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Tecumseh Redevelopment Incorporated

Other (Former) Names of Site: Seneca Steel, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, International Steel Group

EPA Identification Number: NYD002134880
Facility Location: 2600 Hamburg Turnpike (Route 5), Lackawanna, New York 14218 Link to the site map
Facility Contact Name: Keith Nagel, (330) 659-9165
EPA Contact Name: Alan Straus, (212) 637-4160, straus.alan@epa.gov
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Case Manager: Stanley Radon, CPG, Project Manager (716) 851-7220, sfradon@gw.dec.state.ny.us
Last Updated: April 2014
Environmental Indicator Status Human Exposures Under Control: No status has been recorded.
Groundwater Contamination Under Control: No status has been recorded.

Site Description

Tecumseh Redevelopment Inc. (Tecumseh) owns approximately 1,100 acres of property located along NYS Route 5, adjacent to Lake Erie, in Lackawanna. The property comprises a significant portion of the former Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s (BSC) Lackawanna facility.

The site includes what remains of a sprawling former integrated steel manufacturing complex. The iron and steel making blast furnaces shut down in 1983. Coke production continued until 2001. Steel rolling and galvanizing continued until 2009. While some buildings remain, most structures have been razed.

The western portion of the site, that includes approximately two miles of Lake Erie waterfront, consists of a considerable area of manmade land (approximately 440 acres) where iron and steel making slag and plant wastes were disposed.

In 2001, BSC filed for bankruptcy protection. Tecumseh, then a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Steel Group (ISG), acquired the property pursuant to an Asset Purchase Agreement that was approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in 2003. Tecumseh thereafter assumed the related cleanup obligations at the Tecumseh Property. Tecumseh is a wholly–owned subsidiary of ArcelorMittal USA Inc., an international steel company.

Site Responsibility and Legal Instrument

NYSDEC Orders on Consent pursuant to the New York Environmental Conservation Law and the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations. Portions of the site are being addressed pursuant to NYSDEC Brownfield Cleanup Agreements.

Permit Status

NYSDEC public noticed a draft Part 373 Post-Closure Permit in 1991.  This permit action was never completed, due to the presence of an EPA Administrative Order on Consent.  NYSDEC subsequently issued several Orders on Consent addressing closure and cleanup.

Potential Threats and Contaminants

An EPA Administrative Order on Consent required BSC to perform an environmental investigation of the site and it was completed by Tecumseh in 2006. Investigations showed contamination of soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediment. The most significant contamination is associated with the wastes and releases from the historic coking and coke by-product operations. Benzene, naphthalene, and phenols are the primary groundwater contaminants. The chemicals of concern from the waste materials include metals, and volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, including petroleum.

Cleanup Approach and Progress

The site is managed under the NYSDEC Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) program, encompassing numerous contaminated areas located primarily in the slag fill area of the property. Several NYSDEC Orders on Consent, executed with Tecumseh since 2004, require cleanup actions.

A groundwater pump and treat system was installed in the Benzol Yard in 2005 and continues to treat dissolved-phase contaminated groundwater and collect free product. Approximately 25,000 pounds of contaminant mass has been recovered by the system.

The lower 2,600 feet of sediment in Smokes Creek nearest Lake Erie was dredged in 2009. Approximately 40,000 cubic yards of material was removed under this action, addressing sediment contaminated in the vicinity of the Acid Tar Pits. It also improved the hydraulic capacity of the stream, reducing flooding potential in the City of Lackawanna.

A large oil storage tank was cleaned out, removed and closed in 2009.

Cleanup actions at the Acid Tar Pits included installation of a slurry wall, waste consolidation, and leachate and groundwater extraction with treatment. Final capping is being completed.
 

A study is being completed to identify and evaluate alternatives to address contamination throughout the area being managed under the NYSDEC RCRA program. The NYSDEC has required an expanded investigation of site wide groundwater contamination, geophysical/slope stability analysis of the shoreline, additional investigation activities and interim cleanup at several areas. Selection and implementation of final cleanup measures will follow once the study is approved.

A portion of the Tecumseh property was parceled off and cleanup and redevelopment is being administered through the NYSDEC Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP). There are presently five BCP projects and associated sub-parcels designated at the site to facilitate investigation, cleanup, and redevelopment. The Steelwinds Wind Farm project is complete and contains eight wind turbines and supporting power generation equipment and infrastructure. The Phase I project is remediated and is awaiting development. The remaining projects and sub-parcels are in various stages of cleanup.

Site Repository

Copies of supporting technical documents and correspondence cited in this site fact sheet are available for public review at:

NYSDEC - Region 9
270 Michigan Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14203
Contact Person: Stanley Radon
Phone: (716) 851-7220

NYSDEC - Albany
Division of Environmental Remediation
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-7252

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) makes its public records available for a review under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

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