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Hooker - Hyde Park
Niagara Falls, NY

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Involvement Coordinator

Mike Basile (716) 551-4410
Basile.michael@epa.gov 

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EPA added the Hooker – Hyde Park site northwest of the City of Niagara Falls, New York to the Superfund National Priorities List on September 1, 1983 because hazardous chemicals were found in the soil and ground water. The 15-acre superfund site located in Niagara was used to dispose of approximately 80,000 tons of waste, some of which was hazardous material, from 1953 to 1975. The landfill is surrounded by several industrial facilities and property owned by the New York Power Authority. Nearby, Bloody Run Creek collects water from the landfill area and flows from the northwestern corner of the landfill into nearby storm sewers, down the Niagara Gorge Face and into the Niagara River. A community of 500 residents is located a few blocks east of the site. Approximately 3,000 people are employed by the industries near the site. All of the industries and most of the residences are connected to a municipal water supply system.

The underlying ground water is contaminated with dioxin and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are potentially harmful contaminants. Bloody Run Creek sediments and Niagara Gorge Face surface water were contaminated with VOCs that have been removed since their discovery. Potential health threats include eating contaminated fish from Lake Ontario. While the ground water is polluted, nobody in the area uses it, so human exposure to these contaminants is unlikely.

In 1985, EPA selected cleanup processes that were carried out by the Occidental Chemical Corporation (OCC). The cleanup included pumping out the dense oily liquids that contaminated the ground water in the landfill, creating a drain system around the landfill, preventing the escape of contaminated liquid from the landfill, studying the groundwater at both deep and shallow levels, and treating the contaminated liquids as well as the ground water. The landfill and its perimeter have been capped. To prevent pollution from migrating out of the site while collecting contaminated liquid for treatment, OCC has installed a system of twelve pumping wells that cause ground water to flow inward towards the landfill. These wells prevent ground water from seeping out of the landfill and into the surrounding bodies of water. Chemicals have been removed from the water and sediment in Bloody Run Creek. The Niagara Gorge Face has also been cleaned up. In addition to these cleanup measures, a program to protect nearby workers from contaminants has been completed. Further health safety measures have been taken, including an ongoing program that monitors for chemical contamination in wells throughout the area. The cleanup actions at the Hooker – Hyde Park site were completed in September 2003. Operation and maintenance of the ground water removal and treatment systems will continue over the next 30 years to ensure the wellbeing of the community. The removal of contaminated soils and sediments combined with the treatment and monitoring operations have substantially reduced potential health risks and further environmental degradation.

Ground water is sampled quarterly and EPA reviews both quarterly and annual reports to determine that the cleanup goals have been met. EPA concluded in September 2012 that the cleanup work has been successful and the site was removed from the Superfund list in September 2013.


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