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The Eighteen Mile Creek Site is located in Niagara County, New York and consists of contaminated sediments, soil, and groundwater. The Creek flows north for approximately 15 miles and discharges to Lake Ontario in Olcott, New York. The headwaters consist of an East and West Branch, which are immediately north of the New York State Barge Canal. The branches merge to form the main body of the Creek at the Clinton Street Bridge in Lockport, New York. The Site has been divided into two parts: the Eighteen Mile Creek Corridor, which extends from the Creek's headwaters at the Barge Canal to Harwood Road in Lockport, and the creek sediment north of Harwood Road to Lake Ontario (referred to as the Sediment Study Area). The Corridor contains most of the Site's legacy contamination. The Corridor includes approximately 4,000 feet of the Creek, as well as properties located along Mill Street, Water Street and Clinton Street in the City of Lockport.
EPA placed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List in March 2012. In order to satisfy federal regulations pertaining to selecting a remedy under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), EPA began a supplemental investigation at the Site in May 2012.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
In 2015, EPA provided the five residences on Water Street permanent relocation, demolished the homes, and demolished the building at the former Flintkote Plant. Security fencing has been installed to restrict access to contaminated soils at these properties until remedial actions to address the contamination are conducted.
The New York State Department of Health has issued an “eat none” advisory for any fish caught in the Creek based on PCB contamination which has been detected in fish.
What Is the Current Site Status?
EPA is addressing the site in phases or operable units (OU). OU1 addresses nine contaminated residential properties on Water Street in the Creek Corridor and the building at the former Flintkote Plant located at 300 Mill Street in Lockport. In September 2013, EPA issued a Record of Decision to address OU1. Pursuant to the OU1 Record of Decision, EPA has acquired the affected properties, permanently relocated the affected residents, demolished the five residential structures, and demolished the building at the former Flintkote Plant. Remaining activities, including off-site transportation, disposal of the debris, and installation of fencing was completed in September 2015. As indicated in the OU1 ROD, the excavation of contaminated soil at the Water Street residential properties will be performed during cleanup of sediment in the Creek Channel to prevent recontamination of the properties.
OU2, commonly referred to as the Creek Corridor, is the approximately 4,000-foot segment of the Creek that extends from the New York State Barge Canal to Harwood Street in the City of Lockport. OU2 addresses the contaminated soil/fill at the following adjacent properties: the former Flintkote Plant property; Upson Park; the White Transportation property; and the former United Paperboard Company property. OU2 also addresses contamination within the Creek Channel, which is defined as the sediment within the discrete segment of the Creek Corridor.
EPA completed the Remedial Investigation for OU2 in 2016, and issued a ROD for OU2 in 2017. Pursuant to the OU2 ROD, the sediment in the Creek Channel will be excavated from bank-to-bank. A combination of excavation and off-site disposal, capping, and institutional controls will be utilized to address contaminated soil/fill at Upson Park, the former Flintkote Plant, White Transportation, and former United Paperboard Company properties. This operable unit is currently in the remedial design phase.
OU3 addresses contaminated sediments in the Creek that are not addressed by OU2, down to its location of discharge into Lake Ontario in Olcott, New York. OU3 will also address groundwater at the Site. The Remedial Investigation for OU3 is currently underway.
EPA collected three rounds of soil samples at residential properties on Frost, Porter, North Adams Chapel and Mill Streets in Lockport, NY in 2017. Elevated levels of lead from the former Flintkote property were found on 28 residential properties. EPA proposed a cleanup of these properties which was recognized in the signing of the Record of Decision (ROD) for Operable Unit 4 in September 2018. The decision contains a plan that will see the removal of 14,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil removed from these properties and off-site disposal at facilities licensed to handle waste. The excavated areas will be restored and backfilled with clean soil.