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EPA Proposes to Add Eighteen Mile Creek in Niagara County, N.Y. to the Superfund List

Release Date: 09/15/2011
Contact Information: Mike Basile, (716) 551-4410, basile.michael@epa.gov or John Senn, (212) 637-3667, senn.john@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today proposed adding the Eighteen Mile Creek site in Niagara County, New York to the Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous waste sites. Sediment in some areas of the creek is contaminated with harmful chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), heavy metals and dioxin, which can have serious effects on people’s health and the environment.

“The cleanup the Eighteen Mile Creek site will protect the health of people who live in the area and eat fish from the creek,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “Adding the site to the Superfund list will enable EPA to fully investigate the contamination and over time clean it up.”

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, in consultation with EPA, previously investigated four former industrial areas in Lockport, New York, known collectively as the Eighteen Mile Creek site. The site covers the Flintkote Plant site, United Paperboard Company, Upson Park and the White Transportation property. NYSDEC also identified six areas within the Eighteen Mile Creek watershed where cleanup activities should also take place. The earlier investigations and sampling of sediment in and around Eighteen Mile Creek confirmed the presence of PCBs, mercury, lead, copper, pesticides and dioxin throughout most of the creek, but specific sources of the contamination have not been definitively identified. EPA will soon begin an investigation to further determine the nature and extent of the contamination in and around Eighteen Mile Creek.

Eighteen Mile Creek flows north for approximately 15 miles and discharges into Lake Ontario at Olcott, New York. The creek has a history of industrial use dating back to the 19th Century when it was used as a source of hydroelectric power. Possible sources of contamination include storm water discharges and sewage from municipal pipes, pollution from hazardous waste sites or contaminated properties, and industrial and municipal waste discharges.

The land within the Eighteen Mile Creek watershed consists primarily of agricultural lands, with residential, commercial and industrial areas located around Lockport, Newfane and Olcott Harbor. There are several wetlands along the contaminated portion of the creek, and people fish in the Eighteen Mile Creek Corridor and other portions of the creek. Fisherman’s Park, a public fishing area located within Eighteen Mile Creek just downstream of Burt Dam, is a major fishing destination.

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for these final and proposed sites, on the day of publication visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm.

With the proposal of this site to the Superfund list, a 60-day comment period will begin during which EPA solicits public input regarding this action. For instructions to submit comments, go to: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/pubcom.htm.

Comments can be submitted, identified by Docket number EPA-HQ-SFUND-2011-0650 by one of the following methods:

Online: http://www.regulations.gov - Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.

Email: superfund.docket@epa.gov

Mail: Mail comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; (Mail Code 5305T); 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW; Washington, DC 20460

Hand Delivery or Express Mail: Send comments (no facsimiles or tapes) to Docket Coordinator, Headquarters; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; CERCLA Docket Office; 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW; EPA West, Room 3334, Washington, DC 20004. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Federal holidays).

For more information on the Superfund listing process, visit: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/npl_hrs.htm or contact Ildefonso Acosta, Region 2 NPL Coordinator, at 212-637-4344, acosta.ildefonso@epa.gov.

Nationwide, EPA is proposing to add 10 other sites to the Superfund list today and adding 15 others to the list. For more information on Superfund, go to http://www.epa.gov/superfund/.

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/eparegion2.

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