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New Story!
On Tuesday, October 20, 2020, FMC held a meeting with village and school officials to provide updates on the remediation effort in and around Middleport. During the meeting FMC presented their future plans for what has to be done regarding remediation in the area as well as introduce their new Remediation Project Manager, Jonathan Bucca who replaces Liz Madara. Liz has received a promotion within FMC and a new assignment. Congratulation to Liz and good luck to Jonathan.

At of the completion of activities in the Air Deposition Area this year (2020), the NYSDEC will turn the effort over to FMC for future property remediation with DEC approvals and over-site. Under the new Consent Order, FMC must agree to DEC terms and requirements although negotiations during planning stages will continue. FMC will present remedies to the DEC but the latter can override them and select their own. FMC will then have to follow through with remediation per the DEC ruling.

In 2021, FMC has plans to be prepared to remediate any of the properties left in the Air Deposition Area whose owners have refused remediation in the past. There are 26 of these properties. There is one of these properties with a new owner who has asked their property be remediated. There is also one property bordering the area who has requested remediation because of marginally elevated contamination. FMC will continue to ask owners who have refused if they have changed their minds as well as ask new owners of unremediated properties.

It should be noted that aside from the two properties to be remediated in the Air Deposition Area mentioned above, there have not been approvals to proceed from property owners in other areas which will be required. FMC has created preliminary plans on what they expect they can do in the future as outlined below but actual construction cannot begin without approvals. If approvals are not obtained for some, schedules for other activities could be moved up. The DEC must also approve FMC's plans and modifications are possible. In some cases there may be discussions between FMC and the DEC concerning the best way to proceed which may change plans.

The Norco property will be addressed in 2021 if access can be obtained. The buildings could be demolished and remediation of soil would begin. Mayor Westcott stated there is a party interested in the property once cleared and cleaned to use for light industrial activity.

Culvert 105 from the north side of the canal to the north side of the Maedl apartment complex not already remediated is scheduled for 2021. North of that could be done in 2022. The remedial design is currently under way.

A portion of the farm land east of the village and west of the county line might be started in 2021, with most planed for later years if approval given. Excavation may be done in high contamination areas with the tilling/blending method possible in lower contaminated areas. It should be noted that at this time only a small portion of that farm property is identified for remediation. Also the field east of Middleport, north of Route 31E and west of the county line is currently in design phase with construction targeted for 2022.

The DEC has published their Preliminary Statement of Basis (PSOB) for Operational Unite 3 (OU3) which are the areas east of the Niagara/Orleans County line between routes 31 and 31E, farm fields north of the canal between Middleport and the county line and the north and south side canal banks. Sampling has been done in those areas and the DEC has proposed a remedy that will reduce the level of arsenic below 20 PPM for unrestricted use. FMC had proposed either no action or cleanup to a restricted use of agricultural/industrial/commercial use. These lands consist of farm fields currently used as such, heavily wooded areas, and canal banks including the tow path. There are no roads into these areas that would lend themselves to future residential development. The DEC is currently seeking comments to their Statement of Basis until November 16, 2020. Although the DEC is seeking comment now and will make their decision on the remedy next year, FMC's plans are not to begin design and construction until 2026,

The tributary creek south of Pearson road is in the design stage with planed construction beginning in 2023 and going out to 2029. FMC is negotiating with the DEC to select a remedy that does not destroy the wet areas and natural wild habitat in the non residential areas. The effort north of Pearson Road is planed for 2029 and beyond with negotiations and design in the preceding years.

The R&D area south of the FMC plant on Route 31, is currently being used by the DEC as a staging site for their remediation efforts. They also have some office space there. Once FMC can gain access, a study will begin with remediation planed for 2026 and 27.

On another topic, FMC is expanding some production lines as business continues to improve at the plant. Construction of new buildings to house offices and labs is still a couple of years out.

Posted by: BillA on Oct 22, 2020 - 10:41 PM  

New Story!
The DEC has released a Preliminary Statement of Basis describing their remedy for the contamination in area termed Operational Unit 3. This area consists of farm fields, woods and canal banks mostly east of the Village of Middleport.

These lands are divided into several areas:
  1. R2a: the northern canal bank including the tow path from opposite the end of William St. east.

  2. R2b and R2c: parts of farm fields north of the canal.

  3. R2d: part of a farm field east of the Niagara/Orleans County line and south of Route 31E

  4. R2e: a small abandoned wooded area east of the county line just north of the Falls Road Railroad.

  5. R2f: wooded area east of the county line north of Route 31 to the railroad

  6. By order, the south canal bank has also been added but not to include the farm field south of the canal.

Refer to the last pages of the Preliminary Statement of Basis for a pictorial layout of these areas.

A summary of the contamination levels is:
  1. R2a: 13 sample points, highest is 49.3 PPM at 6-9 feet deep, 10 sample points have levels above 20 PPM.

  2. R2b: 7 sample points, highest is 24.7 PPM, at 6-9 feet, 2 other sample point have levels above 20 PPM.

  3. R2c: 6 sample points, highest 26.1 PPM at 6-9 feet, one other sample point had a level above 20 PPM.

  4. R2d: 10 sample points, highest is 20.3 PPM at 3-6 feet, no other samples above 20 PPM.

  5. R2e: 2 total points, both above 30 PPM at 0-3 feet and above 25 PPM at 3-6 feet

  6. R2f: 16 total points, highest is 36.1 PPM at 0-3 feet, 7 other points have samples above 20 PPM.

  7. There is no sample data at this time for the southern canal bank.

FMC had proposed two remedies:
  1. No further remediation

  2. Remediate to an expected land use of agricultural/commercial/railroad/industrial: 40 PPM average, 80 PPM highest.

Since the current known levels in these areas are currently under 40 PPM avg, 80 PPM high, no further action by FMC would have been required.

The DEC objected to both solutions and is requiring FMC clean up to a standard of 20 PPM avg and 40 PPM highest which would establish a land use of residential and no restrictions. The cost of this remedy is estimated to be $14.5 million.

This is land that is not accessible by roads as the areas to be remediated are set back from the nearest highways (31 and 31E) or are not near a road at all. It is hard be believe they will ever be anything but farm or unused land.

The DEC is accepting comments on the PSOB until November 16, 2020, which should be sent to:

Nathan Freeman - NYS DEC Project Engineer
Division of Environmental Remediation
625 Broadway, 12th Floor
Albany, NY 12233-7255

To download the Preliminary Statement of Basis click here.
To download the DEC fact sheet click here.

Posted by: BillA on Oct 22, 2020 - 10:38 PM  

Issues related to the RCRA process
The DEC published its plans for remediation at the Royalton-Hartland School for Phase 6 in 2020. This will be the final phase for work at the school. Most areas effected are parking lots and driveways which will be milled and repaved. There will be some areas along State St. and the old tennis courts where soil will be removed and replaced.

To view the DEC release click here. The areas where work will be done are highlighted.

Posted by: BillA on Apr 29, 2020 - 06:38 PM  

Issues related to the RCRA process
The NYS DEC has announced their plans for continuing the arsenic cleanup in Middleport. 2020 will be the sixth and probably final planned season of remediation to be performed in the Air Deposition Area. Work is scheduled to begin this month (April).

The areas to be worked on will be:

  1. Residential properties along both sides of State Street between William and Robertson Streets.

  2. Properties on William and Washington Streets.

  3. Properties on north side of State St. including and west of The HUB that have the under ground Culvert 105 passing through.

  4. The residential property on Route 31E east of the village at the Niagara/Orleans County line.

  5. The residential property at 85 South Main St. (a new owner has opted to have the cleanup done).

  6. A strip of land along the north side of the railroad tracks between Main and Vernon.

  7. The National Grid property at the corner of Vernon and South.

  8. An area in front of the Middle School.

  9. The parking lot between the Middle and High School.

  10. An area south of the old tennis courts on Alfred St. (may included the old maintenance house).

  11. Finishing of work on some properties not completed during the 2019 effort.

Not all the properties along State St. and its side streets will be remediated. A number of them have “No further action required” status and a few will be refusals. No properties on Robertson St will be remediated including those on the corners of State and Robertson (no further action). There are approximately 28 properties to be done.

Work will be performed on weekdays although, as in the past, Saturdays may be used if work falls behind.

As stated, this effort should complete the work in the Air Deposition Area. The areas yet to be remediated are the Tributary between Francis St. and the canal, followed by the tributary from the canal to Pearson Rd, then on to Jeddo and Johnson Creeks in the town of Yates. Also the Culvert from Sleeper St. north will need to be done. All this work will be engineered by FMC with DEC oversight where the work in the Air Deposition Area was done without FMC involvement. However per the new AOC, FMC will pay the estimated more than 51 million dollars spent by the DEC out of the state superfund to do the last six years of cleanup.

To view the DEC announcement concerning residential claenup for 2020 click here. The announcement includes a map of the area with the properties to be remediated shaded in yellow.

Posted by: BillA on Apr 11, 2020 - 03:51 PM  

Discussion related to community issues
FMC held an informational meeting on Tuesday, December 3, to bring village organizations up to date on plant activity and the remediation effort in and around the village.

The DEC will continue coordinating the remediation effort in 2020. To be done is State St. from Alfred to Vernon including the stub streets of William and Washington. Current information from the DEC indicates the properties on Robertson St. are clear including the two that are on State that corner with Robertson. There is also a few small areas at the school that need to be finished. 85 main Street has a new owner and will be remediated. It was not done in 2018 when that part of Main was cleaned up.

FMC will take over in 2021 with DEC over site. FMC will finish the CMS for the part of the tributary in OU5 (Francis to Pearson) which is currently being revised with changes requested by the DEC. After approval there will need to be a public comment period. FMC is looking for some flexibility in areas along the creek which are not residential. It remains to be seen if there will be any. There has been no decision on how the part of the tributary that runs under the canal will be cleaned. Actual remediation probably won't begin until 2021.

In addition, any properties the DEC began to remediate in 2020 which are not completed during the construction season will be finished by FMC in 2021.

The area on FMC property in the past referred to as the CAMU may be regraded and closed. The plan for this will need to be submitted to the DEC and if approved will have a public comment period.

FMC will continue with their effort to sample properties in the OU 6 (tributary north of Pearson Rd.) and OU 7 (Jeddo and Johnson Creek) areas during 2020. Only about 40% of property owners so far have agreed to sampling. This effort will most likely continue into 2021.

FMC continues to invest in the Middleport plant with capital improvements. There are 65 full time employees at the site with a current need for more part time employees.

Th Roy-Hart School is planning to replace the play ground and tennis courts lost to remediation the last couple of years. Remediation at the school should be competed in 2020.

The web site will have a make over including organizing the remediation part by Operable Units (OU's). A visitor can click on a particular OU and go to all the pertinent information on that OU. This will be worked on in early 2020.

The next meeting will be held in the June 2020 time frame.

Posted by: BillA on Dec 06, 2019 - 06:32 PM  

Important Announcement
New York State governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS DEC made a major announcement on June 7, 2019, regarding the FMC plant in Middleport and the current ongoing arsenic cleanup in and around the village.

Click on the following links to download the announcements that were published in news media or other entities:

Orleans Hub

Lockport Union Sun & Journal

Gov Cuomo's office

FMC Corp.

These announcements, for the most part, paint FMC as the bad guys and New York State as the heroes. FMC has basically waved the white flag. The DEC had made doing business in the state and especially in Middleport very difficult with increased and excessive inspections, cited violations and fines. Since acquiring DuPont's agricultural business, FMC wanted to move that activity to the Middleport plant and plans to expand the facility with capital improvements. FMC believes that with this settlement, the working environment between themselves and New York State will improve allowing them to continue in Middleport.

The agreement is a new Order of Consent that includes various fines and commitments as listed in the announcements. Another one that was not included in the announced material is that in any year there is remediation effort by FMC, the company must spend 10 million dollars on that effort or be fined.

Law suits between FMC and New York State DEC have been dropped.

The DEC will continue the cleanup in the Air Deposition area including the school which should end at the conclusion of the 2020 construction season. Starting in 2021 FMC will do all the remediation work with over-site by the DEC. These areas will include Culvert 105, the Jeddo Creek Tributary from Francis St. to Lyndonville (if necessary) and areas east and north of the village.

It remains to be seen if this agreement will improve the working relationship between FMC and New York State.

Posted by: BillA on Jun 08, 2019 - 01:24 AM  

Issues related to the RCRA process
On April 18, the DEC updated their remediation plans for 2019 construction season.

Phase 5 of the Roy-Hart school remediation project will begin in April. Areas to the south, west, and north of the high school and areas north of the middle school will be cleaned up. This includes all that area in front of both schools to the State St. right-of-way. The first work to be done will most likely be removal of the trees along State St. Approximately 12,000 cubic yards of soil will be removed. All the work continues to be performed under the over-site of the DEC without FMC involvement. For now, cost will be paid for from The New York State Superfund.

Phase 5 of the Air Deposition Area will also begin in April. Up to 33 properties will be cleaned up this year. The areas includes:

  1. The north side of State St. between Hammond Parkway and Butler parkway.

  2. Both the east and west side of East Ave.

  3. The first two properties on the east side of Butler Pkwy from State. (The other properties on this street have “No further action required” status except for the two on either side at the end of the street next to the canal [as of 2018]. Their status may have changed for 2019.)

  4. The grassy island within the circle in Hammond Pkwy.

  5. The residential property immediately east of the Middle School on State Rd.

  6. The east and west sides of Maple Ave. between State and Park.

  7. The north side of Park Ave. between Maple and Vernon.

  8. Two properties on the south side of State Street east of Maple. (The third property forms a break point as it has 'No further action required” status.)

  9. The east side of Vernon Street between Park and State.

  10. Required restoration work not completed during the 2018, Phase 4 effort.

Some properties within these areas will not be remediated as they have “No further action required” status and some may be properties whose owners refuse. The DEC will work with owners to determine what must be removed and how the property will be restored. Work will be conducted by National Vacuum Environmental Services Corporation of Niagara Falls under the over-site of the DEC on weekdays generally between 7:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Full time air monitoring will be employed.

After this year's phase, all that will remains in the Air Deposition Area is State Street between William and Vernon and two feeder streets north of State (William and Washington). All properties on Robertson St. have “No further action required” status. Also, some fields east of the village remain to be done pending owner approval.

To download the DEC announcement for Phase 5 of the Air Deposition Area cleanup, click here.

Posted by: BillA on Apr 19, 2019 - 07:14 PM  

Important Announcement
On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, FMC held an information meeting to bring community officials up to date on plant activities and the remediation process in and around Middleport. Officials from the village a long with the Supervisors from the towns of Yates and Hartland attended.

A new remediation project coordinator was introduced. Elizabeth (Liz) Madara will be assuming those duties replacing Nick Schapman. Nick came on board just a year ago. Liz has a background as an environmental consultant.

The DEC will continue to remediate the Air Deposition Area and the school yard in Middleport during 2019 and 2020 without FMC. Although the Agency has announced only one more phase for school remediation, it was thought that there is too much area to cleanup for it to be completed in 2019, so there may be some amount of work to do in 2020. It was also mentioned that the school has some issues with the DEC plan concerning accessibility to certain areas of the campus during the remediation process.

After the Air Deposition Area is completed it is believed the DEC will be remediating Culvert 105 between Sleeper St. and the sewage treatment plant along with any areas of the culvert not already done between Sleeper and the canal. This activity will also be performed without FMC. There is no schedule for this. The culvert south of the canal will be done as individual properties that the underground culvert passes through are remediated.

FMC continues to work with the DEC and EPA on Jeddo Creek and its tributary that runs through Middleport. FMC has submitted the Corrective Action Measures for the tributary but the DEC/EPA have asked for revisions. The two sides could not come to an agreement so they are in dispute resolution. It is now doubtful that any work can begin in 2019.

A proposal for the eastern area of the FMC plant (past proposed site for the CAMU) was submitted to the Agencies on December 29, 2017, but there has been no feedback.

The Administrative Judge is continuing to review the submitted briefs supporting or opposing the Hazardous Waste Management Facility Permit Application. These briefs were to be submitted by last spring. The permit, if so ordered, will replace the AOC (Administrative Order of Consent) that FMC and the Agencies are currently working by and will continue to until the status of the permit is resolved.

FMC had begun some sampling activities along the Jeddo Creek north of Pearson Rd but stopped when hunting season began . They will resume next spring. Any sampling results obtained so far have been submitted to the Agencies.

FMC has added three new product lines at the Middleport plant and are in the process of adding a fourth. These lines are from product acquisitions from Dupont. There was a 55% increase in production of their product Command. FMC has invested 3 million dollars in plant improvements in 2018 and plan to invest 8 million in 2019. There is also a plan on the table to construct a building to house new labs and offices. The intent is to become more than just a manufacturing site. They would like to be able to demonstrate products to potential customers at the plant.

Posted by: BillA on Dec 06, 2018 - 12:57 AM  

Important Announcement
The DEC has announced the final phase of remediation at the Royalton Hartland Middle and High School. Instead of two more phases over the next two summers, the remaining areas at the schools will be remediated beginning this month, November, 2018, in one phase. Completion is expected to be November, 2019. As a contingency, there may be some work left for the summer recess of 2020. Approximately 16,600 cubic years of soil will be removed from mainly in front of the two schools, and to the west and behind the high school.

Preparation and the installation of a work area fence behind the high school will begin in November with major soil removal beginning in April, 2019, continuing through October, 2019. Soil removal will begin behind the high school, moving to the front of both schools during summer recess to minimize the impact on the function of the school. During school hours, work will not begin before 8:00 AM. Air monitoring will be performed during work hours.

To view the DEC flier describing the activity click here.

Posted by: BillA on Nov 08, 2018 - 05:44 PM  

Important Announcement
The DEC has sent letters requesting access for sampling and potential remediation to around 70 property owners in the Air Deposition Area. These residential properties are the last in that area that have not been previously remediated or their owners declined aside from the school and agricultural fields. The properties run along State Street from Hammond Parkway to Vernon St. and include the side streets along the way (East Ave., Butler, William, Washington, Maple and Vernon Streets). In addition, three residential only property owners east of the school have received letters requesting permission. The properties on and bordering Roberson St. have clear or No Further Action Required status. There are about 37 properties scattered along the area that also have received clear letters.

The DEC want to get permission, if they can, on these remaining properties so they can sample and develop plans for remediation over the winter. However only about 30 properties will be remediated in 2019 with the rest being done on 2020. It should be noted there will probably be some owners who will refuse. Although the request for access from the DEC includes sampling and remediation, owners are still allowed to opt out at any time during the process. They may write on the agreement what they are agreeing to before signing and returning the request.

There is no way to know at this time how many owners will refuse but there most likely will be some. Note that for this year's activity, the refusal rate on Main St., south of South St., was above 50% who declined. However that rate on Hammond Parkway was around 10%.

On another front, FMC sent letters during the summer to property owners along the Tributary and its flood plain north of Pearson Rd to Mill Rd near Marshall in Orleans County. Theses areas are refereed to as Operable Units 7 and 8. The intent is to gain access to survey boundaries and mark drainage areas as well as gain knowledge of the property's history. FMC has already filed a preliminary sampling plan with the DEC. Unlike the Air Deposition Area, FMC is executing the survey and sampling. It remains to be seen who does any subsequent remediation.

The DEC has not announced their plans for next year's activity at the school, but it's most likely the areas in front of the two buildings will be remediated. Remaining would be areas west and south of the high school. The DEC has planned on two more phases at the school.

Posted by: BillA on Nov 02, 2018 - 07:25 PM  

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