Aaron Besecker, Niagara Gazette, October 9, 2006
Representatives of Benderson Development are looking to clean up the site of a planned transportation hub where soils are known to contain hazardous amounts of a toxic metal.
A plan to investigate the former Grossman’s Building Supply, 2250 Factory Outlet Blvd. near Military Road, is now available for public comment, according to state health and environmental officials.
Soils within 4 feet of the surface contain hazardous levels of chromium, a metal found in nature as well as a product of industrial processes, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Both types of the substance, which are known to affect the human respiratory system, have been found on the site. The man-made form is a known carcinogen in humans.
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority plans to spend $3.5 million to turn the site into a transportation center, which will include a 6,000-square foot bus station.
Under a deal signed in May, the authority would lease the site from Benderson.
The cleanup proposal calls for a multi-faceted investigation of site contamination, including identifying the source and possible effects on surface water and groundwater.
Plans also include the removal of the contaminated material.
That work is expected to take about four weeks and is anticipated to begin in January 2007.
A 1995 environmental assessment of the property noted the former “Union Carbide dump” was located less than 1,000 feet from the site, according to a site history provided by the Department of Environmental Conservation.
Officials expect to begin the environmental investigation, believed to be a two-week process in this case, by the end of November.
The public input portion of the process continues through Nov. 20.
Members of the public can view documents relating to the proposed cleanup at the LaSalle branch of the Niagara Falls Public Library, 8728 Buffalo Ave.
Documents can also be viewed at the DEC’s Buffalo offices. An appointment can be made by calling the DEC at 851-7220.
Written comments on the proposed cleanup plan should be sent to Jeffrey Konsella, New York State DEC, 270 Michigan Ave., Buffalo, N.Y., 14203.
The site cleanup is being undertaken through the state Brownfield Cleanup Program.