Public comment sought on Lockport creek cleanup

Sep 7, 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency is looking for public comment on the cleanup of the Creek Corridor portion of the Eighteen Mile Creek Superfund Site in Lockport. A public hearing will be held Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. at the 4-H Training Center on the Niagara County Fairgrounds.

 

Eighteen Mile Creek has a long history of industrial use dating back to the 1800s when it was used as a source of hydropower. It flows north approximately 15 miles and discharges into Lake Ontario in Olcott. The site was placed on the Superfund National Priorities List in March 2012.
 

Credit U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Creek Corridor that is the subject of the public hearing is approximately one mile in length and extends from the Erie Canal to Harwood Street in the City of Lockport. The creek and several adjacent properties are contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), lead and other contaminants that can affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems and are potentially cancer-causing.  

The EPA has proposed a plan that calls for a variety of actions to address the contamination. This phase of site cleanup would cost an estimated $23 million.

The cleanup proposal calls for the complete removal of contaminated sediment, excavation of the site, as well as off-site disposal, capping and controls to address contaminated soil. During the sediment removal, the dilapidated Clinton and William Street dams would be removed.

“We are making steady progress in cleaning up this site. To protect public health, we have relocated five families and purchased their homes,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “The proposed plan will further that progress by removing much of the contaminated soil that continues to pose a threat and I encourage people to comment.”

The next phase of cleanup, which is still in the investigation stage, will address groundwater and contaminated sediment in the creek from Lockport to its discharge in Lake Ontario.