Final arrangements have been made to begin work on reclaiming a 17-acre landfill on the grounds of the former Roblin Steel Co. here.
Erie Shore Commodities, Inc., a Brunswick, Ohio, scrap metal processor, completed preliminary work on the project earlier this week when its representatives signed a consent order with New York State.
The company intends to begin mining discarded steel and other materials from the landfill in November. The operation is expected to take about three years.
"If all goes as planned, this property will essentially be returned to its original condition," said Timothy Webster, a Hamburg attorney who represented Erie Shore Commodities.
"We believe this may be the first time in New York State history that a private company has sought and received permission to completely reclaim a landfill."
Officials of Erie Shore Commodities became interested in the site after learning that discarded scrap metal and slag, which is used in road paving, had been piled above ground near the old steel mill buildings.
Roblin closed the mill 12 years ago when the company went bankrupt. The landfill is owned by Northern Chautauqua Metals Inc.
Erie Shore Commodities estimates the site contains about 12 acres of scrap metal. The state Health Department has determined that there are no hazardous wastes on the property.