Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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July 26, 2013

EPA agrees to clean up nine properties along Eighteenmile Creek

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will clean up nine properties along Eighteenmile Creek in the city of Lockport and relocate Water Street residents from five of the properties, the agency announced Friday.

That plan includes demolishing an industrial building at the former Flintkote Plant site as part of the first phase of cleanup.

The residential properties located on Water Street are contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls and other contaminants, including lead and chromium. PCBs are a probable human carcinogen and affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems and cause other health effects.

“This plan will take the residents with contaminated properties out of harms’ way,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “It will also allow us to remove the contamination from the area to reduce any future risk to people or the environment. I encourage the public to give us input on the proposed plan.”

In its plan, the EPA is proposing to buy six residential properties that are privately owned, permanently relocate affected residents, demolish the homes and excavate the contaminated soil. Two of the properties have the same owner.

Three other properties, which are owned by the City of Lockport and are vacant and contain no buildings, will also be cleaned up. In addition, the EPA is proposing to demolish the remaining building at the former Flintkote Plant located at 300 Mill Street. This will allow the EPA to sample soil under the building to determine if it is contaminated.

The EPA will hold a public meeting on Aug. 13 to explain the proposed plan and take public comments. The meeting will be held at 7 pm at the 4-H Training Center at the Niagara County Fairgrounds, 4487 Lake Ave. Comments will be accepted until Aug. 26.

Eighteen Mile Creek has a long history of industrial use dating back to the 1800’s when it was used as a source of power. The headwaters of the creek consist of an east and west branch which begin immediately north of the New York State Barge Canal. The creek flows north for approximately 15 miles and discharges into Lake Ontario in Olcott.

The site was placed on the Superfund National Priorities List in March 2012. Investigations at the site have revealed that sediments, soil and ground water in and around the creek and nearby properties are contaminated with a combination of pollutants, including PCBs, lead and chromium.

The contaminated residential properties, along with the remaining building at the former Flintkote Plant, encompass an area of approximately 2.25 acres along Water Street.

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