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Middleport Community

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Village of Middleport


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Important Announcement
On October 31, 2021 this site ceased to exist as it has since its inception.

In the past this site provided the latest news and information on the FMC arsenic cleanup in the village of Middleport, NY and surrounding area for affected and interested residents.

However due to the age of its software, it was no longer supported by the server it ran on as of January, 2022

It would have cost several thousands of dollars to rewrite the site's software so it could continue but after looking at the usage and locations of the visitors to the site, it was questionable as to whether it was serving the purpose for which it was intended.

Therefore on October 31, 2021, the site had its current content of news, documents and comments moved to another server and became a read only site, available beginning November 13,2021. There will be no future content added.

The site served a useful purpose for 10 years but most decisions concerning remediation have been made and in many cases completed. There was few visitors to the site with most outside New York state and many outside the US. Also one of the most popular areas of the site visited was the member list which could have been a potential security risk to those in that list. There was no way to modify this old software to improve security so the decision to close the site as an active site was made.

Posted by: BillA on Sep 24, 2021 - 04:36 AM  

Issues related to the RCRA process
FMC released an update for their 2021 activites.

The updte includes a decription of the areas to be remdiated in 2021 along with maps highlighting those areas.

The major activities will be the removal of buildings and remediatuon at the former Norco property. and work to clean up some of the areas along culvert 105 north of the canal.

It should be noted that even though an entire property may be highlighted, it is not clear that more than part of that property will see activity.

To view the update documant click here.

Posted by: BillA on Apr 30, 2021 - 05:58 AM  

Issues related to the RCRA process
The New York State DEC has released their Final Statemnt of Basis for Operable Unit 3. The area consists of farm fields, woods and canal banks. The preliminarty statement was released in October, 2020 ans is described in another story below.

To download the fact sheet click here.

To download the final statement click here.

Posted by: BillA on Feb 20, 2021 - 05:33 AM  

Issues related to the RCRA process
FMC has released their work plan for 2021 investigation and remediation activity. The plan has been approved by the NYS DEC. Most of the operable units are covered in the work plan.

There are a couple of remaining properties in the Air Deposition Area (one on South Vernon St. and the other on Route 31E in Orleans County) in the plan for remediation. The agricultural areas east of Middleport are included and would be done in multiple phases. .

The buildings at the Norco site will be demolished.

The culvert north of Sleeper St. including the area around the apartments on Maedl Lane are in the plan.

Note that at this time approvals by owners have not been given for all of this activity.

To view the work plan, click here.

Posted by: BillA on Jan 25, 2021 - 04:54 AM  

Important Announcement
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  

Issues related to the RCRA process
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  

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