FMC planning more remediation and cleanup in Middleport this year

Posted 18 June 2024 at 4:39 pm

Photo from DEC

Information from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

MIDDLEPORT – The FMC Corporation is continuing the multi-year cleanup of properties nearby and adjacent to the FMC facility at 100 Niagara Street in Middleport, Niagara County.

The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is overseeing the comprehensive cleanup of arsenic and other contamination by FMC that complies with requirements in the May 2013 Final Statement of Basis for Air Deposition Area #1 (2013 FSOB) and a 2019 consent order between the parties.

These documents specify the required cleanup activities, which include removal of impacted soil from residential and commercial parcels in the community, called Operable Units or OUs (OU2 and OU5), and from the Royalton-Hartland Central School District (Roy-Hart) Middleport campus (OU4).

The DEC selected remedy includes removal of arsenic in soils to levels that meet state health and environmental guidelines and, when removal is not an option, implementing actions to prevent potential public exposure.

Prior to the 2019 consent order, DEC conducted extensive cleanup activities from 2015 through 2020 through the state’s Superfund program. FMC took over implementation of the remedy for remaining properties in 2021 and will continue that work in 2024.

Cleanup activities for this season will commence in late June and continue through winter 2024/2025. Construction activities may include structural evaluation of building(s) on certain industrial/commercial parcels, as well as soil removal, soil tilling/blending, soil sampling and analyses, and restoration activities throughout the area.

FMC continues to meet with owners of affected properties, including those identified for remedial construction activities, to review and discuss their data, the proposed remedial plans and restoration activities, and to obtain their consent for the work to take place. This is consistent with the process completed in prior years.

Highlights of activities planned for 2024

These maps from the DEC show the plan for remediation work this year.

In 2024, FMC will be continuing remedial construction activities on remaining OU2 properties and OU5 properties north of the Erie Canal. DEC and the New York State Department of Health will review and approve the remedial plans prior to implementation by FMC.

A DEC field representative will inspect and oversee work being performed by FMC’s contractors and consultants to ensure it is consistent with state standards and guidelines to protect the community. OU2 consists of Air Deposition Area 1, south of the Erie Canal and west of the Niagara/Orleans County Line (See Figure 1), OU5 consists of Culvert 105 and Flood Zone (See Figure 2):

  • Soil sampling and remediation at one vacant residential property south of the Erie Canal on Telegraph Road.
  • A structural investigation for an industrial/commercial parcel previously affiliated with the Norco operation on Elizabeth and Cemetery streets to allow for remediation activities.
  • Soil remediation of a large vacant agricultural property northeast of the FMC facility, including subsequent remediation of the adjacent canal bank property during the winter of 2024/2025.
  • Excavated soils, demolition debris, and other materials removed from the properties will be disposed of at permitted disposal facilities. Truck traffic patterns are designed to minimize traffic on Village of Middleport roads, to the extent practicable, and to maintain public safety along the truck routes and within and near the work areas.
  • The existing construction staging area located on Telegraph Road (Route 31) will continue to be used.
  • Pre-design investigation activities including, but not limited to, survey and soil sampling will occur on properties in OU6.
  • Areas that are disturbed during cleanup will be restored as close to pre-existing conditions as reasonably practical in consultation with each property owner. All backfill materials will be tested to demonstrate that they meet DEC requirements for protection of public health and the environment prior to use.
  • FMC has contacted, and will continue to work with, all affected property owners regarding permissible access and information about the scope of the remedial construction activities and health and safety procedures. FMC will keep affected property owners and residents updated with respected to the schedule and scope of the work activities.

Site background

The FMC facility is at southern portion of the Village of Middleport in Niagara County. The facility is bounded by residential properties to the west (along South Vernon Street), the Roy-Hart Middleport campus and commercial and residential properties to the north, agricultural lands to the east, and commercial properties and State Highway Route 31 to the south.

The plant site was formerly used for the manufacturing of pesticides, including products containing arsenic, between the 1920s and the 1980s. In the mid-1980s, the current site operation shifted from manufacturing to only formulation of pesticide products (i.e., mixing and packaging). Arsenic containing pesticides ceased to be made at the facility in the mid-1970s. FMC started implementation of a number of environmental studies and remedial programs in the 1970s. FMC is now completing remediation of the OUs associated with the Middleport facility as required by DEC.

Community safety during construction activities

FMC is committed to preforming the remediation construction work in a manner that will ensure safety. FMC and its contractors will work with the affected property owners and residents, Village of Middleport officials, DEC and DOH to complete to remediation construction work in a safe manner that will also minimize inconvenience and disruption to the community.

Safety precautions will include installation of construction fencing and signage around work areas to restrict access to only authorized personnel; providing appropriate traffic control and/or personnel to direct residents and the public safely around work areas and equipment; and continuing open and frequent communications regarding the construction activities, including reviewing property-specific safety plans with affected owners/residents including safe ingress/egress to their homes during construction on their properties.

A Community Air Monitoring Plan approved by DEC and NYSDOH will include continuous air monitoring during ground intrusive activities as added protection to avoid the potential for any public exposure or impacts to the environment during the cleanup. Dust suppression techniques will be used whenever activities that might create airborne dust are preformed, including applying water in the work area and on the roads.

Click here for more information from the DEC.