Posted News by Category
Click here for contact information for agency, FMC and CIG personnel.
For definitions of technical terms used on this site, click here.
Mr. John Paul Rossi in now the lead engineer for the environmental cleanup replacing Shawn Tolan. Shawn is still connected with the cleanup but will not be associated with the day to day activity.
Mr. Leonardo Picanto is the current interim plant manager replacing Greg Sullivan who left this past April. Mr. Picanto is from the FMC facility in Brazil.
Christina Kaba is the Director of Environmental Health and Safety in Philadelphia replacing Bob Forbes who retired at the end of 2016.
Roberta Kloda is manager for Environmental Health and Safety at the Middleport plant. Also Yolanda Rivero is a safety specialist.
FMC Middleport is placing an emphasis on employee safety both at the plant and in the home and community. Various programs are being implemented to further this goal
FMC is continuing to study and conduct remedial efforts for the various operative units in and surrounding Middleport except for the air deposition area and the Roy-Hart school which the DEC continues to do on a unilateral basis. FMC has won the court decision concerning the Agency selected remedy for the Air Deposition Area but the DEC is appealing. Until a ruling is rendered on the appeal, the judge has allowed the DEC to continue with the cleanup using their remedy (absolute max 20 PPM). However, this may change if the appeal goes in FMC's favor. The ruling is expected this coming fall. The suit concerns the DEC selected remedy as it was not one of the remedies outlined in the CMS for the Air Deposition Area. The ruling could impact the work for next year.
FMC is currently working on the CMS for Operative Unit 6, the Jeddo Creek Tributary, with an expected completion of the draft report by November of this year. It will then be submitted to the Agencies for review. If events go as in the past, the Agencies will want changes with the CMS, FMC will negotiate and make some, the modified CMS will be submitted, the Agencies hopefully will accept it, there will be a public comment period, comment responses will be published by the Agencies, a remedy selected (hopefully one in the CMS) and then work will begin.
As for the part of the tributary between Frances St and the Erie Canal, the Agencies have directed FMC to perform an Interim Corrective Measure (ICM) to remove contaminated soil from the creek bed and floodplain. The DEC has accepted the preliminary plan and FMC will submit the final plan on August 14. If the final plan is accepted, the work will begin in 2018 and be completed by fall 2019. Twenty six residential, commercial and public properties whose backyards are part of the floodplain will be effected. This work is not part of the law suit between FMC and the DEC
FMC is working on the RFI for OP3 which are the two areas north of the canal and east of the Niagara-Orleans County line
Dr. Klatt, school superintendent, stated it appears there may be 3 more phases of remediation at the school meaning 3 more years of work by the DEC. The area in front of the two schools bordering State St. will need to be done along with more areas to the rear and west of the high school and east of the middle school.
The Norco plant site has seen no activity and is considered part of the Air Deposition Area. It is up the the DEC to come up with a solution for that property pending the appeal.
FMC is continuing with the Home Value Assurance Program through 2018 for homes in the study areas. Homes that are for sale in Middleport are typically selling quickly and at good prices so the cleanup activity does not appear to be effecting that.
The MCIG website (middleport-future.com) has been down the last couple of days. It has been receiving an unusual number of hits the last few months and exceeded its allotted activity. The reason for these hits is not clear as is their source. It may be increased interest or it could be hackers. Programs are being put in place to determine the source.
Posted by: BillA on Aug 01, 2017 - 11:46 PM
Although the overhead view of the area on the third page of the sheet outlines neighborhood blocks as the original remediation plan described, it appears from the literature the DEC will be remediating by streets for at least this year. Up to 34 properties will be remediated this year:
In addition, the work started last year at St Stephens Church will be completed.
Work times will be 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday though Friday.
Posted by: BillA on Mar 30, 2017 - 06:13 PM
The adjoining work areas will have two schedules, one to be remediated while school is out for the summer and the other to be started and competed while school is in session. Where cars will park while school is in session was not explained.
To view the DEC announcement which includes a map of the proposed work area click here.
Posted by: BillA on Mar 16, 2017 - 11:38 PM
Since then the DEC has proceeded to implement their plan at the school and in the village neighborhoods of Alfred, Park and Freeman Avenues this year and last year despite FMC's legal challenge.
On October 20, 2016, a panel of five judges unanimously ruled against the DEC stating the state agency violated the law as spelled out in the Administrative Order of Consent, legally agreed to by FMC and the DEC in 1991, by not allowing a hearing to settle the dispute between FMC and the DEC on the remedy selection.
It now remains to be seen how the DEC will proceed from here. They are looking at all their legal options. They could appeal or allow a hearing and let the courts decide. They could enter into further discussions with FMC but that is what has been going on since 1991 with no agreement between the two. The DEC could just continue with the cleanup in the village with their remedy acknowledging that FMC may not pay for all of it or any of it. However it is believed that FMC always assumed some amount of the cleanup would be paid by them. WLVL radio stated that the ruling meant FMC would not have to pay for the cleanup activity from 2014 and 2015 but that is not clear from the statements seen so far. What amount FMC does not pay would be left to the taxpayers of New York.
Use this link to view the Buffalo News article
Use this link to view FMC's statement
Posted by: BillA on Oct 28, 2016 - 06:13 PM
Not having heard of any problem like this, I talked with FMC since they have the Home Value Assurance Program. According to FMC representatives there is no problem they know of with selling houses in Middleport. In fact it seems the houses covered under their plan are selling at or above appraised value and typically within 60 days of listing.
In addition to FMC, I talked with three real estate agents from two companies. None had heard or experienced any problems with purchasing homes in Middleport or the new owners getting the necessary mortgage and insurance. The realtors actually appeared puzzled the question was being asked.
Perhaps the Agencies (DEC) are once again arm twisting to get owners to commit to remediation. Someone told a worker or workers there was this problem and now it's getting spread. This has been done in the past and the DEC has told me it wasn't them and they would never do it but here it is again.
Owners should understand there is no reason to remediate unless they are concerned about the arsenic in their soil.
There was a reported problem where a sale did not go through because the buyer could not get a mortgage but that was reported to be caused by a financial situation not contamination.
Posted by Bill Arnold
Posted by: BillA on Sep 30, 2016 - 11:23 PM
Property owners involved will be contacted and get an explanation what the study means to them. A request to each owner to access their property will be made. Owners have the right to refuse and no samples will be taken without written permission.
To review the announcement from Shawn Tollin of FMC click here.
To review the work plan click here.
Or go to the Document Repository in this site and find these and other documents. The referenced documents are in the category Study and Work Plans.
This agreement between FMC and the Agencies does not change the other current activities at the Middle and High Schools or in the "M" and "K" blocks in residential areas. The NYSDEC began work on Park Ave. several weeks ago and will begin work at the school soon after the school year ends which is June 24. FMC has no involvement in this work and the DEC is using the taxpayer funded State Superfund to pay for the activity.
Posted by: BillA on Jun 24, 2016 - 05:26 PM
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that Phase two of the soil remediation effort will begin on June 27 on the grounds of the Royalton-Hartland (Roy-Hart)High School and on May 3 at residences located on the K and M Blocks in the Village of Middleport, Niagara County. This remediation is part of the overall 14.4-acre remediation effort required under the Final Statement of Basis (FSB) issued by DEC in May 2013 regarding the cleanup of the FMC Corporation Middleport facility site.
The 2013 FSB requires the removal of arsenic contamination exceeding the 20 part per million soil cleanup objective from the Roy-Hart High School property. To date, approximately 8,000 cubic yards of material has been excavated from the school property by DEC due to FMC's refusal to implement the remedy. During phase two, DEC will excavate and remove approximately 900 cubic yards of arsenic-contaminated soil from the Roy-Hart High School inner courtyards and grass areas adjacent to the southwestern side of the high school during the summer of 2016.
DEC is currently working with the Royalton-Hartland Board of Education and school district officials to develop a construction schedule for all remaining soil remediation activities at the school.
Remedial work will also restart this month to complete the excavation and removal of arsenic-contaminated soil from three residential properties within the K and M Block areas as well as the remaining 28 residential properties within the K and M Block areas that have signed on to the project.
DEC and partnering contractors have worked closely with the Village Mayor and public works staff to coordinate this work on the K and M blocks. The DEC project team has also engaged in extensive outreach with residential property owners in this area and will continue these activities until the project is complete.
The FSB identifies a total of 182 properties in the Village of Middleport for cleanup and DEC will continue its cleanup activities until all impacted properties have been addressed, as required by the FSB. Any property owners within the K and M Blocks who have not already responded to DEC to schedule remediation of their properties are encouraged to contact Dave Chiusano at 518-402-9813 or David.Chiusano@dec.ny.gov.
For comments from Bill Arnold, MCIG Chairman, click Read Full Aricle link below.
Posted by: BillA on May 07, 2016 - 11:20 PM Read full article: 'DEC Announces activities for Summer 2016' (281 more words)
Lockport is the closest city to Middleport and its paper is considered the hometown newspaper.
To read the opinion click here.
Posted by: BillA on Mar 06, 2015 - 12:16 AM
Before the vote was taken most of the board members expressed concerns over the project. Board member Sandra Hoerner expressed concern for the cost and benefit. Jeffrey Waters wondered about the soil at the Gasport school and samples taken there. He asked why children at Gasport were less important than those in Middleport. Sara Fry was concerned over the timing and rush to make a decision to proceed. Daniel Bragg had the most concerns mentioning the rush to make a decision, the fact the EPA is no longer involved, the ongoing law suits between FMC and the Agencies and what happens when they are resolved and he did not like the arm twisting put on the Board by the State Education Department. He summed it up saying this is all being done just to grow some grass and mentioned Mr. Bruno Pacini who coached and spent more years than anybody on the athletic fields at the school but still plays a good game of golf today. Superintendent Dr. Klatt wants to be able to approve the work plan when it becomes available. Patricia Riegle sympathized with the concerns of the other board members but expressed her concern that if they did not approve the work, the State Education Department would not approve any emergency repairs or capital builds. The board has been told the school property is red flagged and the State Education Department would not approve such activity until the flag is removed.
In the end the vote was Riegle, Hoerner, Fry and Keith Bond voting yes to proceed, with Bragg and Waters voting no. Board member Kenneth Koch was absent from the meeting.
Posted by: BillA on Mar 06, 2015 - 12:04 AM
Sample points were spread over a 100 by 100 foot grid. There were 109 locations where multiple samples were taken at different depths totaling 604 samples in all. Of the 109 locations, 87 had arsenic levels above 20 PPM with the maximum being 95 PPM.
The DEC proposes excavating most areas to a one foot depth but there are some areas that will need to be dug 18 and 24 inches deep. It may be necessary to go deeper in some areas depending on additional sampling during excavation. Further sampling will be performed to determine if the soil under the parking lots is contaminated to the degree requiring remediation.
The DEC would like to begin this summer. There will probably be three phases with the first phase remediating the area known as the field hockey field located behind the junior high school in the south east section of the school property.
The schedule is to finalize the design for the remediation/reconstruction by May, mobilize the construction crews by June and begin excavation mid June. It was hoped that Phase one could be completed with reconstruction and new turf by the beginning of the school year.
A fence will surround the work area to keep people out and away from exposed soil.
To gain access to the work area a roadway will be constructed along the eastern side of the school property. A truck staging area will be built near the work site but the roadway will be wide enough to support additional staging as necessary. Smaller trucks will be used for hauling soil in and out (no double tandem trucks). Water trucks will periodically spray down the area to reduce dust. Dust monitoring devices will be strategically placed around the area.
In order to meet the construction schedule the school board must make a decision whether to have phase one started or not by March 4th. The target for completion of the entire school property is sometime between 2016 and 2018.
Posted by: BillA on Feb 06, 2015 - 11:26 PM
Next Meeting Date
There are no plans for a meeting at this time.
All meetings run from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Masonic Lodge, 20 Main St. in the Village. All Middleport residents and property owners are welcome to stop by anytime while we are meeting.
Meeting Notes & Agendas
Download CIG meeting notes and agendas from 2006 to the present here.
CIG Mission Statement
To download a copy of the CIG's Mission Statement click here.
New Member Materials
The CIG Brochure
To download the CIG brochure in pdf format just click this link.
There are 41 unlogged users and 0 registered users online.
You can log-in or register for a user account here.