NYS DEC Public Meeting About Superfund Clean-up at Former Tonawanda Coke Site

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will be hosting a public meeting about a Proposed Amended Remedy for a portion of the former Tonawanda Coke site on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 6 pm at the Kenmore Branch Library (160 Delaware Road, Kenmore, NY) as well as online. Click here to read the announcement and for online registration information.

When Tonawanda Coke closed and clean up began, the facility was portioned into several parcels, with Honeywell (the Potentially Responsible Party) charged with managing and paying for the clean ups at the Superfund-designated parcels, shown below with the black outlines, and the developers of the Riverview Tech Campus in charge of the brownfield portion of the site with taxpayer subsidies, shown below in the blue outline. This meeting is about Site 109, circled in red below. Click on the image to enlarge.







An “Amended Remedy” refers to a change in the strategy planned for cleaning up, or “remediating”, a contaminated site.

The changes proposed to the clean up plan for this portion of the site are

  • Excavating contaminated soil which exceeds protection of ecological resources soil cleanup objectives in the area of an on-site drainage ditch. Excavated soil will either be managed on-site or offsite based on the level of contamination in the soil;
  • Collecting and analyzing post-remedial soil samples and post-remedial groundwater samples to evaluate the effectiveness of the remedy;
  • Importing clean material that meets the established soil cleanup objectives for use as backfill;
  • Construction of a cover system over the entire site;
  • Implementing a Site Management Plan (SMP) for long term maintenance of the remedial systems; and
  • Recording of an Environmental Easement to ensure proper use of the site may be necessary.

In simple terms, the amended plan proposes to dig up contaminated soils, move some to a controlled area of the site or off site to a hazardous waste landfill, studying the soil and groundwater left behind, trucking in clean soil to cover up the dug up areas, adding a cap on top (typically a plastic membrane), setting up monitoring stations, and then limiting public access to the site, including preventing any future development.

For a deeper dive, including the original planned remedy, see this document. More info is also available in the DEC’s document vault for the site, which you can find directly by clicking here or through the InfoLocator map.

Can’t make the meeting, but want to submit a comment or have a question?

For Project-Related Questions, please reach out to Benjamin McPherson, Project Manager, at NYSDEC, 700 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209 or 716-851-7220 or benjamin.mcpherson@dec.ny.gov.

For Project-Related Health Questions, please reach out to Angela Martin, NYSDOH, Empire State Plaza, Corning Tower, Room 1787, Albany NY 12237, or 518-473-4671, or beei@health.ny.gov.

To submit a public comment, please send to Benjamin McPherson at the above information. All public comments on this Amended Remedy must be submitted by March 29, 2024.

Want to get involved with Clean Air’s team advocating for strong clean up standards at Tonawanda Coke as well as other sites in the River Road industrial corridor? Join our River Road Watchdogs!

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