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

Release Date: 03/13/2012
Contact Information: Mike Basile, (716) 551-4410, or Elias Rodriguez, 212-637-3664,

    (New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has added 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, wildlife and the environment.

    “Contamination in the Eighteen Mile Creek is dangerous to the health of people who eat fish from the creek and to the environment,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “Adding the Eighteen Mile Creek site to the Superfund list will allow the EPA to do the extensive sampling needed to find the best ways to address the contamination and protect people’s health.”

    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 Corridor site. The site covers the Flintkote Plant site, United Paperboard Company, Upson Park and the White Transportation property. NYSDEC identified six additional areas within the Eighteen Mile Creek watershed where cleanup activities are also needed. 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. Specific sources of the contamination have not been definitively identified. EPA’s further investigation into the nature and extent of the contamination in and around Eighteen Mile Creek is expected to begin this summer.

    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 stormwater 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.

    Nationwide, EPA is proposing to add 10 other sites to the Superfund list today and is designating nine others as final on the list. The EPA periodically proposes sites to the Superfund list and, after responding to public comments, designates them as final Superfund sites. The Superfund final designation makes them eligible for funds to conduct long-term cleanups. The Eighteen Mile Creek site is now designated as final on the Superfund list.

    The EPA does an extensive search to identify and locate the parties potentially responsible for the contamination at all sites on the Superfund list. The agency requires responsible parties to pay for or perform the cleanup work with EPA oversight. The majority of Superfund cleanups are performed by or paid for by polluters. Taxpayer dollars are used to cover EPA cleanup costs when no responsible party can be identified.

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