carrying the waste products to disposal and recycling facilities will depart the site today.

EPA's cleanup effort, which began on February 20, 2000 and lasted two months, was accomplished and paid for through the agency's Superfund emergency response program. The removal of these hazardous substances from the site has eliminated the threat of contamination being released directly onto the ground or into the air from a fire. The cleanup operation cost nearly $500,000, which EPA will seek to recover from the parties responsible for the contamination.

"This is another success story of EPA's Superfund program and the quick action it allows us to take to protect communities like the one surrounding this High Street warehouse from hazardous waste" said Richard Caspe, Director of EPA Region 2's Superfund program.

Since 1946, the site housed hundreds of crates of World War II surplus radio and electronic equipment and also served as a warehouse for a wood working business, a medical laboratory, and a radio/TV repair company. In 1998, the current owner of the site purchased the warehouse, along with the thousands of chemical containers and remaining surplus equipment.

The site was referred to EPA by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the City of Buffalo Fire Department and the city's Corporation Counsel.