Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

May 27, 2013

Eighteenmile Creek plan of attack to be aired

Staff reports
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will host a public information session June 5 regarding its plans to clean up Eighteenmile Creek between Lockport and Olcott.

The Eighteen Mile Creek Site consists of a dozen or so residential, commercial and industrial properties along or near the creek roughly between Clinton and Harwood streets, plus the creek itself, all the way to Olcott where it empties into Lake Ontario. Prior studies by the state suggest soil and creek sediment in the area contain toxic pollutants including PCBs, dioxins and heavy metals.

The site was one of 10 inactive hazardous waste sites across the country that were added to the National Priorities List, a.k.a. the U.S. Superfund list, in March 2012.

E.P.A. officials want to roll out the agency’s plan of attack for investigating and remediating the site.

At this point, Project Manager Thomas Taccone said, the agency intends to break down the investigation and cleanup into three jobs: Residential properties first, then industrial and commercial properties in lowertown, then the creek between Harwood Street and Olcott.

Demolition of the crumbling structure on the Niagara County-owned Flintkote parcel, Mill Street, would be included with residential property remediation in the first job. The residential properties are mostly on Water Street, Taccone confirmed. The Flintkote building is an attractive nuisance in the neighborhood and the place where a juvenile fell and suffered serious injuries in 2010, prompting a lawsuit against the county.

Before drafting specific cleanup plans, E.P.A. will conduct full remedial studies documenting the nature and extent of contamination in each part of the site. Regarding job sites 1 and 2, the residential, commercial and industrial properties in lowertown, the agency will build on prior studies by New York State, so it doesn’t have to start from scratch, Taccone said. There is considerably less prior documentation of the issues in job site 3, in the creek bed north of Lockport, he added.

At the public information session, E.P.A. will not offer any firm timelines for completing studies or remediation jobs. Taccone said the session is an occasion for agency employees to “introduce ourselves to the community ... and let people know a (remediation) plan will be forthcoming soon.”

The session will be held at 7 p.m. June 5 at the 4-H Training Center, Niagara County Fairgrounds, Lake Avenue, Lockport.

To be added to E.P.A.’s Eighteen Mile Creek Site mailing list, contact Mike Basile, community involvement coordinator, at 551-4410 or basile.michael@epa.gov, or Tom Taccone at (212) 637-4281 or taccone.tom@epa.gov.

Information about the site can be viewed at http://www.epa.gov/region01/superfund/npl/18milecreek.

Lockport Public Library is the repository for all documents associated with the site.